Last Friday was my first time of baring the “real world” without my iPhone and damn, it was hard…Yes this sounds ridiculous, absurd, insane but its the truth and its not only my truth, but the truth of the society we live in.

I left home in a rush as usual, I needed to get to the office but the fact that I not only carry a backpack with most of my blogger belongings (computer, cables etc), I also carry a purse and an umbrella -The weather app says there will be a thunder storm and I sure as hell don’t want to get wet, so let me grab an umbrella as well-. I ran to the tram and as I sat down, I immediately reached out for my phone, you know, to catch up on instagram, facebook, whatsapp…Where is my phone!? SHIT!!!, somebody stole my iPhone while I was walking to the tram!. No, thats impossible, my backpack was closed and there’s no chance somebody could have taken it without me noticing, NOT POSSIBLE. I left my iPhone at home, carrying all this distracting things made me forget my beloved iPhone at home.

I sat on the tram feeling so anxious and even found myself having a physical reaction to the fact that I didn’t have my phone with me, I felt so uneasy, like a tingly feeling in my body, it made me feel sick!…Then I got scared; How does not having a phone with me makes me feel so “naked”,so out of place, so lost?. This is a very scary and worrying though that haunted me the whole tram ride…As I sat there and noticed people around me interacting with their phones, it made me feel like I didn’t belong and it wasn’t a good feeling but then it got me thinking: Why have I let myself fall into this dependency towards an object? Is it because it keeps me connected to the world? OR have I become addicted to using it?

Half way down my train ride, I pulled out a book which I had conveniently placed in my backpack just before I left my apartment. I haven’t read in a while even though I love reading, but my iPhone stole that precious time out of me. This morning I promised myself to start reading again, what I didn’t expect was to leave home without my phone, which basically pushed me into pulling my book out my bag…Its the first time I had sat on that tram ride reading a book and it made me feel “human” again, it made me feel a bit old school and actually, really good!. I went from having a mild panic attack to a moment of realization…Have I let this iPhone addiction gone too far? and when am I going to make it stop?

I would love to know your thoughts on this, do you also feel a phone dependency? How can we make this stop?

andy signature


86 thoughts on “A DAY WITHOUT MY iPHONE

  1. This may shock you, but some of us (including me) have never even seen an iPhone. And have never used a smartphone.

    I’m on an old laptop surfing the web.
    Just had to comment on your First World Problem. lol

  2. Recently I lost my phone and pass a couple month without any phone. At started I was so panic and lost. I felt out of group. I felt out of world. I didn’t know what they talked and at beginning was scary. Realizing this make me grow up. I didn’t need this. Even I wanted. So I started asking myself what was the point of everything. After this, I leave it behind. And in a sunny vacation enjoy me and what I wanted. Not showing. Not posting. Not carrying. Now, with a new phone even better, I’m getting again addicted to this thing. I’m really hating. But I’ve been trying to do my best.

    Hi, I’m Brazilian new reader and I’m really in love with your blog and your style. And it simple and charming.

  3. Today was my “go back to school” and everything was ready except for my phone who decided enjoy vacations one more day. It was awful because all my schedule was there and I didn’t know in which classrooms were my classes.

    Not a nice beginning.

  4. Yep. We are all addicted to our devices. It’s impossible not to be! There’s always something new to see on Facebook, Instagram, etc., always someone to text and catch up with. It sickens me that the first thing I do in the morning is reach for my iPhone, eager to see what’s new. We’ve become dependent on that instant gratification (Instagratification? hehe)and it feels like something’s totally off when we can’t get it – like you did on the ‘tram’.

    Luckily here in New York we don’t get service underground so we can’t use our phones and many still rely on books and magazines for underground entertainment.

    I think the key is to make a conscious choice every day to put our phones away (in our purses, desk drawers, wherever!) when we don’t really need them.

  5. Hi Andy! I am typing to my iPhone thinking about your article. You are absolutely right! The world is not strange, the people are. Last few days I told myself that I have to start reading books again and then I came across your article. Lets be more oldschool! You know, you don’t have to stop using iPhone, but reduction is possible:)
    Love you,

  6. puedo comprender perfectamente el sentirte “perdida” por no estar conectada (o desconectada?) con el mundo, ya sea por haber olvidado el celular o estar en un lugar donde el servicio no sea tan bueno (lo que usualmente me sucede a mi). pero entiendo mas ese sentimiento de saber que haz dejado de hacer tus cosas preferidas y hábitos que te hacen ser tu, por dedicarle más tiempo al teléfono D: tenemos que combatir esto!!
    Besos desde México.

