A Day Without an iPhone: How One Editor Survived the National Day of Unplugging

If brunch is eaten without a hashtag, does it still make a tweet?

Details entertainment editor Nojan Aminosharei found out this past Saturday, during the National Day of Unplugging, when we're all encouraged to put down our iPhones and step away from our Facebook time lines for 24 hours. It's harder than you think.

Nojan courageously volunteered to go through a whole day of brunch hopping and birthday partying without texting friends if he was running late or snapping obligatory food pics for his Instagram feed. Instead, he hand-Instagrammed throughout the day. Here, he takes us through his electricity-free illustrated adventure.

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Listen, you don't become an entertainment editor if you don't like to stay up until four in the morning to binge-watch House of Cards on Netflix, then take your iPad to bed so you can fall asleep to an episode of Seinfeld on Crackle, and then wake up to your iMac alarm playing Connie Britton's "Buried Under" from the Nashville soundtrack before watching an episode of Bob's Burgers on Hulu while getting dressed for work—no, sir. My obsessive pop-culture consumption is listed as a special skill on my résumé, right between "speaks terrible Farsi" and "can erase zits on Photoshop." So when I was faced with a day of no Internet, electronics, or Gilligan's Island-esque coconut phones (I assume), I did what any entertainment editor would do: I drank. (I could have read a book but, y'know.) And what do I do when I'm drinking with my friends? I Instagram everything. It's the new drunk dial. It was the one habit I couldn't kick, so I gave it an analog spin. Below are my back-of-a-napkin "Instagrams" of my Saturday unplugged from the 21st century.

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Friday, 6:00 P.M.: A trial run depicting our unsuspecting senior editor Laurence Lowe. I think the hair shows an uncanny likeness. The elbow? I think it had more of a bend and less of a curve in real life.

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Friday, 6:45 P.M.: We get two bottles of Game of Thrones beer in the office—"suitable for kings and pretenders to the Iron Throne." Primo Instagram fodder, but I resist; I'm in training.

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Saturday, 11:50 A.M.: I made plans for brunch the night before I unplugged, but the ever-unreliable J train made me late. I almost cheated and used a pay phone to call and say I was running behind, but then I realized I didn't remember anyone's number.

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Saturday, 12:30 P.M.: A brunch pastime—Insta-shaming hungover friends.

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Saturday, 2:45 P.M.: I take a few brunchmates to meet a friend who's volunteering at a rescue shelter, but by the time we get there he's gone. So we walk to his apartment and ring his doorbell. Nothing. The obvious next move? Run to the nearest bar for margaritas.

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Saturday, 5:00 P.M.: We go out on a limb and visit my M.I.A. friend's favorite local Willliamsburg dive bar. Sure enough, he's there; he couldn't resist the allure of Styrofoam Bud Lights and Mega Millions.

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Saturday, 9:00 P.M.: Everyone scatters home for a nap, but I don't trust myself to sleep without an alarm clock, so I pace around my apartment humming M83's "Midnight City" to myself until a group arrives for our planned pre-party before a friend's birthday a few blocks down.

Saturday, 10:00 P.M.: Can't . . . resist . . . shoe shot.

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Saturday, 11:00 P.M.: We head down to the soon-to-be-shuttered Motor City on the Lower East Side, where we've celebrated my friend's birthday for years. The end of an era! And here I am with only a Field Notes pen and a bar napkin to immortalize it.

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Saturday, 11:50 P.M.: My 24 hours of Luddite livin' are almost up, but I've left my iPhone at home—of course, just when I come across some of the most beautiful bathroom graffiti I've ever laid eyes on. Did you know that there's a YouTube channel with every episode of Golden Girls ever on it? I run home to log in at the stroke of midnight. Can't remember if I paid my tab...

—Nojan Aminosharei, entertainment editor at Details

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