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Few people these days can go an entire day without compulsively checking their smartphone.

Back in February, based on a statistic that was first noted by Nokia at MindTrek in 2010, I asked you ladies and gents how often you check your phone. According to Nokia, in 2010, the average person checks his or her phone 150 times each day – or once every 6.5 minutes, nine to 10 times each hour.

That statistic, however, dates back to over two years now.

In the event you haven't noticed, the mobile industry is always changing – both on the consumer and technological sides. In two very short years, smartphones have changed quite dramatically. They have transgressed from mobile email devices into irreplaceable, powerful, pocket-sized tools.

As such, many people have come to rely on their handset to perform a specific set of tasks, to either assist or automate processes that would otherwise require a computer. I now can and do use my smartphone to do many of the things I could only rely on my computer to do in the past. But for many, including myself, smartphones have become a rather polished mobile entertainment source, too.

Now imagine all of that going away, if only for one day. A cringing thought, isn't it?

Dean Obeidallah, a political comedian and former attorney, wrote a piece for CNN's Our Mobile Society bit wherein he details a day where he (willingly, as part of an experiment conjured up by his editors) spent an entire day without his smartphone. Titled A day without a cell phone, Obeidallah explains he first felt liberated, free of the oppressive nature of a never-ending influx of notifications that constantly beg and pull your attention away from the real world. Says Obeidallah:

"Instead of texting or checking my e-mail, I began to actually look at the people I was sharing the streets with. It truly resembled a movie set filled with extras from all walks of life. A beautiful woman walked quickly past me while fixing her make up. Asian tourists were busy snapping photos. A businessman looked busy talking on his phone. A group of Hasidic men were kibitzing while an Arab man sold falafel from a cart."

Then Obeidallah experienced the stressing feeling we all feel when flashing LEDs on our cell phones tell us the battery is about to die. What if we miss something important? An emergency call, a business email an SMS about dinner? (Obviously missing the typical dinner SMS is the most frightening of all …) Then he reported phantom vibrations, although his phone wasn't even in his pocket. He said, "My stress level started to escalate," to the point he used a pay phone to check his voicemail. Now that's serious business.

After checking his voicemail, he wandered the streets of New York City for 45 minutes before he found an Internet cafe to check his email for $2 for 12 minutes. He began to feel lonely and disconnected.

All of these feelings are ones anyone with a cell phone should be able to relate to, specifically those of you with smartphones. The iPhone 5 died on me earlier this week after a day and a half of moderate use. Although I always have a second smartphone in my pocket, I began to worry if my girlfriend or mother had tried to contact me on my primary line.

I also try to disconnect during the holidays, and somewhat over the weekend. But voluntarily disconnecting while still carrying my phones and tablets with me – just in case – is an entirely different story.

I can't imagine just leaving everything at home and going out for the day. I figure I, too, would feel okay for the first bit. But a few hours after leaving my devices at home, I imagine I would begin to pat my pockets every few minutes, feeling for my phones. Then I would likely have some minor panic attack before turning around and heading home.

My line of work instills a high level of dependency on being constantly connected. If I have my laptop or iPad, though, I would be less worried. My Google Voice account would notify me if anyone tried to call me, and I could stay connected without technically using a cell phone. But that's bending the rules a bit.

As sad (or bad) as it may be, I'm hopelessly attached to my phones. I probably wouldn't last too long without a cell phone or some form of connectivity to the online world. After all, it is my livelihood.

How do you think you would fare throughout an entire day without a cell phone? Would you be okay? Would you have to cling to nearby Internet cafes and public telephones? Or, like me, would you have a mild panic attack after just a few short hours?


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146 Reactions to this post

"Could you go a full day without your phone?"


