One Month with No Phone — How to Go Phoneless in a Major US City


Lane Wood’s last photo with his iPhone 5.

Preface by Tim/Editor

This guest post is by Lane Wood, societal entrepreneur, CMO of Humin, and alum of Warby Parker and charity:water.

I recently went four weeks without phone, computer, or calendar, while in Indonesia. But what if you’re in a major US city? Can you go phoneless? Lane shares his experience doing exactly that…

Enter Lane

Just over a month ago, I was in a precarious situation. You see, I’m new to the freelance game and through a series of novice moves, I found myself without a big client and no work lined up for July. It was a rough month.

I had already planned a mini personal retreat with some friends and decided to just go for it— and try to find some solace in the beautiful mountains surrounding Lake Shasta. Early one morning, I was in paradise as I breathed in the mountain air, looked for miles over the mountains and I snapped the photo above. Little did I know it’d be the last picture my poor iPhone would take.

Our crew decided to rent a boat, and we headed out with a tube and a wakeboard. When we were about 300 yards from the marina, the boat engine started having trouble and we thought there was a rope caught in the propeller. I decided to be a hero and dove into the water. With my iPhone 5.

Given my freelancer cash flow issues, a newly signed contract with Verizon and no insurance, I chose not to spend $700 on a new device. I powered up my iPad mini (with 4G) and spent the next month in San Francisco without a phone.

When I mention this to people, heads tilt to the side, eyes bulge and mouths are left gaping open.

“Wait, what? How… I mean… Really? No Phone?”


Now with intense curiosity, they lean in.

“What’s it like?”

They sound as if I’ve just told them I’m on ecstasy.

But I get it. Not a lot of people have had this experience. So I’d like to share what I’ve learned…

How I did it…

Texting: iMessage + Path.

Phone calls: Scheduled Google+ Hangouts and Skype calls.

Camera: Shameful and limited iPad camera usage.

MVP award for this experience goes to DODOcase. I’ve had it with me this whole time disguising the iPad mini. People assume that I’m carrying a journal around, and at a moment’s notice am ready to write down all of my profundities. I keep it tucked away in the back of my jeans and under my shirt.

Lesson #1: Mindless Phone Usage (MPU) is stealing our humanity

When one uses a tablet in public, everyone notices. It is not subtle. So if I want to text a friend, check my email or read an article, I have to answer this question:  “Is this moment appropriate for me to have this big device in my hands?”  Conversations will stop.  Strangers will look.  I will be “that guy.”

Result: I’ve stopped mindlessly checking Twitter. I’ve stopped using Facebook on mobile at all. I don’t refresh my inbox. I don’t fill awkward silences with technology. I’m mindful of the affect of my tech behavior on the people around me. I’m much more present, and I’ve grown incredibly irritated at my friends when they have their phone out for absolutely no reason.

Tinder. Twitter. Tumblr. Tinder. Twitter. Tumblr.

Refresh. Swipe right. Like. Heart.

MPU. Ugh.

I can’t stress how important this shift has been for me.

Lesson #2: Vibrate is the secret killer of mental clarity

Yes, it’s absurd to let our phone ring aloud in any public situation. So we put our phone on vibrate. Even still, we are interrupted by completely inane and non-urgent notifications pleading for our attention.Vibrate is the phone’s temper tantrum. And we reward it by giving our attention, rather than putting it in time out (do not disturb).

Result: Without a vibrating device in my pocket, I’m unaware of messages, notifications and the kicking and screaming that the operating system is doing all day long. I get out my iPad when I need to check in. I may not get back to your text within 30 seconds, and for 99% of situations, that’s acceptable. I’m more focused, less stressed and decidedly present.

Lesson #3: We use 5% of the photos we take and waste some of the best moments viewing real life on a screen

The best camera is the one that you have with you. Unless it’s a tablet.

I live on Alamo Square Park, and at about any point in the day, you can see tourists taking photos of the Full House houses with their tablets. Inexplicably it happens at concerts. Each time, I laugh and judge. Until recently.