  7. Last fall I was in Amsterdam on vacation. The last night I lost my iPhone. I looked every where and went into a panic. I had to some how deactivate my phone in case if it got stollen. I traveled all the way back home to the US with out my phone. I felt the same way you did Andy lost and like I didn’t fit in because everyone around me was on there phones. When I returned back home I went two weeks until I got a new iPhone. I got used to it. I almost didn’t want to get another phone. It was nice just enjoying a teck free life for a bit.

  8. Frankly speaking, there’s absolutely no shame in not being as addicted to your iPhone like the others, neither is there any shame in reading at all. On the contrary, I admire you for stepping out of the fast paced and super technical life and taking advantage of your time in a better, healthier and more enjoyable way. I mean come on, not because a certain habit is old means that it’s wrong or old fashioned.
    Probably, that’s what the society is tying to convince us with.

  9. YES!!! I feel just like you and it’s really a sad feeling because as you I love reading and I was thinking last week the exact same thing when I saw the book I WAS reading 3 months ago sitting next to my bed, I realized I paused it and didn’t understand why because I was very into it, so then I just realized that that precious time I had for my relaxing readign in bed, I gave it to my phone dor Instagram and other social networks… Since then I’m working to change that!!! : )


  10. Yes, I do realise that having my phone around has been a daily life. Without it, like you, I do feel “naked” and “empty” too. It has even found its way into my relationship and now, my bf made a rule, NO PHONES DURING MEALS TOGETHER. I respect that and I realise that having real conversation is truly important and it keeps the relationship going. After a while, I sometimes leave my phone at home when out for dinner with him and that is ok with me now. I believe having a phone with me all the time became a habit more than anything else.

  11. It’s scary how we’re all addicted to our phones, walking around with our heads in the screen, while life is passing by… It’s good to leave it at home now and then. :)

    xoxo, Peppi

  12. Yes, I too, am addicted to my phone. But I try not to make it the center of my world. Recently, I just got back into leisure reading to substitute blogging/reading online articles and it’s refreshing. I do use my iPad to read ebooks, which isn’t much better, but I bought a few physical books on sale and it feels refreshing that I (1) gives my eyes a rest from looking at a screen all day and (2) there’s something tangible in front of me rather than electronic. We’ll leave the tangible vs electronic discussion for another day but I understand your habit fixated on the phone. Our world has revolved around using that as the sole communication to everyone as well as a time waster.

  13. NOt addicted at all to my phone, because I only have internet accessible on the phone when I’m at home. I usually carry a book with me when I need to take public transportation, and I have left my home plenty of times without my phone, while taking to and picking my son from school. But I do feel quite anxious if I have to be out for most of my day without said phone, because that is the only way I can be reached by the school staff in case anything happens to the kid, and it has happened that I left the house without the phone and then headed back to get it – no way can I be unreachable when it comes to my boy!!

  14. As someone who doesn’t own a cell phone I can totally understand the feeling of not belonging when everyone around you is on a phone. And admittedly most of the time I wish I had one. Thanks for sharing, its made me feel like a little less of an outsider

  15. I definitely have phone dependency issues. I have forgotten my phone at home a few times and I could not focus on anything else the entire day. It’s crazy! Sadly, as we’re in the technology age, I feel like it’s not going to get any better :(

  16. I’ve had a similar cituation some time ago(left my iPhone at home charging), felt very nervous because I was waiting for a courrier to bring me some goods, and he had only my iHone number. When I reached my work I sent an email to the office immediately giving them my offoce number asking not to phone me on my mobile…and the answered the courrier had failed to phone me bu @[email protected] number:D:D:D fortunately, my husband noticed the left phone and brought it to my work))
    I always carry a book\journal\ebook in my bag because I love reading. Some inet-surfing while I’m in public trnsport(the road to work takes me 2-3 hours daily) and NEVEr doing this at home(I feel sick of the internet devices), home is for rest))
    When I spend time in the ciuntryside I almost never use a mobile and feel completely happy:)

  17. Great thoughts!
    I think we are all addicted to our mobile phones to a certain extent. It would be very difficult in current times to live without a mobile phone. It has its pros and cons and it is up to each and everyone of us to learn to set boundaries.




