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M. Paton

None of his responses surprised me. This is because I see it when others lose their phone and when their phone dies. I tend to feel the same way as well when it happens. Especially when he was saying that he uses it to find places and without it he had to find an address by calling the place itself. I get anxious when not knowing where I am or where I have to be. He also said that he stared a conversation instead of hiding in his phone while waiting in line. I tend to just ignore everyone around me and avoid all human interaction. I guess that this is just what society has come to.

Jack A

I agree. We have become dependent of phones, if you don't have a phone when your at most age 11 you are weird.

LeighAnne H.

I agree. I believe the smartphone is a gateway, but that we do need to control how much we use it. The smartphone is a great tool and I would probably be lost in the middle of the city with no help or money if I didn't have access to internet and online maps. I think it is sad that the majority of teens don't know how to use an actual, paper map and rely on their phones, but I admit that I am one of them. I am inspired by this article and I am going to attempt to give up my phone for a few days as well.

Tyler Biggs

Before reading this article, I took a good look at the title and began analyzing it beyond its means. I questioned, “How is this guy going to feel during this process?”. After reading the article, it influenced a different perspective. Michael Grothaus, the author, introduces his experiment on how to function in society without using the glorifying applications and challenge his addiction of using his cell phone. He used his iPhone, but disabled it to only having access to calling and texting. When he introduces his addiction he brings up some significant statistics on how much U.S. and U.K. citizens check their phone. Collectively, Americans check their smartphones 8 billion times a day(TIME). Further statistics show that the reader will check their phone 46 times per day, while it is worse for users in the U.K. checking their phones about 85 times per day.
Grothaus was apphrensive on the idea but decided that the experiment needed to be analyzed further. He begins to describe some of his feelings during the process, and the first he describes is the feeling of being “cut off”. He felt isolated and felt that he wasn't connected with his family and friends. He couldn’t check their Facebook’s, Instagram’s, etc. There was a spontaneous event on Facebook within his friend group to meet up and have lunch and left him feeling more disconnected. There was a positive outlook he had on the situation and it was when he began reading the newspapers given in the subway. The papers came out at 6pm and most likely was written around noon. Even though Grothaus didn’t have any immediate news coverage, it gave him a perspective that that was the most important and significant news throughout the later half of the day. During his third day, he began realizing how much he used his smartphone for. He lives in the city of London which is a massive city. The applications like Google Maps on his phone made it feel less overwhelming and easy to pinpoint a location that he was intending on going. Without these, he felt small and ended up having to carry around more devices like his iPod to listen to music. By the end he was glad to have his smartphone back. Grothaus realized how much of an important tool it is in modern society and claims that it will be more significant than the PC. Personally after reading his experience, I believe that he pointed out key perspectives that us readers could take into mind. Being in a society that is interconnected through the internet and the real world, makes it difficult for people who are not involved in social media. Analyzing it from his addiction perspective, he didn’t improve as he states he checks it too often still but offers keys to moderating notifications and setting boundaries. I agree that involving yourself with more realistic events will better the quality of life, but so does technology.

Jeremy Hunt

While browsing different articles I came across this title that stated, “Taking the Challenge: Michael Grothaus on his smartphone-free week.” This title immediately got me thinking to myself that a week without my smartphone couldn’t possibly be that bad, as continually took breaks from reading the article to check my phone.
It was very interesting reading Michael’s experience with giving up his smartphone for a week. Many of the things he experienced were some of the same things I experienced when I was younger and would be grounded from my phone and all other devices every now and then. He talked about the distracting aspects of smartphones and how they sometimes give off a health risk. I know I have been distracted from different things around me plenty of times and have either almost caused me to get hit by a car or run into something that makes me fall and make a fool out of myself. The distracting aspect of smartphones is also bad if you are trying to get things done and can’t help but check Facebook or Instagram every five minutes which prolongs things way longer then they should take.
I can definitely relate to Michael when he said he felt cut off when he didn’t have his smartphone. When I was was younger I got grounded frequently and did not have my phone a lot. This would cause it to be way harder to contact my friends on when we were getting together or never knowing what party or event was going on. Being cut off can really mess with your head making you feel depressive or anxious at times which can be dangerous. I do however agree that while he may have felt cut off to the people really close to him he was able to interact with people better by having conversations with random strangers that will brighten your day and change your mood. A lot of those conversations wouldn’t happen if your face was glued to a phone screen.
He also stated that he realized just how much he used his smartphone for everyday things. Smartphones are so resourceful and let you do pretty much everything a computer lets you do which makes life a whole lot easier. Smartphones can give you the weather, the news, basic calling and texting, games and apps and so much more that it seems almost impossible to put it down. Since I don’t enjoy reading I probably could not agree with him about enjoying newspapers but I’m sure that if I did not have a smart phone I would just as equally enjoy them.
Michael talked about being able to free his mind without his smartphone. Freeing your mind is a huge thing that a lot of people in today’s society don’t do at all. People get so consumed with their devices and busy schedules that there seems to be no time to relax and free up your mind to relax or even think straight. I think that is a very important thing for people to be able to do in order to be able to do things to their full potential.
Lastly he stated he was glad to have his smartphone back and I’m sure I definitely would too if I were able to make it a week without it. In the grand scheme of things smartphones have their ups and downs but I think they can only be harmful if we don’t limit ourselves to them. Like Michael said, the key is moderating notifications and setting boundaries. If we do those things I think smartphones aren’t such a bad thing as some people think they are.