Having only a tablet on hand creates a very interesting camera dilemma. I must ask myself, “Self, why do you need a photo of this?  Is it worth the scorn of your friends and strangers alike?”

Result: I don’t take many photos. While at Outside Lands music festival, I took only eight pictures in three days of festival revelry. And honestly, I think that it was enough. I have proof that I saw a Beatle and I have a couple of photos of my friends, The Lone Bellow and Kopecky Family Band, playing on stage.

Instagram users have yet to organize a revolt at the absence of my content.

Lesson #4: Having separation anxiety from a device is ridiculous and serious

Imagine this scenario: You’re at a friend’s house for dinner and your phone is in the car.

How do you feel? Need a Xanax? Are you plotting your escape to rescue your lonely device?

We’ve lost the ability to be fully present. This is not news. After a month of not having a phone, I don’t notice the empty pocket. I walk out of my room regularly without a device. Walk through the park. Eat dinner. No devices. I don’t feel phantom vibrations.There is a serious psychological and emotional difference when I’m not shackled to a device that is constantly begging for my attention.

I know this unintentional yet transformative experiment has been as much of a disruption for my family, friends and clients as it has been for me. So, after 31 full days, I’m currently tracking a FedEx truck bringing to me a shiny new iToy. I wonder if I have the discipline to retain new healthier tech habits. I can already feel the faint buzzing on my right leg.

If you see me out, falling back into MPU tendencies, you have permission to call it out. In hopes that we can all work through this together, I’ve started a list of ways you can gain discipline without spending a month sans phone.

How to “discipline hack” without giving up your phone:

1.  Turn your screen brightness all the way up when you go out at night. You will be very painfully aware of the fact that you’re using a phone and it will drain your battery. These consequences will help you use your phone only when necessary, and your friends will be more likely to call you out for having your phone out.

2.  Experiment with using Do Not Disturb functionality and turn your notifications off. Don’t reward your phone for throwing tantrums.

3.  Make an agreement with family and friends to call each other out for MPU.

4.  Leave a comment below to suggest your own hack!


AFTERWORD BY TIM: Have you ever gone without phone or computer? If so, how did you manage it? If you were to go 2-4 weeks without electronics, how would you approach it? Please share your thoughts below…

This post originally appeared on Medium. Published here with permission.

Posted on: December 23, 2013.

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205 comments on “One Month with No Phone — How to Go Phoneless in a Major US City

  1. I got a friend that lives on Lana’i in Hawaii and has been phone less for 3 years now. He skypes his parents and just doesn’t get bothered by anyone. He said everyones always checking their phone at work while he never thinks about that problem, he also get the most recommendations from guests at the hotel.


  2. I have been traveling in South America for 7 months. I happily chose to take out my SIM card and take my SIM-less iPhone which effectively turns it into a wifi-only iPod touch. There are so many apps and websites that make communicating easy.
    I challenge anyone reading this to go “SIM-less” for at least one month. If you succeed, reward yourself. If you don’t, at least you learned something about yourself and our culture.


  3. Here’s a hack, don’t own a smartphone. Most of the stuff you do on a smartphone is inconsequential to living a meaningful life. It can all wait until you’re at a computer. I got rid of my iPhone a few years ago and now only have my poor little dumb phone–he means well. I notice I spent so much time looking at Facebook posts, which were usually silly and worthless musings of friends and relatives. The impetus to get a dumb phone was when I saw one of my friend’s post that read, “It’s Saturday!” under a photo of chips and salsa. Since then, I got used to never having the internet in my pocket, it was so satisfying to pay attention to whatever I was doing in that moment. You know, living. My dumb phone, Fred, and I have grown apart in recent months; I frequently leave him at home and I feel even more liberated. I come home from work, see who called or texted and reply. Done. No pictures, no internet, no problem.


  4. Currently enduring an 8 hour layover in an Asian airport–bumming their WiFi at the moment. Have been living smartphoneless in Shanghai for the past year. It was life changing in a very ‘present’ way. Plan to continue the trend stateside in about 20 hours from now, making it on a ‘dumb phone’ and a small tablet to use when WiFi is available. Cheers and thanks for the post!


  5. My wife and haven’t had a phone for over a year now (13 months to be exact). In that time we’ve been to 2 continents, 7 countries, and 23 cities. We also simultaneously started our own online business. Still, we just used a combination of Google Voice (both on our laptops and on our iPad/iPods via Talkatone), email, and Skype to stay in touch with friends, family, and our clients. And so far it’s worked out very well. In fact, there’s been times when people around us can’t get reception, but we get good to excellent call quality on an iPod Touch. The other benefit is that since we both spend so much time working on our laptops, when we go out we’re disconnected, unless of course we choose not to be and connect to some free WiFi somewhere.


    • I use google voice and talkatone on my old smartphone within wireless reception and an tablet. No more data plan or monthly bills for smartphone. I did downgrade though to a flip phone, (yes tracfone) as I rarely talk on phone anyway. With a coupon code, my effective monthly bill is $4.00 a month. The phone is for one reason only, if I break down on the highway and I broke down twice last year so, the $4.00 is insurance. For the most part, that smart phone that has google voice and talkatone on it, I pretty much use as a remote control that allows me to access my computer so I can pull up a movie on Amazon. The laptop is connected to back of TV. LOL


  6. I have gone without a phone for many weeks ( I live in SF bay area) mostly because I left it at a friend’s place and didn’t get a chance to pick it up back. I didn’t miss it at all.
    I have a desk phone on my office desk, A landline at home, when I’m out and about its usually with my husband who carries his cellphone. The only time I REALLY need a phone is when I’m driving alone and get in an accident or something. Fortunately that didn’t happen during those days.
    Despite a lot of peer pressure and coaxing from friends and family, I have avoided buying a smartphone. With 24 hrs internet on my office computer and home devices, I feel that we are too connected already.
    When I get home in the evening, I want to spend that time with my daughter, not my phone. I could never wrap my head around the idea of a phone which is omnipresent and always interfering. Maybe I’m too old fashioned.


    • I personally didn’t think the post was that groundbreaking but the fact a lot of people have felt the need to share their personal experience dabbling sans phone just shows how big of a deal even the slightest disconnection is.


  7. Hey Tim & team! Awesome post! And great to see posts about 4HWW / productivity – LOVE THESE POSTS, and have personally taken multiple measures to follow tips in the book last few years, incl shutting off auto-update on email & checking only a few times/day, blocking access to online news with browser plugins, setting goals night before.

    Still find it hard to avoid pressing the “load email button” in email client though…

    Here in Europe we had something called “The Internet Week” a few weeks ago, and some guys decided to set up a parallel “No Internet Week”.

    After the initial panic of not being able to use basic smartphone feature such as maps, texting, google etc, something changes in the text subjects.

    Without internet and constant disturbances, people all of a sudden had these huge chunks of time at their hands. Test subjects living only 1 week without internet, felt they could get as much done in one hour as in one or 2 days….!

    Internet & smartphones are practically killing productivity of a whole generation.

    Can giving up or heavy limiting personal/corporate use of smartphone / email / computer be a competitive advantage in coming years?


  8. Turn off ph start of each business day. I choose to turn it off from 8-11, that’s when i can get good work done and set up the day. Bit of ’7 habits’ meets ’4HWW’.