  18. This has happened to me several times. But I have come to conclusion that I miss not the object, but services it provides, that is, getting in touch with my friends and family. And to make sure it stays that way, I now only mainly check Instagram when I’m home and have nothing to do, that is, when I wake up and when I go to sleep (and when I want to post something) (Whatsapp goes strong through the day!). I don’t do that at cafes, during lectures or work anymore, and I have found myself enjoying the city I live in and people around me, and yes, read even more!

  19. Para se honesto si, porque hoy en día lo que buscamos es aceptación por parte de la sociedad y tener un móvil es como tener el pase de entrada.

    Me encanto tu post y me gusta mucho tu blog que dios te bendiga :D

  20. When I first realized that I had an addiction to my phone, I was sick. Of course, for so long I had been in denial about it, practically dependent on my iphone for reassurance that I could be saved from any awkward situation, should one arise. But something hit me — I didn’t want to feel dehumanized. I didn’t want to go to lunch with friends and be more involved with my phone than with the relationships I was trying to cultivate and keep alive. It became more apparent to me when I started to leave my phone at home on purpose how connected and involved out society is with out phones and how distant we have become with each other. It’s not the kind of life I want to live — being so distracted. So, more often than not I leave my phone out of sight at home so I can spend more time focused on the things and people I love and do my best to leave it in my purse when with friends (and even when in public because you never know what you’ll miss out on when you’re looking down).

  21. this made me so happy, because i did exactly this too. I had conveniently forgotten my phone, and i was able to look up and see the world around me. now when im at places like restaurants, stores, waiting lines, i don’t stuff my eyes into my phone but i observe everything around me, and it actually feels really good. and after i took a break from social media, i felt refreshed and full of new ideas :)

  22. This post cracked me up! I love that documented how you felt without your phone. I’ve noticed my addiction grow with my iphone, and even worsen as I’ve started blogging. The only time I don’t even think about my phone is when I’m active or when I’m having so much fun with people I’m not thinking about anything else. Otherwise, I even read my books on here, and I prefer regular books. It makes no sense.
    Maybe we need to just forget our phones more often to disconnect from them?
    Love this post!

  23. Totally get how you feel – I get anxious without my phone too. Even though I don’t really look at it on public transportation (I usually just gap out and read), the second I notice I don’t have it I feel worried that a million people are trying to reach me or that I will get lost and not have google maps to save me… even though anyone trying to get a hold of me will do so as soon as I get to a computer and I can pretty much figure out how to get anywhere in this city just by asking.


  24. Last week I dropped my iphone in water. I read online that I had to turn it off immediately and put it in a bag of rice for 48 hours in order to save my phone. It was a miracle and it actually worked. What was interesting was how I felt after turning it off, I felt like I was ‘missing out’ on something, maybe a call or an interesting text, or what the world was doing in Instagram. Like you I too felt sad and shocked that I was not connected, but suddenly found myself with what felt like more time in both of those days. I felt more focused on my work and on the people around me, more present. It was a good lesson and since then I’ve felt more inclined to turn my phone off when I’m around others, especially when I’m sharing a meal with my boyfriend.

    Spanish Muse

  25. So true. I can’t tell you if it’s good or bad, but what I can tell you is that that’s the way it is. We live in a world ways more interconnected than 10yrs ago, maybe only 5, but that’s it. It’s out of our control and if we want to keep up with it we have to accept it, with its negative and positive aspects. You underlined the negative side of it in ur post, reminding yourself how u used to spend ur time on the bus reaching the office, the university or whatever. And it was the same for me, I used to read much more aswell. But, on the otherside, think about all the positive aspects that comes with it. think about who u’re today, for example. Probably u would have never become who u’re today without such an interconnected society. So just keep those reflections in mind and when u’re checking all ur apps and notifications in ur spare time try to remember how good it is to leaf through a good book. Not always, but sometimes. And find a balance. Life is always about finding the right balance in order to feel good with ourselves, but, under the impression u gave me reading everyday ur blog, I’m sure u know it better than I do. :-)

    Ah, and, in order to stick to the subject at hand, u should watch “Her”, directed by Spike Jonze if u havent yet!

