Could you QUIT What­sapp?

it’s been 17 years since the first 3310 and nokia is re-re­leas­ing the iconic hand­set, rais­ing the ques­tion: could we now live with­out our smart­phones? look’s lucy tries swap­ping in­sta­gram for pre­dic­tive text

Look (UK) - - CONTENTS - words: lucy devine @lucedevine

ÔYou don’t know what you’ve got un­til it’s gone.’ I said this to an ex-boyfriend (cringe) when I was 17, two months af­ter he cheated on me, when I was liv­ing my best life and he was wal­low­ing in re­gret. Now I’m eat­ing my words, be­cause last week I cheated too. I down­graded my beloved iphone for an old-school Nokia. Gulp. When asked a few weeks ago to swap my smart­phone for a Nokia 3310 – the phone of the 90s – for a few days, I didn’t sweat. The Nokia may not have What­sapp, In­sta­gram or the lux­ury of maps, but how hard could it be? Er, very. I didn’t think I re­lied on my iphone that much (de­spite my friends, fam­ily and boyfriend dis­agree­ing ve­he­mently) but it turns out I do and it wasn’t ex­actly plain sail­ing. Un­sur­pris­ing when it’s re­cently been re­vealed that 84 per cent of us ad­mit­ted to not be­ing able to spend one day with­out our phone, 94 per cent of Brits would rather give up sex than their mo­bile and just un­der half of mil­len­ni­als, if faced with the choice, would rather lose their car. It prob­a­bly goes with­out say­ing that the en­tire week was a tragic strug­gle…

MON­DAY Cop­ing level: 7/10 Morn­ing: I’m calm. Sort of. I reach for my iphone 11 times in four hours and on the 10th oc­ca­sion, I worry I’m los­ing the plot. Un­sur­pris­ingly, my con­tacts haven’t trans­ferred, so I add the es­sen­tials. Try­ing to be like Ed Sheeran (who doesn’t own a phone), I write a Face­book post telling mates to reach me by email. Some­one smart com­ments: ‘Can’t I mes­sage you on here?’ Af­ter­noon: I get my phone out in the lift at work and to­tally for­get how em­bar­rass­ing it is that I’m ac­tu­ally pre­tend­ing to be busy on a Nokia 3310 – the only tools it has to pro­cras­ti­nate with are the Snake game and a two megapixel cam­era (my smart­phone has a 12 megapixel cam­era by com­par­i­son). I’m stuck be­tween not know­ing how to turn it onto silent and be­ing ter­ri­fied it might ring while I’m still in the lift. I put it away ASAP and won­der what I’ve signed my­self up to.

WED­NES­DAY Cop­ing level: Started as 9/10, ended as a 2/10 Morn­ing: I aim to get into work early to start the meet­ing prep I usu­ally do on my iphone dur­ing my com­mute. In­stead, I end up hav­ing a melt­down af­ter my train is can­celled and I’m forced to read a Tube map be­cause I can’t plan my route on my phone. I ar­rive late for our 10am meet­ing, which I haven’t even prepped for. Af­ter­noon: It’s around this time I usu­ally have a lit­tle meme break, but not to­day. Then, some­thing hap­pens that floors me and I crack. My friend mes­sages me while I’m out of the of­fice telling me I need to get on Face­book ASAP to see which cou­ple from our sec­ondary school has just an­nounced they’re hav­ing a baby (so­cial me­dia emer­gency, obvs). I’m al­lowed one break, surely? Some­where be­tween sit­ting on a park bench and fran­ti­cally try­ing to get the SIM card out

FRI­DAY Cop­ing level: 5/10 Morn­ing: I’m start­ing to get used to star­ing into space on the train in­stead of lis­ten­ing to a podcast – and I ac­tu­ally make a lot of life de­ci­sions (want­ing a dog, plan­ning a trip). My phone rings (for the first time since I started this ex­per­i­ment) and I al­most don’t know what to do. How do I an­swer it again? It’s my mum, ask­ing why she can’t ‘see me’ on the Find My Friends app. Af­ter­noon: I leave the of­fice to get lunch and my man­ager sends me an MMS pic­ture mes­sage of a newly posted photo of Cheryl’s Tweedy’s hair. This is usu­ally the kind of thing I would be all over, but as I don’t have In­sta­gram or Twit­ter (never mind alerts) on the Nokia, I’ve been metaphor­i­cally liv­ing un­der a rock all week. I try to open the pic­ture, but it isn’t com­pat­i­ble and the Nokia starts hav­ing a melt­down be­cause I’m re­ceiv­ing mul­ti­ple mes­sages within 10 sec­onds. It won’t stop vi­brat­ing. I sud­denly re­alise I’m stand­ing in the mid­dle of the street tak­ing 15 min­utes to re­ply to her text – and peo­ple are look­ing. I shuf­fle back into the of­fice. SATUR­DAY Cop­ing level: 1/10 Morn­ing: My so­cial me­dia emer­gency on Wed­nes­day has trig­gered a chain of What­sapp breaks twice a day. As it’s the week­end, I dou­ble it to four. I’m feel­ing like a huge fail­ure, but also can’t re­sist read­ing the Love Is­land gos­sip, so I’m not even sorry. I feel as though I haven’t been in touch with my friends in a year and sud­denly have an over­whelm­ing feel­ing of FOMO (Fear Of Miss­ing Out). Af­ter­noon: I log into Face­book on my lap­top and no­tice that my friend’s posted a sta­tus sell­ing Ed Sheeran tick­ets. And tagged me in it. Five hours ago. Later – and once I’m over the Ed trauma – What­sapp breaks turn into In­sta­gram breaks while out hav­ing drinks with the girls. When I reach my fourth glass, I don’t bother switch­ing back to the Nokia and post as many In­sta­gram sto­ries as I phys­i­cally can.

VER­DICT Let’s be hon­est: with­out What­sapp, In­sta­gram and Google Maps, it’s tough. Turns out I rely on my smart­phone for ev­ery­thing. But I did spend less time on a screen and I was forced to have more ac­tual con­ver­sa­tions be­cause my face wasn’t al­ways in my phone. Plus I rang peo­ple and talked to my mum prop­erly for the first time in ages in­stead of just tex­ting. Oh, and guilty plea­sure: I love play­ing Snake. Am I con­verted? No, but I might start in­tro­duc­ing daily smart­phone breaks from now on.

Look’s Lucy Devine

How did peo­ple travel be­fore they had apps?! of the Nokia, I re­alise I’m verg­ing on ad­dic­tion. We’re all ad­dicted to our smart­phones

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