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Could You Go An Entire Weekend Without Using Your Phone?

Could You Go An Entire Weekend Without Using Your Phone?
Carly Jacobs

t’s been a while since I’ve set a challenge for Smaggle readers so this week Kelly and I have put together an awesome challenge for our crew. We want you to go for a full weekend without being digitally contactable.

From this Friday 6th May until Sunday 8th May, Kelly and I will not be contactable in any other way than by someone ringing us on our phones.


This challenge isn’t about going screen free or avoiding anything with a plug. It’s about breaking that habit, that need for constantly being contactible all the time.

If you’re a listener of our podcast Straight and Curly, you’ll know that I suffer hardcore from FOMO. I want to be involved in everything, all the time. Even when I’m trying to avoid looking at my phone, my hand automatically reaches for it the moment my mind starts to wander. I really want to stop doing this.

I also suffer from hardcore punctuality and hardly anyone else I know does. This means that I spend a lot of time waiting for other people to arrive. It drives me batty. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but when you’re a business owner, 20 minutes is a very precious chunk of time. Just because I’m contactible and people can ring or text to let me know they’re running late, doesn’t mean this should be used as an option. I think most of us could benefit from being held accountable for being late without the option of texting the person we’re supposed to be meeting. If you’re keen to take up this challenge here are the rules.

The Rules

Internet free

Text message free

Computer free (unless you use without internet which is fine)

Email free

Social media free

Make all your plans in advance and tell your friends they won’t be able to contact you. Hold them accountable.

The exceptions

You can use your phone as a phone. If you’re at home and it rings, you can answer it. If you’re at home, you can call people on it. If you leave the house, leave it at home. Pretend it’s a landline phone and use it like that.

TV and movies are permitted. It will probably be an eye opening experience watching TV without having the option of grabbing your phone every 5 seconds when your attention starts to wonder.

Reading on e-readers is also fine but only if it’s disconnected from the internet.

If you’re a writer or designer you can use your gadgets but stay away from the internet

Things I need to do in preparation

Every one will need to do different things in preparation but here are a few things I’ll be doing to make sure I don’t have to break my digital detox.

Tell my friends and family I’m digitally detoxing so they don’t think I’ve died.

Leave messages on all my social media platforms letting readers and online buddies know where the hell I’ll be all weekend.

Make sure I have all the crochet patterns I require for the weekend either stored on my computer or printed out.

Make sure I have the research I require for any writing I may do over the weekend either stored on my computer or printed out.

Make sure I have enough books purchased on my Kindle for the weekend.

If you’re keen to listen to our pre-digital detox podcast you can do it right here or on the podcast app on your phone.

I’m pretty sure I haven’t gone longer than the length of a movie without looking at my smart phone in about six years. It’s definintely a part of my job to be online but sometimes I wonder if I really need to be as on it as I am. Hopefully this weekend will shed some light on this.

Are you up for the challenge? Can you see any unavoidable barriers with organising this? I think this might be difficult for parents particularly if they have to organise things but if you just stick to the phone call only rule, it should be totally fine.

I’ll be spending the weekend at Mr Smaggle’s family farm so keeping in contact with friends won’t be an issue as I won’t be seeing them anyway. What will be a challenge is that Mr Smaggle and I tend to shop separately and then call each other when we’re done, which we won’t be able to do. We’ll just have to make sure that we pre-plan meeting times and are very good at following through with our plans. I’m also going to struggle without sharing every single thought I have the minute I have it with the whole of the internet but hopefully I’ll survive.

Oh also there’s another episode of Straight and Curly live this week too. You can listen to it here.

Are you going to be joining the challenge this weekend? Make sure you join the Facebook group – Kelly and I will pop in on Friday afternoon to give everyone a sign off. I do recommend that you leave a message anywhere you regularly frequent so that people will know you’re away and they won’t call file a missing persons report.

So tell me…

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Do you think you could go for a whole weekend without your phone? Are you going to join the challenge this weekend?


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  1. chrisatpb 8 years ago

    I am sure it’s a generational thing, but I have absolutely no trouble going without my phone all weekend. Sometimes it is still in my handbag from work on Friday, when I finally go looking for it days later. Xx

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      I definitely think it’s generational. My mum frequently leaves the house without her phone. I actually do it too sometimes – because my whole life is on my phone it’s sometimes nice to just not have it when I duck to the shops. Notifications will still be there when you get back.

  2. Missy D 8 years ago

    I totally think I could do it, buuuuuut… is it wrong to say that I need more notice? 😉 Have lots planned this weekend so sadly will be out of joining in the fun. 🙁

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      Certainly not! We both picked a weekend that would work for us – I don’t for a minute think you could do it just any old weekend. I’m lucky because I’ll be at a farm – the farm has good internet but I won’t be around any of my mates so won’t need to contact anyone. We’ll do it again in the future I’m sure!


  1. […] Could You Go An Entire Weekend Without Using Your Phone? […]

  2. […] the notifications) and try and avoid the internet as much as you can for a certain period of time. I did this recently with Carly Jacobs and Kelly Exeter for an entire weekend. Friday night to Monday morning. And I can’t begin to tell you how good it was for me. And how […]

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