What Can Happen to Your Brain and Body If You Stop Using a Smartphone

3 years ago

We touch our phones an average of 2,617 times per day. You can deny or admit an addiction, but the role this device plays in our life is huge. Still, it’s interesting to think about what it would be like if one day we woke up without it. Maybe our days could change for the better — or maybe not.

We at Bright Side grew curious about what would happen if a person were to live life without a phone for at least one week, and here are the conclusions.

1. You may feel a phobia about not using your phone at first.

People with smartphone addiction can feel more depressed and angry, a study says. However, try to remember yourself forgetting your phone at home when you’re already out for work. You could experience the feeling of anxiety.

This case is called nomophobia. Basically, it’s a psychological condition when people have a fear of being detached from their mobile phone. It seems like you’re detached from the whole world.

Also, you may experience nomophobia when your device is off. The symptoms are:

  • Anxiety, fear, panic, loneliness
  • Respiratory alterations, trembling
  • Sweating
  • Disorientation
  • Tachycardia

It depends on how fast you’re able to get rid of nomophobia, but it happens progressively. Some people adjust very fast to the situation, as one person said, “After a few days, I felt all right without the phone as I got used to it. But I guess it’s only fine if it’s for a short period of time.”

2. You can experience a withdrawal effect.

Withdrawal symptoms are connected to addiction. When you’re restricted from something you’ve come to depend on, you may experience changes in mood and behavior. The same effect happens when you can’t use your phone, but it happens only in the beginning.

You may even experience nausea and headaches: “The only thing I can think about at this moment is my smartphone.” Some people even felt phantom vibrating or ringing.

The situation can get unbearable for people who play phone games. They increase dopamine, so you feel rewarded and your self-esteem is boosted. When you lack this, it can make withdrawal symptoms very pronounced.

3. You start appreciating the simplicity of modern technology.

We get used to using good things very fast. Not that long ago, we didn’t think about contactless payment and carried all of our cards with us. Now all you need is one phone and not a huge wallet.

It’s very beneficial and makes your life much easier. In a moment when you’re disconnected from your phone, you may start to analyze things and see comfort in the little stuff.

4. You start feeling relieved.

After fighting with an addiction, there is a reward. Relief comes over you. Yes, you might be feeling isolated for the first time, but then you get used to these new conditions. One man held an experiment and stayed for one week without a phone, and this is what he said at the end of the experience: “Was I really isolated? Or was I just taking back control over my life?”

You start focusing on things that are really important to you, and reading books and newspapers brings great pleasure to your life.

5. You start sleeping better.

Our brains are very sensitive to light, and the blue light from smartphones delays melatonin production. As a result, a lack of melatonin can make it difficult to sleep. When you exclude it, your sleep can normalize.

Also, it was noticed that not using smartphones in the bedroom increases happiness and quality of life. Your mood gets better and the world starts to sparkle with new colors.

6. Your mind is free to wander again.

The modern world is hectic and involves lots of information every day. When you get it constantly and in big portions, even if it’s positive news, you get used to it. You stop letting your mind wander.

It starts feeling cool when you think about something while standing in line or on the metro instead of staring at a smartphone. Now you’re more open to exploring yourself and the people around you.

7. In the end, you may feel happy to get your phone back.

Some people who underwent the experiment of living without a phone preferred to get back to it.

  • One of the most unexpected benefits of this program is that by getting some emotional distance from my phone, I’ve started to appreciate it again.”
  • Being without it for a week made me realize just how important a tool it is in modern society.”

Only you can decide how often you should use your smartphone, but some level of detoxing can definitely help to redownload your brain and appreciate things more.

How many hours per day do you use your smartphone? Would you like to try a week-long detox from your gadget? Please share your opinion with us!


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phones are definitely a very important parts of our lives now, but I still try to use it as least as possible. Also my sounds are always off so I don't distracted by notifications


i just got my phone taken away from me for two months because my parents found out i had a boyfriend. things are NOT really going well... and its dangerous without a phone when im alone. although i do recommend cutting back on recreational usage, i dont think getting the phone completely taken away or set aside has any benefits


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