By Olivia Gieger ’17, Associate Editor
On Thursday, Wellesley residents celebrated the return to consciousness of a sophomore student after she spent a week in a coma due to withdrawal from a screen-addiction. To respect her privacy, her family requested we use a pseudonym; thus she will be referred to as Candice throughout this article.
“Candice was always a very frail girl,” her mother said. “Ever since the age of the Nintendo DS, Candice’s eyesight has gotten progressively weaker, her posture has become perpetually slumped, and her attention to the world around her has gotten worse. Her father and I have been very concerned.”
Last Thursday, Candice, while charging her phone in a portable charger, rushed through the hallways as a teacher, unnoticed by Candice, wheeled a laptop cart down the hallway. The sophomore was taken by surprise as she crashed into the cart of laptops and dropped her phone, shattering the screen and causing the phone to go blank. As the phone blacked out, so did Candice, and, unconscious, she fell to the ground. She was immediately transported the hospital where she has stayed since.
“Losing that phone must have been like,” with teary eyes, Candice’s mother paused as she became overcome with emotions at her daughter’s sad tale, “like losing a family member. Gosh, those two were attached at the hip, never one without the other. Whenever I picture Candice, I picture that gel case- protected iPhone 6 sitting right there with her. They were like sisters. She must have been devastated when she lost it.”
Doctors later reported that while shock played a primary role in Candice’s downfall, there was also a tremendous strain on her system as she no longer received the frequency of light coming from her phone. “For someone who is constantly looking at their phone, their body adapts to the light coming from it, and they reach a point where they physically can no longer live without their screen,” Candice’s primary care doctor explained. He also added that the immense pressure of having to engage in full conversations, make eye contact, and chose activities without having a phone to fall back on would alone be enough to make a young girl comatose.
As Candice sat in bed this morning, her fingers perpetually clenched in the shape of her beloved iPhone 6, she was not well enough to comment. However, earlier in the fall I did sit down for an interview with her because one student recommended her for artist of the month. “She has such a finely curated Instagram page and a painstakingly thought-out VSCO grid,” he said. “I’m sure she is really interesting.”
Another student corroborated this sentiment saying “I’ve never really talked to her, but she is in most of my classes and she has a really interesting life according to her Instagram.”
Although after the interview, the staff decided not to pursue the article because Candice had shyly given short answers as she took brief glances up from her phone, she did talk about her interests and her relationship with her phone.
When asked what her hobbies or favorite Saturday past-times are, Candice responded “Most Saturdays I’ll go into the city and do a photoshoot, or just in my backyard,” she said. “I also like to go to trendy food places and try all the prettiest and most photogenic food so that I can diversify my VSCO page and Snapchat stories.”
She added that she does enjoy spending time with her friends, saying that they like to spend time sharing in her passion of photography. “Some Saturday nights we like to turn-up, and party hard, but most of the time we go to my basement with Fanta in red Solo cups, turn off all the lights, and take pictures against the walls so that people think we’re turning up,” she said. “LOL,” she added.
While Candice is still working her way to full recovery, doctors say she is on the right road. “It’s a long road, with speed bumps at every turn,” said her doctor, commenting on the fact that it will take Candice a significant amount of time to adjust to not being able to scroll mindlessly through an Instagram feed throughout the day or to edit and add filers her photos, but for now her medical team and parents are glad to have Candice returned to consciousness.