Ariane Towner

People in the world have become addicted to smartphones, they love the convenience of having everything right at their fingertips. Everyone has gotten accustomed to instant gratification, don’t know a phone number? Google it. Don’t know where the local Starbucks is? There is an app for that. Smartphones have become a staple in daily life. I personally never go anywhere without my smartphone, including just walking around the house. What if someone were to need me? Or my friends were doing something cool? Grothaus in the beginning of the article said that he had checked his phone around eight times just in trying to write the first sentence. Personally when I write I am the same way, I have probably checked my phone, replied to notifications, etc., more than ten times since I began this post. Grothaus challenge of going a week smartphone free is one I would consider taking. I can understand the challenge of trying not to look at my phone for five minutes. When out with friends there have been times my phone has died and I have been unable to charge it until that evening and those days of being smartphone free are a challenge. I feel like there is always something more important that not having my phone is making me miss. All of Grothaus beginning emotions were ones that anyone would feel, smartphone addiction is a big issue that we have. Smartphone users need to create a balance and find moderation, this will get everyone back to living in the moment of what is going on around them and not just living in their screens.

Wyatt Brings

Well after scrolling down and seeing this article on the feed, it caught my eye. It is exactly what I find interesting in the modern days of society. What are we to do without our smartphones? Well here is an article that explains this. Giving up our smartphone is like giving out our lifeline. I like how the author says at the end well when in doubt I was happy to have my smartphone back. Because it is a comfort that we enjoy and it is something that we depend on. The author does great job of explaining the struggles he had to face. Which Id most likely be the same way since I depend on my smartphone. It is a tool in todays society that we have learned to use and when you take it away you find out that everything is complicated. Its sad that we depend on it, but in reality we need it more then ever to do some of the things in life today. Overall a great inspiring article that I found to be fascinating.

Kathleen Joyce Chu

This article really caught my attention because last month, my dad just confiscated my android phone. He said that I'm getting addicted to it and that every time I'm using my phone, they cant talk to me properly. And seriously, I agree to what the author of this article said- that he felt cut off. I felt like without my phone, there's a whole world out there that I am going to miss and I'm right here, stuck watching cartoon with my little brother. Yes, at first it was really hard but then I realized it's not that bad though. Just like him, I realized the value of the things around me especially my loved ones. I also read books to save me from boredom but now I find reading is fun. But then, at the end of the day, I still need my phone back because we must admit, our smartphones have been one of our necessities in this generation. It's just sad that we are letting our phones control our lives. It's okay to use it once in a while but we should set limitations, boundaries that will separate us from the real world and to the world of social media and in that way, our lives will be more productive and we will be able to see the real value of life.

Caroline Rao

I agree with everyone's comments. This article is so intriguing because of its relevance to modern society. The newest and coolest iPhone is what everyone seems to be talking about all the time. People around the world are obsessed with having the newest things. And in terms of this article, that thing would be a smartphone. With each new smartphone, comes a new technological advancement that can make people more and more obsessed with their smartphones. The author of the article said he felt cut off from the world and that makes complete sense when so many vital parts of the average person's day revolve around their smartphone. For example, bus tickets, making a purchase, finding directions, and looking up a phone number are things we do every day without even thinking. I do agree with people who are saying that it is excessive. People are over using their smartphones to insane amounts and need to be limited because health issues can arise. But in the end, smartphones will forever be a part of our society. They are important and incredibly helpful tools to help us (literally) navigate through our world.


