Living without a phone, my life hack


My mom bought me my first phone when I was about 11. It was a black TracFone, and my twin brother and I were only allowed to use it for the express purpose of calling her in case of emergencies. I still have that same phone today. Nowadays, it rides with me in the front pocket of my backpack, generally forgotten, its only purpose being the same one my mom initially bought it for: emergencies.

I have never used that phone once since enrolling here, and only a few times before that. I have no social media accounts. And since I am a cheapskate and do not want to pay the minutes for a phone I never use, even my coworkers cannot call me directly. For all intents and purposes, I have managed to live a social lifestyle in the year 2019 without a phone.

How do I do it? The answer is Wi-Fi. I said that I didn’t have a phone, not that I didn’t have a touch screen. My iPod is either connected to the university or my home Wi-Fi 99% of the time, so I never really miss anything. Whenever people want to text me, they just get in touch with me through Wi-Fi-based texting apps like GroupMe or Wire. True, I am terribly slow at responding to text messages, but honestly, my slow responses would be the same regardless of whether or not I had a phone.

The main reasons I have decided not to get a phone come back to the expense and practicality of it. I can do almost everything with an iPod that I could do with a phone including audio FaceTime people when I want to “call” them. And during that 1% of my time that I am not connected to Wi-Fi, I am probably hanging out with my family doing stuff that I would not want interrupted with pings and buzzes, like shopping or going to a restaurant.

Few people realize that I do not actually use a phone. The ones who do know wonder how I can manage to do so. Well, the truth is, I am convinced that the majority of people are more dependent on the Wi-Fi aspects of their phone than the actual phone-calling service itself. In that aspect, I am not that different from most people. When I want to find synonyms for a word quickly or I am anticipating an email, I reach for my iPod. When I wake up in the morning, I pull my iPod out from underneath my mattress and blind my eyes with its unnatural glow until I am convinced that even with five to six hours of sleep the night before, I will not be crashing again until past midnight.

Living without a phone can actually be a luxury, sort of like having an advanced technology that knows just when to enter Do Not Disturb mode—when I am away from work and home. So, in that manner, my phoneless lifestyle is actually more accommodating than life with a phone—who would have thought? And when it really comes down to it, phones really offer less, if nothing more, than the conveniences of my humble iPod.

Could you live without your phone?

Adam Boyd
Senior, Industrial Techology

“No, I couldn’t live without my phone because communication is a key to today’s society. Even waking up in the morning, you have to set up an alarm on your phone.”

Ricketta Griffin
Sophomore, Social Work

“I feel that I personally can’t live without my phone because my phone is another piece of me, and without that piece, I don’t feel whole.”

Hunter Metrejean
Senior, Industrial Technology

“No, I cannot live without my phone right now because everything that involves school work comes directly to my phone, and my future job would require me to do the same, answer emails and respond to calls.”

Sushovan Adhikari
Junior, Computer Science

“Personally, I can live without my phone, but I would definitely have some withdrawal effects.”

Daryl Julien
Senior, Communication

“I can live without my phone because my phone is not everything. I have other things to entertain me in my daily life, and I keep busy without my phone.”

Daniella Crane
Freshman, Middle School Education

“I can’t live without my phone because it keeps me in contact with my family, and I don’t live at home and also because I’m addicted to it.”