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No phone for a day challenge

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How much do you rely on your smartphone throughout the day? How would you react if you lost your smartphone? Or worse, what would happen if your smartphone suddenly died or failed? If you’re like us, you use your smartphones for practically everything. We thought it would be interesting to hold an experiment to find out how hard it would be to go an entire day without a smartphone. We asked three [unnamed] people to go a full 24 hours without their phones, and to keep a diary of their day sans technology. Read their stories:

Participant #1

I started the “No Phone For A Day” challenge last night around 11:00 pm, and falling asleep without my phone was surprisingly easy. Since I didn’t have all the distractions on the internet to keep me awake, I went to sleep more quickly. When I woke up, I raced into the kitchen to check the time on the microwave to make sure it wasn’t noon. 7:50 am, not bad.

It took me slightly longer than usual to get ready this morning, since I kept running to check the microwave clock every four minutes. And on my ride to work, I started to feel actual frustration from not having my phone. I usually use an AUX cord to listen to Spotify or SoundCloud. But of course without my phone, it looked like I was going to have to suffer through a day of Top 40 on the radio.
alarm clock

Throughout my work day, I've wanted to send some Snapchats of some things. And I felt brief disappointment when I went to reach for my phone and realized it wasn’t in its home on my desk.

After work, I was supposed to meet my friends for sushi at 5:30PM. I showed up at 5:00PM and ended up sitting in an empty restaurant for over 30 minutes with no phone. I resorted to reading the menu repeatedly and counting ceiling tiles.

After dinner, I hung out with some friends, enjoying my newly acquired phone-free life, until a new Pokémon that I didn’t have showed up in my apartment. I almost cracked. My phone was a mere six steps away - all I had to do was get up, turn it on, and that Evee could be mine! But that moment of weakness was conquered.

Later, I dropped a bobby pin in the dark and instinctively went for my phone to use as a flashlight, or when I needed (wanted) to know how old Keanu Reeves was, but realized I didn’t have Google at my fingertips (He’s 51).


Overall, this challenge wasn’t too difficult for me to complete. I didn’t run into any terrible, catastrophic things without my phone. If this was a “No Internet or Screens for a Day” challenge, then we’d be talking about a whole different ballgame. I found it refreshing to see that I actually could survive one day without my phone glued to my hip.


Participant #2

dinner recipe

I started the “No phone for a day” challenge after I got off work. Anxiety started growing in my stomach at the prospect of going a full day without my phone.

After work, I went home, ate dinner, and played video games - all without thinking much about the challenge - or using my smartphone. But one specific instance made my day challenge clear. While I cooked dinner, I wanted to look up a recipe of a meal on my phone. Grumbling, I looked the information up on my laptop. So despite still having access to the information, the hassle still existed of having to walk into a separate room, open up my computer, and look it up the "long" way.

But it was almost as if that was the tipping point for me. Throughout the rest of the evening, I worried if I was getting any texts or phone calls. My mind revisited that I had no access to my phone.

That evening at bedtime, I made sure to set up an actual alarm clock. Usually, I have several alarms set on my smartphone. This way, I can hit the snooze button a bunch. But I jolted awake the following morning with a regular alarm clock.

Throughout my work day, I was distracted from the No Phone for a Day Challenge with my computer. Happily, I had access to the internet. That afternoon, I went out with co-workers to work on a project and get lunch. My boredom during the meeting was compounded by the fact that I didn’t have the ability to look at memes in my downtime.


I give my experience a 4 out of 10 on how problematic it was to not have my phone. I missed the constant entertainment of the internet at my fingers. But despite that, the day was more of a hassle, as I had to take extra steps to do chores and daily rituals without my smartphone's convenience.

Participant #3

weather forecast

Immediately after starting the “No Phone for a Day” challenge, I regretted my decision. Here's a list of events that I encountered that left me wishing that I hadn’t volunteered for the challenge in the first place.

First, I woke up late because I had no alarm. Then as I was getting dressed, I wanted to check the weather so I could wear something appropriate.

Shortly thereafter, on my way into work, a few streets were blocked so I used more time figuring out how to get there. My workday seemed even longer because I usually listen to music on my phone to make the time pass more quickly.

There were even a few times during the afternoon that I’d find myself looking for my phone, thinking I lost it.
And finally, I had to go to the store very late that night to get batteries for an alarm clock, because without my phone, I had no way of waking up.


I found myself constantly thinking about how I didn’t have my phone all day. I would not recommend for anyone to volunteer for this kind of challenge.

It's very easy to put yourself in these Challenge Participants' shoes when reading these diaries. It's almost shocking to read about how much we rely on smartphone technology. We use this technology for even the smallest facets of our lives, which can sometimes be the most important. If you've read this blog and realize that your phone should be upgraded soon, remember to stop by your neighborhood TCC to see the latest smartphone technology. 

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