Woman says spending two days without her phone was the 'hardest thing she's ever done'
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A woman who spent two days without her phone has said it was the 'hardest thing she's ever done'.
As a member of Gen Z, Emmie Killin has grown up online, with a smartphone and Wi-Fi connection in constant reach.
Although the 21-year-old from Lancashire felt 'uneasy' at the thought of not having her device around, she decided to go phone-free for two days in a bid to highlight digital exclusion - a rising issue, especially amid the cost-of-living crisis.
Now, many of you who grew up without smartphones may scoff at the idea, but Emmie's experience demonstrates just how much we rely on our devices in day-to-day life.
And many of us take it for granted.
Speaking to NeedToKnow Online.com about the challenge, the journalist said: "I’m so used to having my phone by my side and to easily be able to contact the people in my life.
"The first few hours were strange. I kept going into my pocket and finding it empty - it’s like my body is wired to reach for my phone.
"When I went outside, it was almost like I’d been abandoned, having to rely on others for things like directions or looking up things online.
"By the second day, I felt very low, not being able to keep up with the news, catch up with friends or send texts to my boyfriend."
Emmie decided to set herself a few tasks along the way, including making a budget meal from TikTok using a cookbook, going food shopping with cash only and using a payphone.
"I’d looked up a dish on TikTok a few days before the challenge and tried to recreate it with a recipe book," she continued.
"Unfortunately most of the recipes needed additional ingredients that I didn’t have, as well as lengthy instructions, so it wasn’t as quick and easy as I’d hoped.
"In the end I just threw something together, but it would have been much easier if I’d been able to get tips online.
"It also made me realise how tricky it must be for people on small budgets to get affordable tricks and hacks without a phone, unable to sign up to special deals or just get advice from someone else."
But it wasn't entirely miserable, as the 21-year-old enjoyed using a payphone for the first time.
"The only part of the weekend that I enjoyed was using a payphone - it might sound silly but I’ve never done it before," she explained.
"But, on the other hand, I remember standing there and all I wanted to do was take a photo to share the experience with a friend and I couldn’t.
"I also only had 60p in cash, so when my aunt didn’t pick up, I had no way to reach her and just had to go home."
In a video diary of the challenge, which she filmed on a GoPro, Emmie spoke about the emotional toll of not having a digital connection to the world - and how tough it must be for people who have to face this reality every day.
"Before this experience, I always assumed that most people have a phone," she said.
"Although I know that isn’t the case, it’s difficult to get my head around it. I only did this for two days - for some people, this is everyday life.
"It’s distressing to think that people don’t have access to something so essential in this day and age."
Emmie concluded by saying: "Honestly, this has been the most difficult two days I've ever had to go through."
To tackle the issue, Tesco Mobile has pledged to help 50,000 people facing financial hardship by 2025 through its Little Helps Databank, a scheme to distribute SIM cards to food banks, which will be donated to those in need. “Technology enables us more than ever to help manage our lives,” said Claire Pickthall, CEO of Tesco Mobile.