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John Anthony
John Anthony Never! cause I get a lot of callas and text in a day
Mobi Techie Gonzalez
Mobi Techie Gonzalez Btw I'm using the Samsung Galaxy S-II T-mobile variant the spec's for this phone are better than that of the other models of the same exact phone... I think the one only phone that's the same is the...AT&T variant!
Mobi Techie Gonzalez
Mobi Techie Gonzalez WTF?! Are you crazy? I need my mobile!.. It's my life! ;D
Adam Skogman
Adam Skogman with the s3 i coudent go a minute with out it im on this thing in school and at home all day
Paul David Panganiban
Paul David Panganiban I could. My phone sucks. It's not even a smartphone. It's like Nokia 3210.
Taavi Kala
Taavi Kala Probably
Jose Rodrigues
Jose Rodrigues Lots times forgot phone home that's my best days
Paul Warner
Paul Warner Only a short step to H+.
Sally Rider
Sally Rider OMG are you mental...never ever ever say anything out loud like this again!!!!! Shame... Fare through a day? Try to get it away from teens for 5 minutes...they seizure, have convulsions and become unreachable through regular human forms of communication. Ergo Answer is -Nooooooo
Ethan Maness
Ethan Maness Yeah jus asking as I have my ipad
Miguel Antonio Morales
Miguel Antonio Morales Wait...you mean I DON'T have to have my phone with me at all times?!
Ryan Anton
Ryan Anton It's not that big of a deal, other than it's kind of odd missing it in your pocket when it's been there for so long. It feels like a void.
Rysheen Wilson
Rysheen Wilson It would be simple for me did it many times
Vicente Reyes
Vicente Reyes Have done it many of times.
Gwendolyn Suzanne Harris Kight
Gwendolyn Suzanne Harris Kight It wouldn't be hard for me at all. Not everyone absolutely has to have a cell phone or use theirs constantly. I only use mine to call family. People notice I barely use my iPhone in fact. It's just an electronic no big deal.
John Loper
John Loper I already do. When I wake up at 8 am my phone has a full battery. At 8:30 am (without any use) It's down to 14%.
Edgar Rodriguez
Edgar Rodriguez I have spent two weeks without one on vacation it was the best feeling ever
Joanna Enrique Ramos
Joanna Enrique Ramos Nope lol cant stay without my phone i love my galaxy3!
Patrick OConnor
Patrick OConnor Maybe
Tyler ONeill
Tyler ONeill Na
Tyler ONeill
Tyler ONeill An
Kevin Dunbar
Kevin Dunbar Hell no! I wouldn't fare at all!
Paul Armendarez
Paul Armendarez Yes but its hard
Mohamed Abdel-Hafiz
Mohamed Abdel-Hafiz I remember that just last year we were talking about no cellphone for a week as a challenge. I don't like where this is going.
Hansel Starley
Hansel Starley My phone barely makes it and I have all "live" tiles turn off.
Jammari Hall
Jammari Hall Yes I could if day is planned out and if I had a watch on :-D
Brian Dominguez
Brian Dominguez I have my xbox, my phone means nothing c:
Rani Hinnawi
Rani Hinnawi In theory, yes. In practice, highly unlikely
Jonathon Gillis
Jonathon Gillis Noooope
Teresa L Smith
Teresa L Smith I could if I had to.
JD Thayn
JD Thayn No. No. NO!
Jose Santiago Gonzalez
Jose Santiago Gonzalez Hellz to the no.
Eric J. Powers
Eric J. Powers I could but why would I want to?
Kenneth Li
Kenneth Li when I was single, who cares! nobody is calling me anyway!
Francisco Paco Garcia
Francisco Paco Garcia I'm fine I lost my phone. And I'm still alive.
Anthony LaCross
Anthony LaCross what kind of sick, disgusting question is this? I'd sooner take part in a SAW movie
Charles Datdude Knight
Charles Datdude Knight That's like asking a woman to go without a pad or tampon on her period! The flow is fucked up!
Devin Martinez
Devin Martinez No
Dane Enerio
Dane Enerio ive been living for 16 years without a cellphone in a very tech savvy country, i don't see the problem with not having a cellphone
Angel Ortiz
Angel Ortiz Yes
Luke Khaing
Luke Khaing I need it don't know when I have an important call
Joey Cody
Joey Cody I have been 5 days with out any cell phone an I'm telling you it sucks big ones!
Igor Rebenko
Igor Rebenko Easy... 4 days on a cruise...
Joe Pakiela
Joe Pakiela I went 50 years without a cell phone one day no problem
