I Survived A Week Without My Phone Here’s Why I’d Never Do It Again

photo: Park & Cube


I’m not a complete maniac. I didn’t voluntarily put my phone in a box and decide not to use it for a week. I am addicted, I live with it, I sleep with it, I need it.

But life had other plans, and on the 26th July 2016, a sad day, I ran out of data. I am on a data plan with my Dad, my two sisters, and my brother. Usually, it’s fine, but I’m house sitting and there’s no WiFi, so for the first day I used my phone as a hotspot. It was all great. Until we ran out of data and had to wait a week to reset. Umm. Great.

I wasn’t too bothered at first. My Dad launched a full-scale investigation, despite me telling him it was probably me. He contacted the phone company who snitched on me and my sister. He wanted screenshots, he “knew” I’d been streaming movies. Because that’s the only reason I could’ve used so much data, apparently. Tbh, I thought it was my Pokemon Go addiction but, no, it was Safari that used 11GB of data. Oops.

Anyway, besides my Dad being annoyed he couldn’t give us his regular updates on Facebook about his lunch or his new crocs or whatever Dad’s like (sorry Dad!), I didn’t fully understand what a week without my phone would mean. Here’s what happened. blow by awful blow.

Day 1

Is this a joke or something? I just realized I can’t Snapchat. Everyone is using a Snapchat filter that would look really cute on me, you know the one with the dark lips and the glasses. Cute, but now I’ll never get to share it with the world. At least it’s the evening so I’ll just have to cope without. It can’t be that bad, right?

Day 2

Celina and I are meeting for breakfast and then heading out to an event. I just realized I cannot use my phone to check the weather before I get out of bed. I can’t glance over my emails. I can’t check my newsfeed. I can’t WhatsApp. I can’t even see the news. Is this real life?

On our way to the event we realize we’re lost. So I whip out my phone for…oh wait, I can’t use maps. At this point, with the sheer anger I’m feeling at not being able to check up on social media I buy more data. £1.99 isn’t that much, right?

Turns out it doesn’t last long. By the time we find the venue (went in through the back door) walk around and come out, I’m already out of data, I can’t even Snapchat (@careergirldaily). The worst part of it is that I’ve already ordered my Uber. Who I have to call frantically saying “So sorry my data ran out so I can’t actually find you.” He replies, deadpan “You’re the girl in the blue shirt, right?”

Day 3

Dad found out about the ‘daylight robbery’ of £1.99 for 100MB. He’s not happy, and now I realize I won’t be able to satisfy my Uber/Deliveroo/social media obsession for the rest of the week. No more smoothies delivered to the door. O.M.G.

Day 4

Breakfast meeting at King’s Cross with Celina, problem is I can’t find her. I’m sitting outside the train station sending a stream of frantic texts. “I’m sitting on a weird thing opposite a weird shop. Hellooo? *Alien emoji*”

Day 5 & 6 

The weekend. Without my phone. The only thing I can do is text, and half of them aren’t sending. Nobody has even noticed my absence from Snapchat, Facebook and Whatsapp. Which makes me feel like shit. But whatever, it’s just a week.

Day 7

The final day. I wake up thinking about how it will feel to check Instagram before I get out of bed. We have a new office today and I struggle to make it there thanks to the the usual travel delays, suspended lines and vehicle crashes. Cue more frantic texts I wasn’t sure anybody was receiving. When I finally arrived I had to rely on old fashioned calling to find out what the door code was. Ugh. And then it took me two hours to get home. With the last of my battery I call my boyfriend, “Come and pick me up,” I sob, standing in the rain unable to check the bus times.

I am so done with this. Shamelessly addicted to my phone and I don’t even care. I need it to get around the city, to eat, to check my money, to live! Now we’re reunited I feel so good. First thing I did was post a Snapchat, “I’m ba-a-a-ack!”

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  1. Love that you are so honest about it. It is not only social media but daily life hacks such as maps, the weather app or the chance to get help if you need some. I would’nt want to put my phone in a box away either. … but maybe cut back from the late night instagram feed scroll sessions.
    xx Ana http://www.disasterdiary.de

  2. A post I’m sure we can all relate to whether we admit it or not! I’d go bonkers if I couldn’t check my email or get on social, especially since its a big part of my job, so it would affect my employment… crazy to think! Thanks for your relatable honesty.
    Ashleigh | Mermaid on the Move

  3. This made me laugh so hard. I feel so bad though that you were without all those awesome resources that we get to use when we have data. I don’t think I could go a single day without my phone but i AM trying to eliminate screen time.

    Good post gurl!

    Gitana | Books & Bellinis | Instagram

  4. Argh! Feeling your pain right now! I fell and broke my phone so now it’s waiting for me at the repair shop, but I’m on my weekend off at a spa and I can’t take photos, use maps to find my way in a foreign town, can’t use TripAdvisor, can’t check up on my friends or family or weather! I’m addicted, but I like it! Phones are SO functional!

  5. I did something stupid last week. I lost my phone on the train. I use an iPhone and when I used a Windows10 phone, I felt very slow and clunky! I am back in business though, thank God. So I can relate to everything you’ve said…the pain is VERY real! When I use up my data (am on pay as you go), O2 charges me £1 for day. I have now resolved to bring a mifi with me all the time!

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