Rehab from smartphone dependence

baby with smartphone

The challenge: one week without a smartphone

I want to be smarter, so (as per previous post), I decided to complicate my life a little. I’m experimenting the effects of smartphones on my efficiency by exchanging for a week my two smartphones for a very basic Nokia.


SetupDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4, Day 5

I invite you to follow me on this journey. I plan to discover new things about me and hopefully have more time for what’s important.

I’ll update this post every day adding the discoveries and statistics of the day

Day 5 (last day)


  • 2 times I wanted to have a look at my phone
  • Full conf call of 2 hours done without any problem on speakerpone
  • I had to charge the battery while on speakerphone for 2h.


  • Battery life 4.5 days!
  • I can survive without contacts and internet on the move
  • I don’t jump everytime a cellphone rings as my ring tone is very old style
  • I don’t feel any ghost vibration on my leg


Until I find a really good reason, moving to a simple phone is a success toward less distraction, more ideas and more time for what is important

Day 4


  • 8 times I wanted to have a look at my phone
  • 1 time I missed google maps to get which tube station was closest to my destination


  • I miss the audio-book during my morning run
  • I can survive without contacts
  • Still around 50% of battery, it might survive the week


Going well, I don’t miss my smartphones which is impressive

Day 3


  • 6 time wanting to look at the phone
  • People in the office start admiring me
  • I checked my phone, the old on for all possible options (I’m still depended)


  • After 3 full days, I’ve more than 50% of battery!


I’m still missing my phone… while enjoying the new life

Day 2


  • 8 time I wanted to have a look at my phone, mostly in the way back home
  • 2 new ideas worth investigating while on the tube
  • 1 picture not taken about an event I might want to see


  • I miss the speed of smartphone to write messages
  • I miss the spell checker (specially in french)
  • I missed the audio-book during my morning run


I’m thinking that this phone might stay with me for longer than a week

Day 1


  • 11 times I wanted to watch at my phone for no good reason
  • 1 time I got lost. London is full of maps so it was short
  • 30 minutes of thinking added to my day. Pity it was useless thinking…
  • 3 times craving to see the stats of this blog
  • No desire for a phone while at home or in the office
  • More creative on the way back home. Some interesting ideas


  • The phone has a speaker
  • The phone has the game snake – so many memories
  • Everyone in the office think I’m a little crazy
  • My writing is as bad as I remembered


It’s going better than expected!



I feel like a drug addict. I watch my phone every time there is a gap of time in my life, often to do useless things. One example, I’m reading Dilbert comic strip instead of talking with my son (1 year old) while waiting 10 minutes. This episode has been the trigger to start this experiment and discover how positive or negative is the usage of smartphones on my life.

What I hope test

  • check if having a smartphone is really improving my efficiency and my life
  • understand what is the impact of not having Internet on the move
  • find if more quality time can be created by being a technology minimalist

What I think is going to happen

Good things

  • No e-mails while on the move
  • Less distractions while on the move
  • More time to think in the tube and walking
  • Feel better with myself
  • some surprises

Bad things:

  • I’ll get lost every day without Google maps
  • I’ll use more paper – bad for the trees

How to do it

  • Nokia 130
  • Pen – a classical basic pen
  • Paper ultra slim notebook

Some fun facts


So it’s a no brainier!

My new configuration


2 Comments on “Rehab from smartphone dependence”

  1. So what I am reading is: “I need a special lock on my smart phone to allow (some) apps but not facebook” -> audiobooks back, maps back, organisation back, camera back. Those things aren’t what steals your time. Sign up with an App Store account that someone else has the approval for (e.g. iTunes Family account) and let a grown-up decide which apps you are allowed 😉

    1. Hahaha
      Hi Howard

      Nice one. In your scenario e-mail and internet are still there, and finding a grown up person is not that easy. Maybe there is a niche market of 3 persons wanting a smartphone without e-mail.

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