Jessica Rodriguez
Jessica Rodriguez No I wouldnt be able to, i would go insane. I need my phone. I check it every ten to twenty minutes
Justin John Litz Van
Justin John Litz Van I've gone weeks without a phone & I really didn't care.
Howie Eastin
Howie Eastin 10 minutes.... that's how long it would take me to drive home to go get it. I use my phone for everything.... so Yeah lol
Michael Monnin
Michael Monnin No
Alexander Zelenay
Alexander Zelenay yes
Linda Watts
Linda Watts I wouldn't know I don't have one, nor do I have a tablet. I do have a garmin :)
Douglas Prevo
Douglas Prevo I'd be fine... I've got a tablet.
Vishal Nandre
Vishal Nandre not possible for me
Laurie Lynn
Laurie Lynn If I could sleep all day....then yes:-)
Cherrelle Holland
Cherrelle Holland I always leave my phone at home..
Trinity Kolarova Hoodrich
Trinity Kolarova Hoodrich I have 3 so if 2 break I still got. One device to use
Shawn Poling
Shawn Poling No.
Brandon Coffey
Brandon Coffey Absolutely - I haven't had a phone for most of the year because of being hospitalized and it was just fine.. I understand they're fun to have but people I guarantee there is more to life than using a cell phone.
Bart Kuppens
Bart Kuppens Nope
Cory IndaHouse Sonustun
Cory IndaHouse Sonustun Yep... Did it for yom kippur...25 hours with no phone/tablet or anything that required electricity
David Morgan
David Morgan hell no
Hanamichi Kurotsuchi
Hanamichi Kurotsuchi I will try to other things like watching tv.
Jose Ramirez
Jose Ramirez Nope. No way. To Addicted To iPhone. Especially now with the 5 Im addicted for life.
Bradley E Watson
Bradley E Watson I could go a whole month thanks to my Toshiba Excite tablet..
Luis Robles Figueroa
Luis Robles Figueroa I would be a happy camper.
Sean Bolson
Sean Bolson Couldn't last longer than a few hours...
Matt Pankey
Matt Pankey Yeah but I wouldn't like it.
David DiPilla
David DiPilla Nope can not do it goes with me everywhere and I am on it all the time
Robert Winstead
Robert Winstead Don't own one so I would be doing great. I don't have to be reached 24/7.
Mark Greentree
Mark Greentree Are you insane.. God no!
Jim Nguyen
Jim Nguyen Lol, maybe my home phone...
William Plotner
William Plotner I'd be just fine.
Duvon Jackson
Duvon Jackson Yup. Life > My cellphone.
Tony Apolinar
Tony Apolinar umm no. lol never!
Josh Marion
Josh Marion That's what tablets are for
Nick Van Hemert
Nick Van Hemert yup have did it today
Brian Walden
Brian Walden I probably should.
Shin Wolf
Shin Wolf Yes! Majority says "no" are people doing pornsurfing, phonesex, sexchat and texting to their mistress. LOL
Eli Thegreat Parker
Eli Thegreat Parker I think that my stress level would drop a ton! I have forgotten my phone at home once (in life) without going back to get it and my day went so smooth at work. I was a lot more productive and calm
Kimbrrly Lan
Kimbrrly Lan haha @ all the mobile users commenting :)
Elmer Antonio
Elmer Antonio No
Wendell Wilson
Wendell Wilson Been there, doin that now! My Boost Bberry went blank! So I gotta wait! Some days its easy but those other days are rough!
Bridgit Fennell
Bridgit Fennell I could not. My husband's care, medicines & appointments are all on there.
Lacoste Tapia
Lacoste Tapia He'll no!!!!!
T Louis Michael
T Louis Michael I can go two weeks without charging.
Bethany Busath Faden
Bethany Busath Faden Sometimes I get too attached to my iPhone and get "iPhone withdrawal". Where about once every 2 months I shut my phone off for like 3 days and just enjoy life. Then I miss my iPhone and use it just as much as ever.
Norbert Veszprémi
Norbert Veszprémi NO WAY!
Dee Ross
Dee Ross Nope. Need it for work.
Blake Salsgiver
Blake Salsgiver Yes. If Apple has their way. I will never own another phone!!
Ian Mcclendon
Ian Mcclendon Yep, gimme a pager and some phone booths. My social life is up to par
Blass Reiter
Blass Reiter no never
Steve Johns
Steve Johns It would suck lol
Steve Johns
Steve Johns I would suck but I could do it
Francisco Ramirez
Francisco Ramirez Went a whole month without it. Talk about one of the worst times of my life.
Demetria Brown
