What is it like living in 2019 without a smartphone?


Hi Guys <33

I’m very focused on how much time I use daily on my phone. I know I’m wasting too many hours on trivial things and I want to fight my phone addiction. The only person I know who doesn’t own a smartphone is my boyfriend Jackson. I’ve conducted a little interview with him on living in 2019 without a smartphone and how he perceives to be surrounded by phone zombies.

Have you ever owned a smartphone? 

Yes, I have. I had an i-Phone from 2012-2015 and an LG type of smartphone from 2015-2016.

Is it a conscious choice not to own a smartphone? 

At this point is certainly is. I moved to Montreal, Canada in 2017 and was adamant that I didn’t want to start my expat life chained to a screen. My family wasn’t too keen on the idea and I got a few offers from them to help pay for a monthly plan, just so they could reach me at any moment. But freeing yourself from the constantly connected world means more financial freedom as well as the mental freedom to pursue more worthwhile ventures. I use this free program called TextNow that I can access from a normal desktop or laptop computer. It works fairly well and I am able to call my family in the United States from Canada and Europe for free. 

Do you ever miss having a smartphone?

Hell no. I have an Ipad that I use at home and when I know I’m going to be at a coffee shop or other public place with Wifi; but even that seems a bit too much. I would like to get rid of it before I turn 30, which is less than two years away. I would like to get to the point where I only have a land-line chorded phone and a desktop type computer housed at a facility away from my home. 

How do you get around without google maps? 

I study the map and directions extensively then try to memorize my route as best as possible. I use a lot of nursery rhyme tricks to help me remember street names and the like. This is hardly foolproof though, and I often find myself maddeningly lost. 

Do you own any other electronics? 

In addition to my Ipad I have a dumb brick phone and a good amount of musical equipment. I have a Tascam DP-008 digital multi-track recorder I use to record and produce my music. I own a Boss RC-30 looping pedal and Schertler PA that I use for busking. 

How many times a day do you use Instagram?

More often than I would like to admit. As a performing artist and musician, I feel that it is a necessary tool to connect with my fans. 

Do you feel the “urge” to check Instagram/likes/news when you aren’t capable? 

Yes, just like anyone else my age living in 2019. It is very easy to sucked into a toxic cycle of instant gratification and I am not immune. 

Do you get annoyed when other uses their smartphones? 

Yes, especially during meals and other social rituals. And when I’m having a seemingly nice conversation with someone and they pull out their phone and space out followed by a compulsory “sorry I was just checking Instagram/the score/my texts/Game of Thrones message board and didn’t hear a word you said”. I find nothing more infuriating. 

When are people most distracted by their smartphones? 

When they feel like their current situation isn’t giving them the constant drip of self-gratification they’ve been conditioned to feel entitled to. 

What do you gain by not having smartphone?

I’m not sure yet. While I’m still a young adult I hope to develop better, different habits to set myself up for a lifetime of genuine self-discovery and adventure. 

Any advice for someone who wants to spend less time on their smartphone? 

Just get rid of it and don’t think about the consequences. I’m a pretty extreme person and I hate doing things gradually or in moderation. Cancel your monthly contract and sell your phone on Craigslist. Use the money to buy a bus/train/plane ticket or treat yourself to a nice Italian dinner. Just get rid of it. 

What do you guys think about living without a smartphone? I have a hard time pictureing it!