Can YOU Live Without Your Cell Phone?

Dropping your brand new, highly sought after, three-week old cell phone in a body of water is a horrible, horrible thing.  I know firsthand because that is exactly what I did one week ago today.  The standard advice from the tech blogs, friends and co-works was to dry it off, cover the phone in rice, and wait patiently for 36 – 48 hours. But does that actually work? After accidentally dropping my iPhone into a fully submerged body of water… OK… a toilet to be exact… I had the unfortunate opportunity to test out the iPhone-in-a-rice-bag hypothesis, and I am sorry to say, it did not work for me.  The main reason this technique failed me was because upon retrieving the phone from the “john”, I immediately tried to turn it on.  I later learned that this one simple action may have fried the “mother board” and rendered my phone unusable.

I ended up being unplugged for five days… five… long… days.  My cell phone isolation led me to wonder if I was only person addicted to my smartphone?  So, I asked around the office to see how long people could survive without their phones and below is a nice mix of those who could go a lifetime to those who would not last a minute. Oh, and rest assured, tips for what to do when you submerge your phone are at the end of the post.

Dana Howell    






Executive   Assistant

Dana  wins the prize for going the longest without her cell phone.  “During college I went for 5 months without   my phone. My classmates and I traveled by plane to 9 different countries for   study and tried to immerse ourselves into each culture. I thought going   without a phone would be extremely difficult for me, and even thought about   bringing it “just in case.” But to be honest after a short time I   completely forgot what it was like to have a phone.  If I   gave up my phone today, in this time and place, I would miss having all   knowledge at my fingertips. It would also be a matter of losing convenience.   But, at the same time I would be forced to slow down–possibly a blessing in   disguise. However, at this time I can’t say I would be thrilled about the   situation.”
Arthurine Walkerarthurine walker






Vice President & Project Manager

Arthurine would be fine without her phone, unless she needed information in a hurry. “Fortunately,   I am simply not that attached to my phone.  I could go without it for   days, maybe weeks on end.   The thing I do miss when I don’t have   it with me is the instant gratification of being able to look things up– (a   must for an information junkie like me).”
Suzanne KniznerSK







Project Specialist

Suzanne uses her phone to keep in touch. “Up until the arrival of our daughter last   summer, my husband and I were not prolific cell phone users.  And in   many ways, we still aren’t.  We don’t have a smart-anything and   basically use our phones to make/receive immediate calls and texts.  The   longest I’ve gone without my cell phone has been a work day and despite not   using it for mass communication or to go online, I do find it unsettling to   be without my cell.  It’s such a great resource to be reached in an   emergency and to send quick messages to friends during the day.  If I   was without my phone I’d miss texting – especially on those “thinking of you”   occasions – where I want to send someone a silly message that they can view   and respond to at their convenience. “
Dan RogersDan 





UX & Web Development Director
Eye Byte Solutions


Dan has the most practical use for his phone because one needs to know   when an avalanche is coming! “The longest I’ve ever gone without my cell   phone is a little over two weeks while I was in Alaska.  How long I could go without my phone depends on what I’m doing.  Potentially I could go a while, but when   I’m working, it’s a must have.  If I didn’t have my cell phone the   thing I would miss the most is the quick access to see what friends are up   to, checking the avalanche report here in Jackson before snowboarding, and pictures.   It’s kinda my one stop fun-prep shop.”
Amber CollinsAmber B & W





Executive Assistant

Amber’s attachment to her phone   is location based. “In the city, I could go zero days without my phone.  I use it for directions, bus/light rail   travel times, making sure friends are where they said we’d meet and   re-routing if a meeting spot has changed.    When I visit my friend’s farm in rural Ohio, cell service is so spotty   there, I just turn my phone off. That’s gone on as long as 10 days and it’s   AMAZING! In the country, I think I could go two weeks tops without my cell   phone. While I would love it, I have a mother that would prefer I check in   frequently (and keep up my end of our Words with Friends games!)”
Danielle   Ricks






Social Media Specialist  CAMPAIGN CONSULTATION, Inc.


The longest I’ve gone without a cell phone was last   week.  It amounted to 5 days, 18 hours   and 4 minutes. This was difficult time for me.  My phone is rarely more than a few inches   away from me.  It’s the first thing I reach   for in the morning, checking news updates, calendar appointments and the   weather.  As a cyclist, I have to know   what the weather is going to be before I jump on my bike.  In the evening, I check in with friends,   check my calendar for the next day’s events, read emails and then I will   finally put the phone to sleep.  Having   said all that, I rarely call anyone.     In fact, I find talking on the phone annoying.  I do, however, text like crazy and no, I am   not a millennial baby.  I’m a   boomer.  My last thought never, ever,   but your phone in your back pocket.

Looking for tips on what to do if, like me, you submerged your iPhone in water?  I found the OSXDaily, Dropped an iPhone in Water? Here’s How to Save It from Water Damage, blog post to be the most helpful.  Again, the rice didn’t work for me but countless others have said it was a lifesaver.  Oh, and don’t try to fool Apple into thinking you did not submerge your phone.  According the OSXDaily:

Each iPhone is equipped with several water damage sensors that turn red if contact with any fluid is made, and if they are triggered than the likelihood of free repair service is fairly slim and your warranty may be toast. You can check these yourself by looking at the following locations, depending on your iPhone model (image via Apple):

Liquid iPhone Indicator


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