If you’ve ever lost your cellphone (or even just thought you lost it), you know how it can feel as if you’ve lost a limb. We’re so dependent on our phones these days that it seems that we might be literally attached at the hip — which is exactly why BuzzFeed decided to host an experiment to see whether six ordinary people could live without their cellphones for an entire week. I once had a broken charger and had to live without my iPhone for a day and felt like I was going to die, so I can’t even imagine doing that for seven in a row. Oh, and did I mention that they caught the whole thing on video? Because they did. Prepare for some hilarity.
They first decided to get a gauge on what the participants thought life was going to be like without their cellphones. “I have a doctor’s appointment and I think I’m going to have to print out a map,” one woman commented. Can you remember the days of paper maps so big they barley fit in your glove compartment? I couldn’t imagine trying to go somewhere unchartered without Google Maps to help guide me and can only imagine what other people would be thinking if I was carrying around a physical map. Another said she was excited to see her creativity flourish without taking breaks to check her phone; meanwhile, a red-headed man said he was having a “physical reaction” to having his phone taken away. Maybe it really is like losing a limb.
After having to say goodbye to their phones, the participants documented what their week sans cellphone was like. Aome of their struggles are only all too real, because we’d all be having them if we tried this experiment for ourselves. Here are some of the highlights; scroll down to watch the full video.
1. “I didn’t have a phone to keep me occupied.”
This participant went to a party over the weekend and was stuck in the often-inevitable situation of having conversations happening all around her, but not being included in any. Usually this is the time where we would get out our phone and pretend to be interested in our Instagram feed, but since she was phoneless, she had to endure the awkwardness alone.
2. “I had to use a landline.”
This participant was at HomeDepot and needed to use a phone — but since he didn’t have his own with him, he had to ask an employee to use one of their landlines, which he found to be strange. “It felt like a weird favor,” he said of the incident.
3. “You can’t use an Uber.”
This woman wanted to call an Uber car on Cinco de Mayo, likely so that she could partake in the drunken festivities that usually take place on the holiday without having to worry about driving home. To her dismay, she realized that you can’t use Uber if you’re without a cellphone.
4. “I realized how many people were on their phones all the time.”
If there’s one thing having a cellphone does, it’s keep you distracted — so you probably don’t even notice how many people are constantly using their phones, all day, every day. I bet you’d be a lot more annoyed with this if you didn’t have one yourself, though.
Wondering what their reactions were like once they got their phones back? Watch the full video below to see the participants’ joyful reunions with their cellphones: