What I learned living two weeks with a dumb phone




About two weeks ago I ditched my iPhone for a flip phone. I’ve always wanted to do this, and finally I got the guts to.

One morning as I was heading out the house, hands full, my iPhone violently belly-flopped onto the floor. The screen cracked. But I wasn’t that sad, it could be fixed.

Something told me that instead of getting the screen fixed for $150, that this could be an opportunity to get a flip phone instead. They’re much more durable, and simpler, and I wouldn’t have to worry about cracking the screen again, getting a better phone case, etc. I was done with my iPhone.

That same day I went to the AT&T store and looked for their dumb phones, there were only two perched among the array of large-screened smartphones.

The flip phones were so adorable just sitting there. I chose the Cingular flip, with a slightly larger screen than their smallest flip phone option.

I was actually really excited to see what it was like to live without a smartphone. No more reaching for my pockets to alleviate boredom, or to see who liked my insta post, what people are up to. I would have to live in the moment, in silence.

I would miss my music that I used for running and during my commute. That was the hardest part, living without music. I always had headphones in, almost always.

So, this is what I’ve learned after only two weeks:

  1. I notice during my commute that most people have phones in their hands, either “at-the-ready” or using them. People have their heads bent, just standing there ignoring what’s around them.
  2. I am more accustomed to silence.
  3. I have more time for other things. I’m doing yoga more regularly, and running more often. I get to what I need to do without the delay of checking my phone, and getting sucked into social media.
  4. I am definitely more observant of people, they are interesting to watch. Living without a smartphone makes me more aware of people.
  5. I had to steal my Mom’s GPS to get places. Is that cheating? It was hard because I had addresses on my iPhone that I had to go back into the house, get the address, memorise, and put into my car GPS.
  6. I realized how much I used my phone. I don’t think I’ll go back. For me, it was a distraction from reality. Phones are like brain candy, they give instant gratification in the form of dopamine.


When I have to wait for the bus or train, I either read or daydream. It allows my brain to wander and daydream. I’ve read that daydreaming is when we get the best ideas, and how can we be open to new ideas when we’re on our phones?








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