I have had a mobile phone since 2001, over thirteen years, but for thirty days, from Tuesday the 10th of February until the 12th of March, I shall live without.
The big question is:
This project is part of a long term experiment with positive constraints, which are ways of opening up the imaginative space behind ingrained habits and unquestioned social customs. Having had a mobile phone for over thirteen years, I’ve fallen into lazy habits and lost both the benefits of a life without and my appreciation of the phone itself.
One of the best things about using positive constraints is that you don’t know what you’ll discover during your experiment. One of my friends recently gave up her smartphone for what she called “a shit phone” (it still made calls and thus would be considered a miracle in any other age but ours). She was expecting to experience a vast reduction in her communication; what she wasn’t expecting was that she would write more music, improve her relationship with her mother and become a graffiti artist.
Having said that, here are a couple of reasons why anyone might want to give up their phone (at least for a while):
- Using mobile phones make us more anxious, which has unexpected knock-on effects.
- According to a Science Museum survey, the mobile phone is the tenth most important thing people “couldn’t live without”, beating out central heating, fresh vegetables and shoes.
- In New York, a third of people can’t even walk down the street without their mobile phones. Check out this video, part of a campaign by New Tech City called “Bored and Brilliant”:
So that’s it. If you need me, you can catch me online or at home. Otherwise, I guess I’m out!