What it’s like to live without a smartphone

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Once, back in college, my phone was stolen. My parents had purchased the insurance, so all I had to do was wait until my replacement phone came in the mail.

I had to wait a week and a half.

That’s a week and a half without a phone. And I was a college student with a hoppin’ social life (or so I thought), so this was obviously cruel Verizon-mediated torture.

When you lose or break your phone, it’s not always easy or economical to replace it right away. And that means that you’ll have to live the dreaded smartphone-less life for at least a few days—if not more! Here’s what that life will look like.

You can’t call anyone

Aside from the obvious reason you can’t call anyone (you don’t have a phone), you also can’t use someone else’s phone to call them – because you have no idea what phone numbers are, any more.

No, you really can’t call anyone

Even if you somehow managed to remember your buddy’s phone number, what are you going to call them with? You don’t have a landline, and when’s the last time you saw a payphone that was still in working order? Think about it. I’ll wait.

Actually, you pretty much can’t contact anyone at all

Texting, SnapChat, Instagram—all out. Maybe…Facebook messages? But nobody ever responds to those.

You discover that everyone you know is perpetually late

You just didn’t notice before, because they would always text you when they were going to be late (which was every time you ever met up with them).

You’re more productive at work

And that’s not just because having a smartphone on your desk makes you less productive. It’s because you have to be productive. No answering work emails while you’re in line at the grocery store, or filling in expense forms while you wait for the bus. Better get that stuff done while you’re actually on the clock.

You finish your food before everyone else

Because you don’t spend half the meal taking photos of it, and the other half posting on Instagram while you eat.

You sleep better

Studies show that screens mess up our natural sleep cycles. And without your phone’s alarm to wake you up, perhaps you sleep a lot better.

You start carrying books around

What else are you supposed to do while you’re on the train or waiting for your perpetually late friends? It’s not like you can listen to music, fire off emails, or play a round of Wordament.

You’re a better driver

Not only are you not texting while driving, you’re also not obsessively relying on your phone’s GPS to tell you where you’re going. Instead of waiting for your phone to tell you to turn left onto Figueroa, you just…turn left when you see the sign for Figueroa.

People you meet think you’re super friendly

Because you’re looking at their face, instead of at your phone, when you talk to them. Yes, it’s really that simple.

You know nothing about other people’s lives, and that’s awesome

Lose your phone, and you’ll suddenly realize that you really just do not care about the first-world problems of your 800 Facebook friends. Like, not even a little bit. Mind-blowing.

Your memory will improve

When I need to remember something important, I don’t. I just take a picture of it with my phone. But if you don’t have a phone, you’ll have to either start remembering things or *gasp* writing them down.

Your handwriting will improve

“What is handwriting?” – Kids today

You’re free...you’re finally free!

You can go anywhere you want and nobody you know will be able to get hold of you. It’s like you don’t even exist. Until you get a new phone, of course.

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