  9. I take a different approach. The excitement of a smartphone wore off pretty quick since, I work on a computer at work and then work on a computer in the evening creating my muses. I don’t like to talk on phone, takes up too much of my time. I rarely text! So why pay the monthly bill for this anyway. So I downgraded, (go ahead an laugh) to a flip phone, prepaid tracfone. Yes tracfone, I get good reception. With a payment of $19.99 and a promo code my minutes last for 5 months. Once again I rarely talk on phone, as for business I communicate via email or IM. With the savings, I just went ahead and joined amazon prime, converted an old laptop to a media center and connected to my TV. (However I do not watch much Tv but if i have a hankering for a movie i just pull it up from my prime account. OH YEAH THAT SMARTPHONE I HAD, It still works when I am wireless, so I downloaded an app to allow me to turn it into a remote control for the laptop and tv to dial up my movies for lack of a better term. Recently, we had the coldest day of the year at my house -10 degrees. The furnace chose to conk out that day. So we made it fun an camped out in the family room with sleeping bags and the next day, instead of calling an HVAC specialist, I decided to tackle myself, I am an accountant and IT person not an HVAC person. But guess what, it was a challenge and hard to do but I got it fixed with $120 parts and relying on my wits instead of tethered to a phone. I am proud of this. The furnace runs like brand new.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. In the past, traveling to Thailand helped. Going places that had no internet or very expensive use of my mobile device. Lately, connectivity has increased and aps like the ones you mentioned can keep you connected.
    Open water; If you can’t get away for a open water cruise that takes you to places only covered my a Sat phone. Just a coastal cruise will make you put the phone away instead of loosing it in the drink.
    After the high anxiety withdrawals wear off, you notice how time starts ease by. You start to enjoy things like sweat tea in the afternoon. Sitting on an outdoor swing in the afternoon. How about that strange concept of conversation with people.
    Please don’t get me wrong, Love Technology!! The Japanese have a saying;
    One eye on the future but one eye on the past. Or was that Wolverine?


  11. I’ve thought about dumping my phone and computer over and over again. For a while I had cut my data plan and used just a phone with a keyboard, but hated texting on it. I realized though that I texted less with a non-smartphone, and no one ever calls me so the phone worked fine. I use my smartphone for reading(Kindle), Bible app, audiobooks on my drive to and from work or with headphones on while working at home. I have a little netbook that I journal on, watch movies on, whatever else I need to do with a keyboard, and it goes with me everywhere. I may have to decide one of these days to just stop using tech for a month, or only use my netbook at home in the evenings after the kids are in bed. I am on a computer all day at work and journal from there once in a while, so dumping tech in my off times doesn’t seem like it will hurt much. The thought is very intriguing.


  12. Great idea but perhaps quite a challenge when working in a situation that requires you have regular calls? A year ago I used a very basic 90′s ‘brick’ for a phone, but was called out by someone who (assuming i’d have a smart phone) sent an email an hour before a meeting to rearrange, assuming I’d have received it. It’s very tricky when having a phone is a norm…


  13. My husband and i went one better and went three weeks in a foreign country (New Zealand) on our honeymoon without a phone or internet on each of us. It was great. No calls, no texts, no siri, no emails. what was even better was that it forced us to communicate with strangers in a way that hasn’t been seen since before smartphones. I am a chronic ‘googler’; wanna know the exchange rate? google it. Wanna know how to get from A to B? google it. wanna know what time this restaurant closes? google it.
    So this is a foreign country was great. We ended up making amazing friends, getting wonderfully lost, and communicated better than ever.


  14. Recently I moved and had no internet service at my new place. I’ve always been sort of a luddite but have recently found myself more and more attached to my tech. I welcomed not having the internet as an opportunity to prioritize my internet specific tasks to only that which was absolutely necessary. Of course I have a smart phone which I could check email/fb/etc on if I wanted but it was a worthwhile exercise prioritizing with my task list and using the internet at coffee shops a couple of times a week. I’ve moved my fb and gmail apps off of the main screen on my phone so that I’m not as tempted to check them. Borrowing from Tim Ferriss 4HWW I’ve realized for the amount of email I generally receive I can get away with checking it once or twice a week. Batching all internet specific tasks because I’m forced to has shown me how much more efficient and effective I can be. I’ve missed absolutely nothing critical doing this and saved countless minutes each week. I’ve realized how much I’m led around by the nose by my tech.


  15. Bittersweet. I love this concept, but it’s such a huge bummer that it’s such a lofty concept, and so far outside of this generation’s paradigm (since I’m recently 30 (over the hill) I can make fun of “kids these days”) that few will even consider this a viable option for their particular situations (much like the 4HWW).

    This married couple I’m friends with – my age – have NEVER had cell phones. I mean, IT’S 2014 AND THE TWO OF THEM SHARE ONE FREAKING LANDLINE HOMEPHONE!! Assholes. How can I find them when they’re downtown? How inconsiderate of them.

    The big kick in the nuts? He works with/for her supporting her online jewelry business. Yep. They BOTH quit their full-time jobs, during which they shared ONE vehicle. (She’s now graduated up into a freaking Vespa as their 2nd vehicle). Wait. a freaking. minute. They both got and maintained actual well-paying jobs without phones? WTF.

    They also happen to be two of the most free-spirited, adventurous people I know. In some regards, I envy them.

    I was late to the game. I didn’t get my own phone until someone pointed out how weird it was that I kept giving out my mom’s home phone number to chicks at bars. Their calls were answered by her very Catholic recording…
    (I have no shame).
    Maybe that’s why I still don’t really care about phones. I’ve never really understood the compulsion to need to fill every vacant moment. I guess I just appreciate the reprieve amidst an otherwise very full(filling) life.
    But as a self-employed builder, it’s industry standard to act like it’s one’s only source of oxygen. But I still have some weird feeling I can’t shake that people must have built houses before cell phones.
    My wife is pretty patient & gracious. She allows me a 20 min. window in which to transition from work mode to home mode. As the last few errant calls, texts, emails are addressed, it’s easy for me to treat my iPhone as a home phone. I just leave it in the kitchen on the charger. I seldom take it with me outside of business hours. And I absolutely LOVE asking someone calling about business what was SO urgent they had to call at 8pm on a Sunday. If i cared, I’d feel bad. No one has ever made that mistake twice.

    But to address any hacks I have to offer:
    Try leaving your phone on a ‘base’ of sorts. Like cordless home phones used to be.
    No phones during meals, no exceptions. It’s amazing what you can learn about your family when you talk to them. Also realized my wife is a pretty good cook.


  16. Up until a few month ago, I didn’t have a cell phone. My wife strongly suggested that I get one because I go on long walks sometimes and she worries about me. Otherwise, I don’t really need it. I don’t get many calls or texts at all. Basically, I’m paying $35 a month for her peach of mind. Sure, it comes in handy occasionally but I could easily do without it.


  17. Travelled for 5 months around Asia without a phone or a computer! I have never had a phone that cost more than €20 and so I have never had a smart phone. Therefore I really didn’t miss it, everywhere I went (excluding PNG) had inter cafes in most hostels if I felt the need to check it. It did however frustrate friends and family as I was only contactable on my terms.


  18. I didn’t realize my hook on technology until I was… without it in the middle of New Mexico at a spa retreat. No signal, and having withdrawals is a real thing. However, I found that after I got through the first day (of feeling out of sync, desperate for online connectivity, and constant media bombardment), it was actually pleasant. No buzzing, ringing, dinging, or other noises to disrupt my concentration or sleep.

    In the end, unplugging was a beautiful thing, even though the first 24 hours were pretty painful.


  19. A cell phone is a big waste of time. It would distract me from my definite purpose. I want one, but I don’t need one.

    You can get by with Wifi – just hop into an area that has network connectivity. Google helps a lot as well – take voicemail etc and forward etc.

    So far I have managed to get by without carrying one for 5 years now.


  20. Moved from city to country. No TV. No cable internet. Before I got a smart phone, I read books instead of surfing. My ringer is almost always OFF! I refuse to be a slave to the bell.

    It is difficult to be social when you, the other person or both are “plugged in”.

    The phone is what you make it – a tool or a toy. Remember, it is always your choice to answer.


  21. I’m and exploration geologist. That means I can spend five or six weeks at a time in the bush with no electronics of any kind, just a brief battery saving Sched call once a day on a sat phone or mountain radio. Everyone from bosses to relatives cope. My life doesn’t end (is quite weird to most people admittedly). Cell phones are maddening devices, as this blog highlights, you need those breaks away from them to realize it. I never answer my phone or check voicemail and it’s permanently on silent. I look at the recent calls and call people back (if I want to). Over time people message or email you exactly as described in 4HWW.


  22. I am a stay-at-home mom and run a business. My children are under five, so I have to plan out my computer usage very carefully. Before I get in bed, I plan what tasks must get done and how long it will take me. Then I schedule those into the plan for the next day. (I have a pretty strict schedule daily as my husband is out of the house for about 12 hours).

    Mostly, I schedule emailing my cilents in the morning and have to uber-focus to write enough to be comprehensive and not so much as to go over my computer time.

    I know it’s not a no-computer situation but it’s a middle ground for someone who might be searching for a solution. Hope it helps!


  23. Really interesting experiment and thanks for “MPU”, I never came across the term before. I think “mindless phone usage” hits the nail on the head. Most people use their (smart)phones seemingly as a small therapy device they can carry everywhere. It became a habit to “quickly check things” and there are so many people who are everywhere but not part the place they are surrounded by. I think with internet and its “matter of course” everything seems “too fast” and “too much”. I think that’s why more an more people withdraw, long for slow moments, meditate, do yoga, seek the outdoors and silence and so on.
    Disconnecting from a device is reconnecting to your mind, more people should try it…


  24. In November 2013, I made a decision to turn off my 3G data. I self-imposed ‘lifehacker’ experiment inspired by works (Tim Ferriss) (4HWW) and Leo Babauta (Zen Habits).

    The world didn’t blow up for me.

    I’ve found that the more ways people have of getting instantly in touch, the more likely they are to send you their latest distracting brain farts. Less options sends the message that you value your time and attention-energy, and calls on them to do the same.

    Contacts have had to adjust their expectations, initially; but have had no trouble reaching me via voice and sms-text for true urgencies. During the day, while mobile, essentially, my phone is a phone. End of story.

    At home/office, WiFi kicks in, and my device comes to life; but on my terms — I’ve ruthlessly disabled noise-making, brain-fart inducing notifications that aren’t ‘urgency’-level or higher (eg. phone, txt, and critical meeting/task reminders).

    Email or other messaging platforms are used to collaborate and plan meetups; but only once/twice a day, while on WiFi, sitting down, and focused, using a larger device. Contacts are encouraged to call if something requires my immediate attention.

    I use TomTom to navigate without mobile data.

    Do Not Disturb mode kicks on at bedtime and kicks off an hour after I wake up.

    The results…

    Pros: less distraction, more focus, greater *actual* productivity, quality time with family, friends, and distraction-less dates. Focused driving. Near elimination of MPU.

    Cons: iOS prompting me to turn my cellular data back on. Missing out on the latest social gossip (actually a good thing). Random event invites, and last minute schedule changes sent via Email or Facebook Messenger.

    Hardly scientific data, I admit; but for me, at least, the subjective trade-off and peace of mind have been more than worth it.


  25. Been without a phone for about two years.

    Oh, and I had no wifi at home for the last 5 months.

    What happened?

    A few curious things:

    1. You become painfully aware when you need to use the net. Yet once you finish those necessary things, you become painfully unaware that you’ve since been wasting time on random websites, instead of, say, working to afford wifi.

    2. you become adept at finding wifi around the block, and a master of losing shame by posting up on the neighbour’s lawn a few times per day.

    3. you become a regular at the nearest dunking doughnuts. Employees start to think you might belong with the usual reject hangouts. You start thinking they might be right after realizing you’re there at 3am.

    4. You get anxious looking at your computer. Looking at the gvoice is different than a phone, you see a lot of messages at once. It gets overwheling.

    5. Because you are typing messages via a laptop, your messages get long. Too long. Conversations aren’t supposed to be a couple of long, packed with info, sentences.

    6. If you go out, and there is no wifi, you better know how to be nice to people, so you can use their phone.

    7. Picking up people from the airport is a deathsentence. Leaving your car unattended in the lane so you can use someone’s phone is a great way to get the attention of the police squad.

    8. You will lose contact with the world. If you are working from home most of the time, say, if you’re a writer, then you’re fucked. Talking to people will be like learning to speak Chinese.

    Overall, I think it’s not worth it. Funny reading this today, the day I decided to go to T-mobile and get plugged in.


