I gave up my smartphone for a whole month

Four weeks and one worthless Alcatel later, this is what I discovered

My iPhone was basically an extra limb (perhaps not the greatest thing to admit, but whatever) until one drunken night, where it all changed. My flatmate bet me a ridiculous number of KitKats that I wouldn’t be able to replace said beloved iPhone with a brick. In some ridiculous lack of judgement on my part, I took him up on the deal.

And regretted it. Immediately. But why? you ask oh so naively.

Texts take 25 minutes to write

This was an actual issue. Everyone takes QWERTY keyboards for granted nowadays. People thought I was ignoring them but no, it was just my stubby little thumbs struggling to cope with the number keypad. Others asked how far away I was, but the ‘I’m almost there!’ text was absolutely pointless because I’d arrive before keying in the apostrophe. Grammar doesn’t seem to exist on brick phones, as made evident by the two and a half week struggle to find the brackets for a simple old-school smiley face.

2/10 do not recommend.

I ran out of minutes

Having an argument with the operator lady

The above text issue meant after about a week, I just resorted to calling people. Originally, my friends were freaked out by this – I mean it’s 2017, who bothers to call anymore? Anyway, after a while (and towards the end of January) I got a text from O2 to say that I was nearing my minutes limit. This has never happened before, so I searched around Cardiff to try and find a public phone to make my weekly call home. Didn’t work out too well because the operator lady kept telling me to insert my phone card but not where to get one.

Level of success: Gave up on this mission and just went over my limit.

I couldn’t stalk people on Instagram

Got a favourite Instagram account? Too bad. See a fittie in a lecture and your mate goes “oh I know them, I follow them on Instagram”? Too bad. Goodbye forever snapback guy in my comms lecture. We would’ve had beautiful children.

Kept getting lost

I meant to go to ASDA

Okay, this happened a LOT. Like an embarrassing amount. I didn’t realise before this point how much I relied on the Google Maps app. At one point I made a massive excursion to the Tesco Extra (which I’ve been to twice) and had to ring my flatmate to come and rescue me because I couldn’t remember how to get back. I would’ve still been there if my flatmate didn’t find it absolutely hilarious.

It’s impossible to cook without Google

If you look closely you can see me grimacing

My Mum, bless her, packed me tons of cooking books when I went to uni. This is the first time I’ve opened them. I usually just google ‘what can you make with a steak, 3 pears and a tin of beans?’ and it usually produces some pretty good results. I had to thoroughly read and dissect all of these cooking books, and none of them had a recipe for the above ingredients (which was disappointing to say the least). At my most desperate, I ended up googling how to season chicken on the library computers. Fair to say, the third year next to me thought I was a total cretin.

In all honesty, the whole experience was just rather traumatising. But it did make me realise how scrolling through social media takes up loads of time. I’ve been a lot more detached from my phone since I got it back, definitely – and actually spent time talking to other people face to face, rather than through Facebook.