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Have you ever had a favorite restaurant, food or product that was a staple in your life? One that you used every day without really thinking about it… Until the day they discontinued it or it closed down. Yup. That is how I felt for a week with no phone. I didn’t realize how much I relied on it until I didn’t have it.

During Christmas, our family took a Carnival cruise. Scott and I discussed how we wouldn’t have access to the internet, text or phone unless we signed up for the ship’s service. My response was pretty confident… It’s only a week. We’ll be on a ship. Busy. It’s vacation. I didn’t see any reason to need my phone. It isn’t like I was going to need directions somewhere or scan any items at a store to price check.

I don’t like to admit when I’m wrong but, holy cow, I missed my phone. There was one specific moment when it really hit me. The girls and I were going to watch the Hasbro Family Game Night show together. They were going to check themselves out of Camp Carnival then we would meet and go together. When they didn’t show up right away, I figured I would head down and save seats for us. If they went straight to the show, I would see them come in. If they went to the stateroom first, Scott could direct them down. The clock ticked closer and closer but they never showed. I checked my watch every few minutes, scanned each entrance and kept surveying the room in case they happened to sneak in and I missed them. Leaving the room to go hunt for them seemed silly but sitting there waiting for them was causing me a bit of anxiety. All I wanted to do was text Scott and let him know what was going on in case the kids showed up at the stateroom. But I didn’t have text. Small things like that happened for an entire week as I would reach for my phone only to realize I didn’t have use of it. At least I was on vacation, not lost, not late and had no real commitments.

The same can’t be said for Mark Malkoff who, starting today, is taking the No Phone Challenge. For an entire WEEK… During a NORMAL week! Mark, known for stunts like handcuffing himself to his wife for 48 hours and living inside an Ikea for a week is giving up his entire phone until February 11, 2014. Check out the video to see Mark’s initial feelings just a few hours before starting. Tune in to see how the No Phone Challenge is going and catch additional details from Mark on Twitter, Facebook or via his YouTube channel.

As a U.S. Cellular customer, I’m able to experience their fast, reliable network and realize how much I depend on the ability to connect with family and friends, research information and not get lost while trying to find something. With a mobile device in hand, anxiety about not being able to locate someone is easily resolved by simply texting them or pinging their phone. In an age where we’re so dependent upon our mobile devices, it’s really difficult to be without them. U.S. Cellular knows the importance of having a network that works where you live, work and play. It’s easy to take your mobile phone for granted when you are covered by U.S. Cellular.  Customers like Mark “love their network” and easily forget what it’s like to have dropped calls or no network coverage since U.S. Cellular’s high-speed network has the highest call quality of any national carrier. U.S. Cellular delivers an unmatched customer experience. Here’s a quick glimpse of how Mark is doing:


Are you ready to take the challenge? What would you miss most about not having a phone. Share your thoughts on Twitter!

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If you’re tired of having a service that makes you feel like you have No Phone even when you do, check out the latest promotions from U.S. Cellular. They’re currently offering $100 off all smartphones for new customers or when adding a new line. For a limited time, phones including the Samsung Galaxy S® 4 Mini, Samsung Galaxy Mega™and the Motorola Moto X™ are only a penny. Beginning tomorrow and ending March 31, the Samsung Galaxy S® 4 will also be included in this deal!

39 thoughts on “No Phone? No Way! At least not willingly!

  1. OK, so when I travel with my family, no problem. I love not having my phone. For photos, yes, but I have a camera for that. But for a regular week, that would truly be a challenge for me. I am not sure I am up for that. And that is sad. The main reason would be because of having a connection to my teens at my finger tips. But I do SM for my job, so that would mean I would be glued to the computer. No as you go promoting. Yeah, I am getting a little anxious thinking about it…lol

  2. I could not nor will I ever be able to go without my phone… HA! Now, granted, that being said, I have to remind myself to put it away when doing ‘family’ stuff to stay in the moment!

  3. I could totally do this!! I was without a phone for about 3 months (phone died and I couldn’t upgrade yet). It wasn’t as bad as you might think.

      1. I have AT&T, I could have bought a brand new phone but I wasn’t going to shell out $500 for one, so we waited to be able to upgrade for way less than that.

    1. Robin – I’m home most of the time also but when we’re out and about, I’m using service for something or another. Directions, looking up a phone number to take care of something, scanning prices and more.

  4. I agree- it would be SUPER hard. BUT- I think I could do it. I have to challenge myself to not constantly check my phone now. I think it would be a great exercise for me. I think I have a slight addiction to having everything at my finger tips… all the time. 🙂

    1. Mommy Has a Life – When we went on the cruise, I told my husband the quiet time would give me the chance to work offline. I was wrong… I didn’t do any of it because everything I wanted to work on made me think of something I needed to do or research or whatever ONLINE.

  5. That would definitely be a challenge. I know I USED to live without being able to text, get on the internet, etc etc. with my phone. But I just can’t imagine how I did it!

  6. WOW.. it is hard being without my phone… BUT I know I can do it.. when we go to Germany this summer the entire family is going to be without phone or INTERNET for 4 weeks (!!!) … I’m soo excited.. major family time.. Great post

    1. Heather – When smart phones came out, we said we wouldn’t need them. We purchased iPhones just for Facetime with grandma who lives far away. Boy, oh boy, did we get hooked!

    1. Michelle – I’m constantly on my PC while at home but live on my phone when we’re out and about. Not sure how I ever got along without a smart phone!

    1. LOL, Kristin! I didn’t think I would mind being without it but I was wrong. Hopefully you can challenge yourself to at least shut it off during movies. 🙂

  7. While I do sometimes use my cell to tweet or put up a Fb status, I primarily use mine for remaining available in case of emergency. I don’t give my number to everyone, I have a land line for that. If my cell rings I want or need to speak to the person calling.

    1. Val – That is an excellent approach to providing your cell number. We have a land line as well. Unfortunately, even the school defaults to providing the “emergency” cell number in their family directory. It can be very frustrating when you’re in the middle of work and get a phone call from a classmate asking if your child can play.

  8. I know I am waaaaaay too addicted to my phone. Even for short periods of time where I have to give up my phone for an hour or two I really miss it! Part of the reason is that I’m a constant Googler and always want to know the answer to things RIGHT NOW!

  9. We started cruising so that I couldn’t use my phone and had to take a break. My Husband says it is the only way to get me to break my habit and walk away from my phone.

  10. I went on a Carnival cruise as well and had to abandon my phone for 5 days…and it wasn’t so bad! Ironically, a few months ago, I met a friend for dinner and accidentally left my phone at home. I didn’t know what to do with myself smh

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