  26. This doesn’t quite fit the “no phone/ no computer” question but it’s almost there:

    In the summer of 2013, I was underemployed. My 20 year old car broke down and I had no way of fixing it. Even worse, I was stuck in a rural town 20 miles away from any viable jobs. After begging Sprint for 4 months not to cut off my phone, they got fed up and gave me two days to come up with 4 months payment.

    That day, I bought a Pa-Lo Virgin Mobile phone and put 20 dollars worth of minutes on it. When you move from an iPhone to a flip phone manufactored in 2007 for 6 months, your perspective on what’s essential and what’s not changes.

    Some of my more superficial connections suffered because I hated texting the old fashioned way ( I forgot how horrible t-9 was) and I almost never made phone calls. But the really important connections remained. It was brilliant to hear from people who were ACTUALLY interested in what was going on instead of random people I met at a party once or twice on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.

    I ended up actually leaving most social networking behind after I reclaimed my iPhone (and normal life) back in November. I still use Instagram and Tumblr but far more judiciously. And I leave my phone where it belongs when I’m driving or when I’m actually with other people– in my pocket.

    So my advice is:

    Go to a store and buy the cheapest, prepaid DUMB phone and port your old number if possible. See how little you actually need to stay connected on “social” wastes-of-time or to Wikipedia to win arguments during dinner. Enjoy hearing from your near and dear on occasion and make your lack of a “modern” phone the reason you go and see them IN PERSON more often. Go to a rural area where the Internet and phone just isn’t as strong and enjoy communing with nature. Come back to the people in your life all the better for it.


  27. Nowadays we used handy phones for our means of communications to connect with our loveones and be able to keep in touch with them. In many ways it is helpful but their are also disadvantages of using it all the time. First it is not healthy for us, we tend to put it everywhere we are,and can easily get microorganism, that can irritate our skin and the radiation ofcourse. Second it hinder the natural way of communication. Ex for a personal conversation with a friend it blocks the channel from the sender to reciever because it distracts onne another, one cannot absorb the real message and the other person cannot deliver the message properly. So, there is no reason for us people that cant live without a mobile phone, as long as we know how to communicate with other person properly, when we dont use mobile phone for some reasons we can use our natural skills to come up with a solution to a certain issue or problem even if we are in the busy life in the city.


  28. I have gone phone less when traveling to another province, on a sun vacation or just didn’t have a phone. Quite frankly it is now very easy to get away without a phone, especially a smartphone.

    After tracking my phone usage the past couple of months ( less than 600 minutes total), I’m actually debating when my current contract is up, that I will find myself a used high end Nokia phone (with poor texting and smartphone features a la Symbian) and using my ipad mini for the rest of the functions

    How I did it:

    -Skype for North America wide calling
    -Fongo with free canada wide calling and free local phone number
    -ringcentral for business calls

    -iMessage (works great if all your friends & family are on iPhone) and TextMe


  29. Having your own phone is truly a necessity nowadays given that everything is connected by technology. It is sad to think that even people are connected through this “technological wires”. Its like without a phone most people would feel that it is almost impossible to build a relationship thats why having a good relationship and a phone is almost intertwine.


  30. Great article. I think its sad so many people are slaves to their phones. I have a cell phone but it does not control my life. I used to work in a building of a major retailer and so many people walked around looking at their phones. I sometimes want to tell them that life is out there (in front of them) and not down there (staring at a phone).


  31. Thank you for that article. Honestly, I do not understand why people are so obsessed on their phone. I don’t really use mine. When I bought a smart phone, I learned that the possibility of being online 24/7 really changed my whole day in a negative way. Being addicted to Facebook and Co. is so much harder for me than just having a phone (well, to be honest, I get very little calls – people just send me facebook messages). Therefore, I decided to turn my back on Facebook for four weeks (May 11 to June 11) – and it’s really hard for me. But I experience that I have so much more time each day and I am really productive instead, so, folks, switch off your phones, leave Facebook for just one or two days and get your butt off the chair :)
    (sorry if my English is not the best, it’s not my mother tongue)


  32. Three years ago my husband and I read the 4 Hour Work Week, and followed all the instructions. At the time he was working none stop at a computer business that we owned, though it was very successful we didn’t have the two things that we most wanted… time and freedom. We now live in a quiet fishing village on an island in the Adriatic, with our family of eleven.

