What Would it be Like to Live Without Your Mobile Phone?

Mobile Phones Prohibited.
Mobile Phones Prohibited.

According to Ofcom, mobile phone subscriptions in the UK now outnumber people.

94% of adult Brits use a mobile phone and nearly half the population owns a smartphone.

For most of us, our mobiles have become an essential part of our lives, keeping us connected, informed and entertained round the clock.

So what would happen if they were prized from our hands and we were forced to face life without them?

You might need to fork out for a landline, alarm clock or camera

Mobile phones are so effective that they have replaced certain everyday objects.

A 2011 study by YouGov found that six out of ten 16-34 year olds were using their phone alarms to wake up and, with the rise of professional quality camera phones, digital camera sales have also dropped.

According to Ofcom, 15% of Brits also live in a mobile-only household with the number of fixed landline subscriptions having fallen steadily since 2000.

You could fall behind on the news

With news apps, Twitter and Facebook alerting you to the latest events in real-time via your smartphone, you might be slow to catch up on news and invitations from your friends without it.

The harsher reality is that you could also miss out on urgent messages, meetings and offers of work.

On the plus side, if you’re recording a live TV event to watch later, there’s less chance you’ll find out the results ahead of time…

You’d have to stick to your appointments

No more texting your friends to tell them you’re running late; you’ll need to fix your appointments and confirm on the day to make sure you don’t get stood up.

Without the aid of Google Maps, the most used smartphone app on the planet, you’ll need to bring your A-Z along too to avoid getting lost.

You might see more of people

If you’ve ever walked into a lamppost while texting, or been stonewalled by a friend during a heart-to-heart while they finish another level of Candy Crush Saga, you may have wished you, and they, were a little less attached to your phones.

Without the distraction of your mobile, you may make more effort to see people face-to-face and have a more engaged conversation when you do.

You might see less of people

On the other hand, the joy of Smartphone apps like Face Time and We Chat is that you can have face-to-face video chats with someone in another city, country or continent, wherever you are.

You might sleep better

Lots of people use their mobiles as alarms, but the artificial light and radiation from your phone could also be disrupting your sleep patterns.

A study by Premier Inn found that half of us check our phones last thing at night and nearly 70% of us use them to work in bed, leaving less time to unwind before sleep.

Research by the Lighting Research Centre suggests that two-hour exposure to the luminous displays on electronic gadgets can also suppress melatonin in the body, a chemical that controls our body clock.

Finding a balance

It may not be practical to banish your mobile to a locked drawer, but making small changes, like turning off updates and charging up in another room, can limit idle use and free up more space for other activities.

Apps like DataMan (iOS - £0.69/£2.99) and 3G Watchdog (Android - Free) that monitor your data usage and warn you when you are reaching your limit, can also help you keep track of the amount of time you spend on your phone and lead you to find the right balance.

If you still need some help visualising a life without mobiles, Qualcomm have worked through a few everyday scenarios to gives us an idea of how we might adapt.

What would you miss most if you gave up your phone? Let us know in the comments below.