While I think that most of you remember the times without cell phones, I wonder how many of you could imagine going back to those times. Personally, I do not think I would struggle too much without my smartphone. My laptop on the other hand… that might be tougher. However, because I try not to be too dependant on anything, I would be willing to give any challenge a go, if properly motivated.
If you feel like you are attached to your phone a little too much and would like to see if you can survive without it, but cannot find a reason to test yourself like that, you might want to check out Frontier’s challenge. They are willing to pay someone $1,000 for not using their smartphone for a week. There is one rule – ditch your smartphone for a week and get paid a grand.
Do not fret, the company is not trying to leave you completely helpless. You will get to use a flip phone during that week away from your smartphone. Moreover, they will provide one lucky winner with a care package, which is to include a map (to make up for the lack of GPS), a pocket phonebook (so you can write down all those important numbers you do not know by heart), a note pad and a pen (so you can take notes and make lists), and some CDs with 90s music (in place of Spotify and Pandora).
You can apply at the above link. To increase your chances of getting such a unique job opportunity, you should have a decent social media presence and be willing to vlog about your smartphone – less experience. I decided against applying because I believe my experience would not be much different than my normal everyday life, but most importantly because I do not vlog. If you apply and win, please let me know so I can follow your journey.
To me, a cell phone is primarily a device used to make calls. However, I do realize that texting has become so much more popular than calling.
In 2016, on average, each American sent and received 94 text messages per day. It is my assumption that the number only went up, since. I blame our providers a little. Back in the day, I was charged for every text I sent. In the US, I was charged for every text I sent AND received. How crazy was that? Yes, I would tell people to stop texting me unless it was urgent and could not wait until the next time we would meet. I absolutely hated when they insisted on texting “OK”. Now, we have unlimited texting, so people do not care about how many texts they send. That is why we get messages containing a single word or an emoji. And then another. And another. I am a fan of a single, concise text.
The people in the company I work for have nothing against using their personal cell phones for work. In fact, they strongly encourage it and look funnily at those who do not share that preference (i.e. me). I refuse to have emails synced to my phone because I do not need to be stressed all day every day. It seems to me that because of cell phones, we are expected to be reachable every minute of every day. To me, it sounds a little bit like a prison.
However, there are companies that appreciate and encourage time away from technology. Just recently, on the radio, I heard about a company paying its employees $7,000 to go on vacation. Yes, you read that right. They pay YOU to go on vacation. Their only conditions are that you go “off the grid” and leave work behind. It sounds like a dream to me, but not everyone can live without their phone and Internet access for a prolonged period of time. Unfortunately, as I was trying to find the name of the company to share with you, I only found an article from 2016. It gives you the company’s name, but I am not sure if the “get paid to go on vacation” is still the case three years later.
Wherever you go, if you look around, you will see plenty of people looking at their cell phones. It turns us into zombies. If you have not read a piece I wrote on this topic in the past, feel free to do so now.
If you are up for it, I would urge you to take a step back and objectively assess your smartphone use. As you go on with your day, write down what you use your phone for. Is it to make calls? Is it for texting? Are you swiping left/ right? Do you receive and respond to emails on your cell phone? Is it social media that is the main source of your phone’s battery drainage?
At the end of the day, make a list of all the things you would like to do in the next day or two. Once done, put it aside and carry on with your day. Repeat what you did the previous day – i.e. note what you use your phone for. As an added bonus, write down how much time you spend on each category (calls, texts, dating apps, games, etc.).
As you get back home, pull out that list you wrote the night before. Have you accomplished everything you wanted to do? Chances are the answer will be: “No”. I know – sometimes there are things on that list that we just cannot accomplish right away. However, sometimes we blame the lack of time for our less than ideal choices and mistakes. Check your cell phone log that you would have kept for two days by then. Did you have to spend all that time on those things? Could you have maybe spent it on some of the things on your “to – do list”?
Did your phone usage make you feel happy and whole? Maybe you should just go outside instead of sitting with your phone in hand next time?
Real life is a way better adventure than virtual reality.
How many texts do you send/ receive on a daily basis?
What do you use your phone for the most?
Could you give up your smartphone for a week?
Do you think you might be addicted to your phone?
What would it take for you to ditch your smartphone for a few days?
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