    We are now renovating an ancient villa, and have lived with out a phone for about nine months. We have no internet at our house right now. I go the the cafe twice a day to send orders and spend about 30 minutes promoting the business, blogging or trying new advertising. The 4 Hour Work Week concept works wonderfully, and we actually do all the work in about 4 hours. On most days we bring in about four times as much money as we actually need to live on.

    We are enjoying a life that is not demanding… except for the needs of our nine children who are homeschooling. Right now they are reading books about the history of Europe and Asia while studying island-life, and we are able to have time and freedom for mission work.

    We started an online business selling digital downloads of a reading program for Dyslexic Children that I first created to help my own daughter, 4HWW gave us the idea to turn the learning concept into a series of books that can be printed at home or printed on demand from the fulfillment company. My husband sold his computer business, and we had enough money to live on while starting the Dyslexia Games Business. We now have about 4000 students, and even with the 110% refund offer, we have only issued 2 refunds in 3 years, because the program works so well.

    Thank you Tim for showing us a great way to live the life we love, and support 9 kids while doing it. We left the USA in 2012 to spend a year in Italy, then went to Ukraine to work with Orphans, after evacuating Ukraine, we settled on Kapije in Croatia. While in Italy House Hunters International caught up with us to cover our story.

    Here is the link to the Show:

    [Moderator: Other links removed]

    Sarah Brown


  33. I ditch the phone as soon as I get home, it became a source of constant stress for me, checking works emails, answering works emails, sometimes at 3am! I got so stressed with work and my workload that my doctor recommended I go on tablets. Instead I quit my phone. Work pay for it, so when I am at work it is a tool. As soon as I got home its on silent and it doesn’t automatically sync my emails any longer. At weekends I only use it to text my friends and make arrangements to go out cycling or horse riding. It is the best decision I ever made.

    Once you’re weaned off, it gets easier. I now leave my laptop at work all weekend. I quit Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Now my life it much simpler, my real friends have a real place in my real life, those virtual friends, hell they know how to contact me if they really wanted to, but they don’t and you know what? my life is just as rich without, go figure!


  34. I personally didn’t think the post was that groundbreaking but the fact a lot of people have felt the need to share their personal experience dabbling sans phone just shows how big of a deal even the slightest disconnection is.


  35. My co-workers are rather suspicious, and it has caused some heart palpitations when I admit that 1. I’ve worked in IT for years, and 2. I do not (and have never) own a smartphone or pager. I do own a tracphone on a pay as you use it plan, and over a year I’ve managed to amass a whopping 53 minutes of airtime. It’s for emergencies, otherwise when I’m away from work – I’m away from work. (and yes, I’m under the age of 45)


  36. My HTC was stolen 4 months ago and I haven’t replaced it since- I was ‘that’ friend that was always hooked on their phone, stuck to it 24/7 doing I don’t even remember what.
    I *love* life without it, i have no ipods/ipads just a laptop and I’m a teen too so it IS possible, I totally agree with what you said I feel so mentally free and give so much more time to my family. I don’t even want a phone anymore.


  37. Because I work for ridesharing companies, I must use my phone for work. however, when I’m not at work, I have it silent and face down. I don’t let it be an electronic leash. I have upset a few people because I’m not at their every whim, but so be it. People in my life have learned that I’m not interested in every thought they spew and that I’m probably not going to reply to texts right away. This means that they now only contact me when it’s important. Some have chosen to fade out of my life because I don’t share their addiction to having my face in a little screen all the time, but such people were not very invested in the first place. If they need constant validity and attention, so be it.

    Sometimes, I’ve let myself get caught up with a device and I find that it tends to breed a bunch of drama, debates and useless communication. So, it doesn’t take too long before I’m back to turning my phone off when not at work. It’s nice to actually pay attention to my surroundings and live life through the lenses of my own eyes and direct experience.