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No Phone: People Everywhere Are Ditching Their Devices

by Paul Goldberg

Music mogul Simon Cowell recently revealed his no phone policy in which he’s lived with a device for 10 months.

Now, it appears that people are ditching their devices em masse to live with no phone in their lives.

Damian Wilson discovered he no longer needed a mobile when he accidentally dropped his into a river.

The musician was climbing aboard his houseboat on the River Thames when he heard a loud splash, which was quickly followed by a sinking feeling – for both him and his unfortunate phone.

“I was dependent on it,” he reminisces.

But 14 months later he is still to replace it.

“I’m not controlled by a mobile phone now,” the 48-year-old father explains.

“A lot of the time you feel these devices are controlling your life and the dependency on it is draining.”

He borrows friends’ phones if he needs to make calls and “always finds a way” to stay in touch with friends and family.

No Phone: People Everywhere Are Ditching Their Devices

Being phoneless means he has also eliminated social media from his life.

“At first social media was very exciting, but I actually think it’s an unnecessary commitment,” Mr. Wilson adds.

“I feel free, I’m living life. These devices are a huge distraction.

“Since I dropped my phone in the Thames, I’ve never had a situation where I’ve wished I had a mobile.”

And he is not the only one.

Annie Makepeace says she felt liberated when she stopped using her phone.

The 70-year-old retired teacher from Cheshire insists that having no phone has “taken a lot of stress out of my life”.

Ms. Makepeace writes letters with a fountain pen, uses a regular camera to take pictures and has a computer to check her emails on.

She stopped using her phone after being plagued with calls about a kids club she was involved with.

One parent, in particular, kept ringing her even though her’s was not the right number to call.

“People just assumed I was available all the time,” she says.

“I loathed the anti-social expectation that I’m at anyone’s beck-and-call, 24 hours a day, at the end of a phone – it’s like being on a retractable dog lead.

“I feel an awful lot happier, I’m not on edge.”

Another woman, who wanted to be known only by her first name Carolyn, says she made the big switch-off some 20 years ago.

Phones have become like a “fifth limb”, says Carolyn, who says sees “so many people” ignoring each other on trains or in cafes because they are looking at their mobiles.

The 70-year-old from Pevensey Bay in East Sussex adds: ” Life is far simpler without one.”

But one man who went 18 months without a smartphone explains why he eventually resorted to his old ways.

Sarfraz, a teacher from Leicester, had been using an old Nokia after losing his smartphone on a holiday.

He says he “really enjoyed” the following 18 months with no phone as he read more books and his wife was also happier.

The 32-year-old says: “My wife shouts at me for being on my phone, it’s like a running joke.”

But things changed when he got a new smartphone in order to take part in a charity bike ride being organized by his friends through WhatsApp.

“As soon as I got one I was constantly on it, it was like the previous 18 months had never happened,” he says.

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