I found this blog very interesting and relevant because many people in today’s word depend on their smart phone. I don’t think I know anyone who grew up in my generation that does not have a smart phone. To be honest, I’m not sure I could survive a week without my IPhone. When Michael talks about how he missed out on family and friend events, all I can think about was how that’s the exact same thing that would happen to me. I am 18 years old and live at home, while most of my friends go to a college at least an hour away. If I were to not have my smart phone for a week I would lose all contact with those people. If I were to not have a smart phone at all I would probably not be able to communicate with them until they came home. I rely on my social media to keep up to date with my friend’s and family’s lives. I can relate to Michael’s blog because I had this same experience when I was in high school and my parents would take my phone away, when I was grounded. I had no communication with my friends unless I picked up the house phone and called them. Now, we don’t even own a house phone anymore.
If I were to do this challenge myself, I would not see my friends for a week unless I called them, which is rarely how people communicate anymore. I would also feel naked. Like Michael said when he was out in public alone, he had to start a conversation with a stranger because he had no social media to browse to avoid human interaction. I do not enjoy engaging in conversation with strangers. I also do not enjoy reading, therefore, I would not be updated on any news going on, unless someone told me because I would not read newspapers.
Somedays, I will try to stay off social media to cleanse myself, as Michael talked about. However, a whole week does not sound like a cleanse. It sounds like isolating yourself. So as interesting as Michael’s challenge seems, I can’t see myself trying it out as well and I can only imagine how the generations younger than me will think of this challenge.


I think that people tend to be too dependent on technology and it feels really great I think to not have to worry about all my responsibilities that are depending on my tech.

Mike Miller

I feel that this article really speaks to our society. Smartphones along with other technology has become such an integral part of everyday life and it is hard to determine if that is for better or for worse. However, the article provides a glimpse into what the future could hold for society with technological advancements. Kevin Kelly's, "Better than Human," describes a world where humans work along side robots. Essentially, we're doing that today. It has proven a great benefit with our smartphones. Computers and other technology have their down falls, but overall I believe that technology along with smart phones enhance our lives and make tasks so much easier and faster.

Volha Sachko

In this article Michael Grothaus pays his attention to the specific reality of modern society: the impossibility to live without a smartphone. He introduces a one- week experiment in which he cut off all the applications on his own phone and used it just for calling and texting. He describes everything he felt during this challenge. Among different sensations such as frustration and confusion, the most unbearable one was a feeling of isolation and loneliness. It was painful to him to loose the communication with friends and family members via social networks. In addition to that, he was very anxious because he feared to miss something important concerning his job, or to get lost without a GPS. Eventually, by the second half of the week the author realized that he felt relief. He was glad to discover absolutely new things such as interaction with unfamiliar people and reading newspapers. He thinks that he was about to let inborn freedom come to his life. Nonetheless he made another choice. On the seventh day of the experiment he turned his phone back to it’s normal state to make life easier and the world smaller.
I agree with the author that smartphones add a lot to our quality of life. However, I think, their extreme importance is overestimated.
One month ago my smartphone was stolen. It took me two weeks to buy a new one. So, I had a good chance to experience everything Grothaus is writing about. Yet, my case was a little bit different. In the beginning, after noticing the loss, I was extremely disappointed. It seemed to me that I will not be able to spend even a day without my phone. Of course, as an author, I was anxious during the first day. Nevertheless, on the second day I felt that It does not bother me any more. Moreover, day after day I started enjoying the situation. I noticed that I have more time for the things I did not pay enough attention before. For example, instead of talking with different people on the phone (people who were not so important to me), I started spend more time with my husband and daughter. I was glad that nothing distracted me. Despite the fact that I was isolated from the surrounding world, I did not feel lonely. I was very calm. I enjoyed every free minute with my loved ones. People who wanted to talk to me had a chance to reach me via my husband’s phone. I got only six calls in two weeks. Four of them were from my mother. My world did not fall apart because I received only a few calls. Instead, I realized my place in it, and understood what had a true meaning in my life.
Unfortunately, we spend our lives on things that do not have a true importance to us. Sometimes it is impossible to reveal core values within ourselves when we have an everyday stream of useless information. That is why it might be beneficial, from time to time, to experience a temporary isolation from the rest of the world. This allows us to have an opportunity to listen to our intuition and heart.