    Always good reading u. This blog is much more than a fashion blog. Thanks.



  26. I faced a similar situation too last week! It actually felt out of place to not have my iPhone with me because everybody else just seems to be into it so much it makes you look like you’re the weird one. And I know I don’t actually need to have my iPhone all the time, in fact when I am I tend to aimlessly be on in the internet when I could be reading a book instead. I guess it’s because we’re so used to having it that without it, we naturally feels lost. Like having a person around but it being a tech gadget is the sad truth.
    I’m still trying to overcome this fear and it’s definitely not easy. :)

  27. Totally agree with you! We now live in a world where we are constantly connected, but not with the world outside, with the world online!
    We don’t stop to read books, or watch people, or even stop and really enjoy the view, we’re always with our faces stuck on those tiny screens and seeing the world from there.
    We sometimes have to stop for a while and read a good book, watch what’s going on around us.
    And I don’t mean with this that iphone and internet are bad things, truth is I’m super addicted to all of it, but it’s also true sometimes I have to force myself to disconnect a little and check the real world outside the screen, and it’s like you said, it feel real good. :) And then back to the phone, instagram, facebook, whatsapp and all of that.

    The key is to try and balance it all.

    Great post! :)


  28. It´s somehow shocking how everybody is addicted to their phones.
    I got my iPhone a little more than a year ago.
    Before, I had a phone that I just used to take ( bad quality ) pictures and to text and make phone calls. I didn´t even take my phone to school and the battery lasted for 5 days sometimes.
    It´s insane how everything changed .
    I can live without my phone without a problem for a couple of hours, for example when working, but when I´m at home, I check instagram ect probably every 15 min.
    Defenitely need to change something about this, but at the same time, I don´t want to …

    xx Julia


  29. For about two weeks I had zero internet access, meaning I didn’t spend any time on my phone or computer. In that time I was happier, read a lot more, slept better, and generally just felt better as a person. This post has really made me think, and I think that I might just consciously start leaving my phone at home more, or maybe pulling out a book rather than it on my morning commute as well. :)



  30. I know how you feel! I’ve been so busy as of late that I’ve been leaving my phone behind more times then I want to admit. But it’s refreshing to just BE in the moment. I think as a collective we’re so caught up in always wanting to be connected that we’re missing out on the things that can really make us feel grounded. Always being connected is so stressful so I’m glad you got a few moments to disconnect and enjoy a good book. Btw, did you enjoy the one you had tucked away in your bag? Would you recommend it (based on what you’ve read so far)?

  31. I read your “leaving the cellphone” yesterday and I thought “What a tragedy!” As I read this post I feel you learn a great lesson. So many devices distract us from important thing. I hate meeting people and they are paying more attention to their cellphones than the conversation itself. I’m only 30 but a lot of people around the world is feeling the same: http://stopphubbing.com/
    I consider smart devices are great, we love then but we are not their slaves. I depend on myself.
    I read every day your site and this is the fist time I comment I think.
    Keep blogging and keep reading ;)
    Ana form Argentina

  32. OMG, so relate. It’s ridiculous because about 5 years ago, I didn’t even have a smart phone (just a cell phone with no data plan). Now if 2 minutes go by without me checking my emails, texts, etc it’s a long time!! I’d love to stop being so phone-dependent as you call it, because I definitely think it is pulling us away from ourselves, from nature, from being more at peace with things. It’s a total distraction..!


