Student life

The survival guide to living without a mobile phone


Today, as technology continues to play an increasingly important role in everyday life, many people would find living without a phone difficult and unsettling.

It seems that as mobile phones are developed, and technology improves to offer us more innovative features, the number of mobile phone users increases. Data from Statista’s “Forecast of smartphone user numbers in the UK from 2015-2022” shows that an estimated 48.52 million people will be using smartphones in 2018, which could increase to 50.31 million in 2019. Compared to the 41.09 million users in 2015, that’s more than a 25% increase in three years!

Taking this into account, if you were to lose your phone in this day and age, how different would your life be? Would you know how to survive without a phone?

What about my social life?

Gone are the days where gatherings with friends or family were organised over the landline or in person. Nowadays, planning to see your friends and family is largely carried out via technology – be it text messaging, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, a call, or even via email on your device.

How would losing your mobile phone affect your social life?

The convenience of sending one message to all your friends at the same time would be gone. In addition to this, any groups you’re a member of on Facebook, such as your local sports team or university society, wouldn’t be able to reach you with any updates or urgent messages (unless they had your landline number). You could always log on using a laptop or tablet, but the convenience of receiving instant messages to your phone while you’re out and about would be sorely missed.

Essentially, your phone is at the centre of your social sphere. Living without a phone might seem difficult, but there are ways in which you can survive without one:

  1. Make plans with your friends and family in advance. This may require you to rely on others in the group to find a way of updating you if things change.
  2. Alert your family and friends when you can, and tell them how they should get hold of you in emergencies.
  3. Log onto a desktop computer and send an email or Facebook message to your sports club or university society, explaining your situation. Then, you’ll need to rely on verbal confirmation of updates at every meeting or training session.

How would it affect my travel plans?

More and more people, especially daily commuters, are using their mobile phones to plan their travel schedules. Google’s research in its “How people use their phones for travel” report, found that 51% of smartphone users use their device for travel. 71% of these people do so on a weekly basis.

Planning a travel schedule without a mobile phone could potentially cause problems, especially if you have no other way of knowing about delays or cancellations. Survival without a mobile phone might upset your entire routine, booking train tickets and checking traffic status can be done using a tablet or laptop, but again the convenience of being able to complete tasks while you’re on the go wouldn’t be there.

Wondering how to survive without a phone when it comes to travel?
  1. Try and keep taxi business cards in your purse or wallet, so you can book transportation from payphones or landlines if need be.
  2. You can view train and bus timetables online via desktop – it’s a good idea to download these and print them off, just in case you find yourself living without a phone.
  3. If you’re desperate to find out travel times and don’t have any access to a browser, you could journey to the nearest bus stop or train station and enquire there.

What about payments?

Since the launch of Apple Pay in October 2014, over 2 million small businesses, 20 countries, 250,000 UK locations and 40,000 Coca-Cola vending machines have harnessed it as part of their payment solutions across the board.

It’s not just Apple Pay that smartphone users and businesses are tapping into, either. Samsung Pay, Contactless Mobile and Google Wallet are among the payment systems available to mobile phone owners, making payments quicker and easier while people are on the go. PayPal has also improved its app to let users pay via mobile phone.

Millions of people have their banking apps set up to show them their accounts, with services like transfers and ‘make a payment’ available. It’s much easier to use this on a mobile phone than it is to find a card reader, type in a set of codes and do it via desktop, or physically go to the bank.

Imagine if you lost your mobile phone. Anyone could potentially hack into your payment apps and access your private information. The biggest tip for how to survive without a phone with regards to payments, is alert your bank by any means possible.

Conclusion: living without a phone

So, what to do without a phone? Let’s recap some simple survival tactics for if you should ever lose your mobile phone:

  • If your payment information is linked to your phone, call your bank and alert them. You may have to cancel your cards as a precaution.
  • Alert your family, friends and sports club/society members when you can, and tell them how to reach you in emergencies.
  • Make plans with friends and family in detail ahead of time.
  • Do something different with the time you’d usually spend on your phone – read, go for a walk, go to the gym, study, cook. Our biggest survival tip? Insure your phone.

Mobile phone protection

If you’re wondering ‘should I insure my mobile?’ then you’ve come to the right place. Having mobile phone insurance relieves the worry of damage or loss, knowing that you are protected if anything should happen to your phone.

It’s easy to get mobile phone insurance that fits your needs. Cover can include damage, theft, loss, and even cracked screens. We understand how mobile phones keep us in the loop with the world - they provide us with independence and more free time, and they are an essential in today’s society.

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