Every school holiday, my friends are taking selfies, sending texts or comparing ringtones. As soon as I hit 9th grade everyone had a phone buzzing in their pocket but me. I have a serious case of phoneless - fear-of-missing-out!'
Yesterday a text went out about an after-school hangout – I didn’t get the message. I was feeling left out, like I wasn’t connected to anyone around me. I told my bestie how I was feeling, from small things like people sharing texts instead of notes in class, some people sharing photos – everything's online and I’m not a part of it.
Sometimes my bestie shares her phone with me when we are at school, and shows me the group chats or photos from the week – but it’s not the same.
My brother lets me have his phone when he is at sports practice on Sunday, but I’m not back from working at the market until late then I have to help with dinner so I only get 20 minutes on it a week! I’ve begged my parents for a phone, but they think sharing my brothers is enough - it’s not.
I need a phone to be in touch with my friends. A lot of our socialising is now online and I feel disconnected. I also want to be able to look up music notes quickly for my guitar practice or homework answers instead of relying on books or the school computer.
Sometimes I’m in unsafe situations because plans have changed, and I’m not told so I’m travelling or waiting alone somewhere – without a phone.
I’ve been saving money from my part-time job to save up for my own phone – but I’m worried I won’t be able to afford regular data to stay online. Some girls have wifi at home or at their school, but I don’t.
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