  33. yes, you are so right Andy! I think we’re so over dependent on our devices that we often fail to appreciate things we once did… conversations with fellow humans, reading a physical book (how old fashioned;) ++. It’s a societal shift, and not necessarily for the better. While our phones definitely have a place, we need to temper that with limitations on how much we depend on them, and not take for granted the more important things in life, especially our relationships.
    That said, I DO feel naked without my iPhone but also limit my use of it. As a business owner I need to be accessible so it’s important I have it. Plus, the way I always have my iPhone (& other things) ON myself is with my handy little problem-solver, so for me it’s a demo model as well! ;)
    If you want to make sure you always have the things you NEED on your person (and not in your purse…or backpack, etc) you might find it very helpful… And not only for phones, it’s excellent for your ID, $, cards, keys, passports, lipstick, tampons, +. See what I mean at http://www.portapocket.com

  34. Totally agree with you! Ever since I got my iPhone, I barely can live without it! Especially relying my phone to track the tram time, google maps, taking photo. But then I think I could survive without the phone for few days except might be worrying getting call from work and caused me anxiety and stress.

  35. Oh yes definitely! I like to always keep a light paperback with me where ever I go. So the next time I’m on the train/ bus/ waiting for someone, I tell myself to consciously choose the book over the phone. Or at least when I’m done with checking all my Instagram/ Whatsapp/ Email notifications etc, I keep my phone and read the book instead. It’s hard to ‘release’ the phone once its in my hands but I’ll keep telling myself in my mind ‘there’s nothing else for you to do on the phone’ and most of the time it works :)


  36. omg I felt exactly the same way the other day when my phone died because I forgot to charge it >< it's crazy how much power technology has over us :/

  37. omg I felt exactly the same way the other day when my phone died because I forgot to charge it >< it's crazy how much power technology has over us :/

  38. Ohh dear, good thing it wasn’t snatched and the big takeaway here is not to depend too much on our gadgets! :) Great post!

  39. It’s really hard to spend a day without phone, because our lifestyles depend so much on it! But a day without it it’s a great experience and it gives you a lot to think about:)
    It’s important to find the right balance with phone and no phone life :)

  40. I totally agree it’s really hard to go too long without subconsciously reaching for your phone, if only for a distraction, or out of boredom. What really helps me is going home for holidays with my family, because I live in New York, I can’t use my phone when I’m home and I refuse to buy a sim card for just a few weeks, but rather relax in the knowledge that im around my loved ones in a beautiful city and I can check my phone when I have wifi later on in the day, so I know I don’t even have to take my phone with me or reach for it.
    Sometimes you have to go to the extreme to make sure you go technology free for a bit ;)

  41. I’m reading this from my smartphone, so maybe I have some dependency, but I’m trying to don’t use phone if is not really “necessary”. Surely our generation is absorbed by things that doen’t enrich them as a book or talk with a friend done.

    lb-lc Fashion blog

  42. Hi there this is really a great post this is how I managed to abandon technology.
    1: I got a actual alarms clock (don’t use your phone)
    2: carry a book everywhere (keeps the hands busy and the mind focused)
    3: purposely leave you phone at home hidden (romantic dinners, sitting in the garden, walking the dog, you don’t need your phone for everything)

    These are just some of the things I did to get myself back to the real world I forced myself to not go on the internet delete app’s, go to the library , go for a walk with out the phone, cancel the internet in the house, some libraries give you a free hour, if I go for days out I take a actual camera not my phone, there are many ways you can DE attach yourself from technology but I don’t think people want to, That’s the problem.

    Have a nice day

  43. I think we’re all addicted to our phones, especially nowadays with all the social networks out there and getting used to taking a snapshot of almost every minute of our lives and posting them to Instagram / Facebook. I’ve left my phone at home several times by accident and felt exactly like you did – completely lost but after some time I realised it wasn’t all that bad. There’s a certain freedom in not having to answer every incoming call or being available 24/7.
    But then again, I love my phone, as lame as it sounds :)

  44. what u said totally hit me.
    I once had food alone without using my phone, and I observed people around me. Everyone was talking to their devices with no interaction with the person siting across them. Which really made me think, when did the world become like this, including me. Since then, I tried to use as less as possible, which is IMPOSSIBLE. how is it possible not using phones while others are?
    I live in Taiwan, this issue is much more serious here. 9 out of 10 people use their devices even if they are with their family, lovers or friend. :(

    BTW I’m from Taiwan, I read ur blog almost everyday. it’s my first time leave the comments. I just wanna say u r my favorite blogger, I love how u dress how u think. I LOVE U <3

  45. I left my phone at home the other day too (by accident) & i survived (just), i listened to music on my ipod & looked out the window as i was on the tram & i realised at the end of the day that i didnt really miss my phone.

