Friday, October 16, 2015

The Dumb Phone Experiment

Trent and I listened to a podast on the Ted Radio Hour called "Screen time". To sum it up, the rise of the smartphone is killing people's ability to talk to each other.

We thought it was interesting.

Before long, Trent was doing research to switch us over to flip phones for a month and do a social experiment of sorts.

After discovering that flip phones can't handle either of our work emails, we trashed that idea and decided to "dumb down" our iPhones instead. Here's what we kept:

Email (personal & work)
Navigation (work purposes -we both travel locally)
Weather pup (obviously a necessity)
Calculator (because I can't do math in my head)

No safari.
No Instagram.
No Facebook.
No bank app.
Nothing you can waste time on.

We traveled with iPads during the day to access the internet if we needed it for work.

We are currently 24 days into our experiment. There's a small handful of people we've told, but most don't know.

I documented some of the things I noticed....

Day 1
Friend text me a funny video link. *Tap* Tap* Tap* Tap* Tap* Oh....I can't open links.

Day 1.5
Laying in bed on my phone (like always) and Trent says "Are you going through old photos on your phone?" YES. I literally have nothing else to do on here.

Day 2
How many tablespoons are in a cup? I'm at the store and I don't know. I don't have this information in my head, therefore, I do not have the answer. It's a weird feeling. So powerless. Purchased twice as much whipping cream as a result.

Day 4
Since I deleted my Facebook App, Facebook started sending me emails. WHAT IS THIS WITCHCRAFT!? Some sort of automatic setting that switches on to suck you back in!? ......don't tell me how to live my life Facebook! It says I have 15 new notifications and I am dying to know what for. It will be days till I have access to a computer (anniversary weekend with Trent!)

Day 5
Waiting in a lobby with a bunch of people I don't know. I have nothing to do but stare at them. And I do.

Day 6
Finally checked those Facebook notifications. Got invited to 7 Jamberry/Younique parties. Not exactly exciting.

Day 6.5
Making chicken tortilla soup. I had to dig through my cabinets and use a recipe card like a peasant.

Day 7
Laying in bed and Trent is on his phone. I look over and realize he has spent the last 5 minutes picking a new screen saver photo. We have reached a new low.

Day 9
Noticed that I have no idea what's going on in the news. Googled "best national news site" on my laptop because I genuinely don't know where to go to get news. Proof that I get my news from social media. I am embarrassed.

Day 11
Trent and I have to share our laptop and it is seriously annoying. I have to sign out of his Facebook every time I log in.

Day 12
Wanted to buy a spotbot vacuum on Walmart's Clearance. My decision making skills cannot work without stars!!!!! Must know the reviews before purchasing. HOW MANY STARS OUT OF 5!? TELL ME.

Day 12.5
Called and desperately asked Trent for my password so I could save $7 on some shirts by using Target's coupon app, Cartwheel. He gave it to me. #blessed Ended up saving $2.40. Not even worth it.

Day 13
Apple radio is annoying. Downloaded Spotify without Trent knowing. I haven't given him my password back.

Day 13.5
Wanted to send a link to Lauren. Emailed the link to myself on my computer. Copied it from gmail on my phone. Pasted it into a text. Just wasted 2 minutes of my life.

Day 14
Took an adorable picture of Gracie Belle running on a football field. No one to share it with. It might as well have never happened. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?

Day 15
Trent and I sat on the couch and talked for over 2 hours, completely uninterrupted. I didn't think anything of it until I couldn't find my phone. It was in the purse....I never even took it out after I got home from work.

Day 15.5
Trent locked up my phone again and deleted my cartwheel app. Kept my Spotify. I sound like I just got grounded.

Day 18
I'm in a garage sale type Facebook group with other women in Topeka. I put a bunch of stuff on, and have been obsessed with checking to see if I've sold anything or if anyone has questions. I realized I have some sort of social obligation to respond in a timely manner.

Day 21
Instagram sent me an email with title "See new posts!" I've never received an email from Instagram. It knows I haven't opened the app in 21 days. Stalker.

Day 21.5
I just hash tagged a text to Trent BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE INSTAGRAM OR TWITTER. #stillworks #hashtag

Day 24
It's 11pm and I still have 74% battery.

To be continued...


  1. My husband and I often have phone-free date nights, whether it be at home or out and about. I love it. The lure of a full(er) phone battery at the end of the day makes me want to get rid of most of the stuff on my phone too!

  2. This is great! I seriously think we need to try things like this more often. You go girl!


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