The Experience Of Being Phone-Less

image of smart phone

Can you imagine going two weeks without a phone?

It’s so easy to get addicted to all the benefits that a smartphone can bring you.

You are always connected to to your friends through texting or calling. You have games like Angry Birds and Temple Run at your fingertips (my personal favorite is the Spades app). You never have to wait to check Facebook or Twitter. And you have anything the internet has to offer.

When you are used to that, it’s hard to imagine losing it.

I won’t go into a long story about getting screwed over by phone companies, but I will tell you this: I have gone the last two weeks without using a phone, and I’m very happy with the results.


Advantages Of Going Phone-Less

There are a number of benefits I’ve experienced through not having a phone, primarily revolving around my social life.

You wouldn’t expect to have an improved social life when you disconnect….but hey, I’m not complaining. Let’s begin!

More Spontaneous

If there is one thing I’ve noticed about not having a phone, it’s that it has made me act far more spontaneously. This is a good thing.

Without contacting anyone in advance, you need to be more flexible and be able to go with the flow.

If I need to go food shopping and want someone to come along, I need to find them right then and there. I rarely know who I will be hanging out with an hour ahead of time.

Helps You Get Comfortable With People More Quickly

A consequence of being spontaneous is meeting more people, more quickly.

Since I’m not able to plan much in advance, I tend to have more random social interactions.

Even if you are living in less communal housing than I am, you will get this benefit. You will find yourself hanging out with people that you wouldn’t expect and have a great time.

While you might feel a little uncomfortable in the beginning, you very quickly adjust to the reality of going with the flow and hanging out with whoever is available.

Not As Distracted

Smart phones are awesome.

No doubt about that.

They are such powerful little devices that you can easily find yourself withdrawing from the moment at hand just to check your email or Facebook.

The conversations you will have while not checking your phone will be far more fascinating. You can listen so much better, and you have fewer things competing for your attention.

A phone provides much more mental clutter than you realize until you’ve stopped using it. This benefit is hard to understand until you just spend some time away from it.


Disadvantages Of Being Phone-Less

Even though there are serious advantages to going without a phone, it does make life more inconvenient in a number of ways.

Easier To Get Lost

One of the great things about smart phones is that you can look up maps of your area. This makes it nearly impossible to get lost when you wander around or take public transportation to someplace new.

Especially when living in a totally new city where I can’t read the signs and not everyone speaks English, it has sometimes been more challenging for me to go explore random parts of my city.

I have to act more conservatively when I’m on my own because if I get lost, it can become complicated and expensive to find my way to wherever I need to be.

Can’t Make Plans As Easily

Since I can’t text or call people, it’s much harder to make any sort of future plans. This is pretty much the same as being more spontaneous, but the negative side.

When people plan things as a group, I tend to be less “in the know”. People can’t contact me as easily, so they often won’t.

Similarly, any sort of thoughts of my future plans tend to be cut short, because I can’t communicate them as effectively to other people.



Disconnecting from the world by being temporarily phone-less has both advantages and disadvantages.

But without a doubt I would recommend it as an experience to at least try.

I’ve learned a lot and grown more as a person during these past two weeks by adjusting to life without a cell phone. The benefits are not easily apparent until you actually try it, so I suggest you do it even if you don’t think you’ll enjoy it.

Do you have any experience going without a phone for an extended period of time?

photo by: from_ko

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  1. I had a similar phone-less experience when I traveled last year. We’re definitely on the same page, although I’ve never had a smart phone; I was without my regular dumb-phone. Phones work so well at removing our minds from our current situation; it’s a very powerful experience when we don’t have that anymore and have gotten so used to it.


  1. […] internet, video games, tv, etc., it would be worth your while to try it. Even for just a day. Hell, I lived phoneless in a foreign country for five […]

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