    I dont think i could do it everyday though!


  46. thank you so much for sharing these thoughts! i definitely feel the same, it’s become a reflex for me to scroll down my Instagram or something like that every time I have a minute of free time!! and i hate it. from time to time i try to do small things without my phone, like go out for a walk or enjoy an entire evening without reaching out for it but it’s actually pretty hard..

    i think the best way to fight this addiction is to be conscious of it and then try to reduce gradually our use of the phone, you know.. like no phone before 10 am and after 10 pm, and indeed having a book in your bag and trying to “force” yourself to read it instead of using your phone is a great idea as well!

    i’m definitely trying to reduce my use, so happy to hear i’m not the only one! maybe in a few years we’ll have detox cures for iphone addicted people hahaha…

    anyway, thank you for these thoughts and have a great day Andy :)

    xx tiphaine

  47. I had this once when my phone was broken. Had to go without it and I also felt very weird, but later on that day I started to feel so calm. Not constantly grabbing my phone, checking Facebook, Instagram or sending messages on Whatsapp. I love being able to contact my friends and family whenever I want to but sometimes I feel like it’s a bit too much. Sometimes you just need a little ‘me time’ and enjoy the little things in life we often miss by staring at our phones all day.

  48. I feel totally the same way. It’s so crazy how hard it is to cope without a phone. It sometimes makes us forget the things we liked before, and actually had time for – like reading for instance.


  49. I confess ! I am also Iphone addict. This feeling to rule the world with a simple click is somehow empowering, and this is what makes us so hooked.

    XX Luba

    El look perfecto after beach, hoy en

  50. I definitely agree with you! Specially when you have the routine of checking Instagram, Bloglovin, Twitter… If I am not able to do it I feel I’m doing everything wrong, that I am not informed.
    I recently saw an incredible commercial that, while I was reading your experience, came immediately to my mind. It is fantastic and it sums up what you say about this social problem. They use the problem and turn it into something funny (a man wakes up, goes out, enters his car (he does all of this completely naked) and sitting in his car he searches for his phone and realizes he forgot it at home. So he goes back, and enters his apartment, grabs the phone and is suddenly dressed, and now he returns to the car and goes on with the routine). It is an amazing ad, but if you stop and think for a while, it is a disaster!!
    Lots of love, xx


  51. I know exactly what you’re talking about Andy ! I forgot my phone at home last week and I was feeling lost.
    I am used to listen to music in the bus when I drive to work in the morning, I am whatsapping with plenty of people ( even if it’s just to send around memes and things we found on 9Gag. ) and in my lunch break I am checking on Instagram, Facebook and all that stuff. This was the first lunch break at work where I had no phone to play with. So I sat outside on a bench in the sun and just relaxed for an hour. Colleagues were coming out to me and we talked a bit about this and that. It was so nice ! And when I had no phone with me I realized how many people are actually playing with their smartphones while talking to other people. Like why can’t we just let these in our pockets for a minute ? This day made me realize how addicted I really am and that I should think about real life more often.

  52. It’s scary isn’t it? I try to leave my I-phone in another room when I’m home or in my bag if I’m out, because I know it’s an addicton. The anxiety that strikes when you haven’t checked ALL the instagrams and tweets… is so weird! Why do we need to keep track with everything and everyone? I have friends who don’t have I-phones or even social media and they have a perfect, full of real moments, life! :) x

  53. Hi, great post! It’s crazy how much we depend on our phones and how lost we feel without them. Years ago people would have just chatted with others for social interaction. I left my phone at home once and I just felt lost. I think it’s also built up a fear of people talking on the phone as we’d just rather text, tweet or message. Wish I had tips to stop this, I will be coming back to this post to see people’s responses x

  54. I feel exactly the same way! When the storm hit us here in Manila, we lost power for three days! I had to conserve my laptop battery (which mean’t I didn’t turn it on) and my phone battery (which meant no internet data) so I had to keep myself occupied by reading a lot of the books I had bought and had not gotten to start yet or even finish! I am now almost done with Insurgent (I bought the Divergent trilogy) and will get started on my Mortal Instruments series soon! Sometimes I can’t believe I let technology get the best of me and occupy my time!


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