Demetria Brown I had to go 5 days without it while waiting for a replacement, that was torture. never again.
Manh Nguyen
Manh Nguyen Yes, with a tablet and Skype it will be easy
Brandon Ulreich
Brandon Ulreich I've done it many times.
Jovelyn Tumamao
Jovelyn Tumamao i sometimes intentionally leave my phone at home cause i don't want to be reached. but i just bought the samsung galaxy s3 and that baby never leaves my hand. i cradled it to bed last night buahah
Magnus Larsson
Magnus Larsson Yes..
Kevin Joel
Kevin Joel Yes, I forget my phone at home several times, but I get it done!
Dan Hammen
Dan Hammen I would certainly be more productive
Krishnan Srinivasan
Krishnan Srinivasan yes. i dont have a smartphone anymore
Marc Cato
Marc Cato A full what?
Sean MacNabb
Sean MacNabb i didnt even text for the first time til i was 23. but now i rely on my phone to communicate for work. i could certainly do without it personally, but my job has come to rely on my phone. good and bad.
Dan Kristofer Escano
Dan Kristofer Escano No i cant its my computer....
Yasir Sohail
Yasir Sohail Cant even go 15 mins without it, I live off of texting and emails and youtube.
Lamar Sarracino
Lamar Sarracino No big deal!!!
Reinaldo Alvarez Maldonado
Reinaldo Alvarez Maldonado It a new phobia and is calle Nomophobia the phobia to be without your cellphone or smartphone.
Malik Chambers
Malik Chambers nope, I use mine for work as well as play.
Kendrick Crisostomo
Kendrick Crisostomo I'm going to boot camp on the 9th...try 9 weeks without a phone
Mitch Evans
Mitch Evans Hell no.
Robert Mathias
Robert Mathias I can do it, but it's rough
Merrill Woodbury
Merrill Woodbury Yep, course i've only got a tracfone.
Jose Salguero
Jose Salguero nop, thank's to this crazy world !!!
Diego Murga
Diego Murga So many, unsettled arguments with out IMDB.
Lawrence Algenio Diamante
Lawrence Algenio Diamante Yes, but it depends to the situation
Rachel Rueff
Rachel Rueff well i haven't anyone to talk to except my daughter and that is not very often so can go a day without talking to her but I entertain myself with angry birds still I can go a day without playing
Adrian Anguiano
Adrian Anguiano Yes it's called having a life, if you can't put your phone down for more than an hour well that just says it all
Varun Gupta
Varun Gupta I could as I have a shitty phone and I could really manage without it for one day.
Danu Carrión Perales
Danu Carrión Perales hell no
Jacob Tucker
Jacob Tucker I have several times.
Brandon Thompson
Brandon Thompson No
Bryan James Wadman
Bryan James Wadman I would surely die.
Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams I could get by with my work computer
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz yes
Christopher Jetlife Heard
Christopher Jetlife Heard going to Air Force Bmt in 5 days.....i will go many days without my phone lol
Vlad Stolyarov
Vlad Stolyarov Whaaat
Ernie Navarro
Ernie Navarro Dear god no... I cabt eveb go a couple hours.
Tan Chong Ling
Tan Chong Ling No phone is essential now.
Isaac Castillo
Isaac Castillo No
Linda Beheller Mazziotti
Linda Beheller Mazziotti No way
Murad Nazi
Murad Nazi I'd have to reactivate my beeper
Jesse Robert Bochek
Jesse Robert Bochek Yep, it's not this "huge necessity" that the materialistic companies make it out to be.
Javier Sanchez Ojeda
Javier Sanchez Ojeda No I can't
Juwon Donte
Juwon Donte Nope I love having my phone with me I feel lost without it
Abram Wenevermet Dennis
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Yes as long as I have my iPad.
Chris Robinson
Chris Robinson don't even have one, not paying 70-100 a month sorry
Jason Johnson
Jason Johnson Nope
Matthew Haney
Matthew Haney Try 10 weeks hahahaha
Lee Lapointe
Lee Lapointe Who cares.
Lester Dedrick
Lester Dedrick Yeah...as long as have some music
Shaun Lim
Shaun Lim i can and i did
Ian Baylon
Ian Baylon I did for years when I was in elementary school.....
Zebulon Dak
Zebulon Dak I could do it but it would suuuuuuuuuuck.
Mohd Amirul Ashaff
Mohd Amirul Ashaff easy.. I still have my xbox.. Haha
Devin Vosburgh
Devin Vosburgh No
Daniel Savedbygrace Marquez
Daniel Savedbygrace Marquez Nope




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