Heather St.Onge

Reading this article on smartphones and how much they effect our lives has shown me just how much technology has controlled all of us. By Michael frustration explaining how he was going thru what you could call emotions of with drawl of you're obsession which to most americans are our phones, which is something I know personally I am not proud of. Although some people would disagree and say that we as people need technology, but my question is no america was not the best country in the world before technology but it is not the best country now if you ask me. I would like to know how some people made it life before without technology. Now when Michael Grothaus was talking about the stages of with drawl I could relate to them heavily. Grothaus talked about how he first felt very isolated to the world even he family and even though I would like to say I disagree with that comment but I can not. Whenever I put my phone do for long periods of time I find my self constantly going back to check it to see if I have a text message or a snapchat or if someone is paying attention to me. Another stage most people go thru including myself whenever walking way from there phone is frustration and anxiety because along with the isolation feeling we feel left out like we are constantly missing something. Lastly when he was talking about feeling relief, I also can relate to that feeling. I have realized that I have the feeling of relief usually not until I have found myself something to fully distract me from my phone, but having that feeling of relief of not being engulfed in your phone I have found myself to be more relaxed with situations especially with my parents I am not so short like I usually am with them when I have my face in my phone. I also have found myself trying more like going out more with my friends and opening my eyes to see the worlds beautiful things it has to offer. Therefore, reading this article has shown me many things that I can relate to and also it has shown me things that I believe americans today need to see because, even thought technology may play a big part in all of our lives many of us still need to learn how to put it down every once and awhile and look up and see the world and what it has in store for us and until we learn to do that america will forever be just another part of the world engulfed in technology that does not know how to communicate.

Steed Coates

In this article about Michael Grothaus he gave a new out look on how we base our lives on technology. From the images he gave they added towards the emotional effect and isolation without his phone. The images were complementing with the article well they added to his descriptive story. It also created a feeling for the reader as to why it would be hard to part with your phone. The article was well written as it gave off good descriptions towards his isolation and showed why it good to leave technology behind sometimes.


The article that i read about was on smartphones. The image shows that now a days people are starting to use their smartphones for everything, especially for example Apple coming up with new versions of Iphones. Grothaus is trying to say that in a way the smartphones are "getaway" meaning that no one can rely on themselves, They have their smartphones to rely on and be more dependable on. When Grothaus stated that he went a week without using his smartphone and how he had these stages of frustration and anxiety, they didn't surprise me at all. If someone is use to being independent without their smartphones, they wouldn't have these problems of anxiety or frustration. I would not have the same reaction because growing up i had a smartphone that i relied on. Whether it was on how to get from one place to another and using google maps, or just for homework and school wise basis. I was very shocked when I had read the article, I didn't know that going a week without using a smartphone can lead to these problems.

Jordan Ramos

Grothaus throughout the blog described various stages of anxiety, frustration, and relief during his week without a smartphone and none of these responses seemed surprising to me. They did not seem surprising to me because going from having a smartphone every single day; to not having one has to be a little bit tough. As bad as this sounds, it would almost seem like it would be boring because it seems like now when we are bored the first thing that we resort to is our smartphones. I could see the anxiety because it would seem like you would be missing out on things, people are seeing things that you aren’t seeing that are on social media, kind of almost like you are left out from everything and that almost does not seem fair. I could see how he felt frustrated because he is so much in the habit of checking his smartphone everything single day to be without it would be difficult. Also, to see everyone out in public checking their smartphone would be frustrating knowing you do not have yours to keep you distracted. Without a smartphone it would just seem so inconvenient, how Grothaus said he actually had to call an operator to find the exact address of a location, where as if he had his phone with him he could quickly pull it up on google and find his exact source he was looking for. The relief, I understand as well, because it would be nice to be away from the social media and all of the drama and unnecessary posts you do not want to see. The relief of knowing you do not have to catch up on all of the social media posts, it almost seems like catching up on social media posts is a chore.
Personally, I think that I would totally have the same reactions. I understand now that we take somethings for granted because we have these smartphone and sometimes I feel like having a smartphone is not always the best option. But smartphones do help in a lot of ways. I honestly, do not think that I could go a full week without my phone because I know myself, and I am constantly checking my phone and that is definitely not something to be proud of either. It is just nothing but a bad habit that I wish I could somehow minimize. Which I sure I most definitely could, but would I ever take the time to do it probably not I go both ways with the smartphone, sometimes I feel like they are nothing but habit forming distractions, and then sometimes I just think they are one of the greatest things that have ever happened to us. And from this point on, they are only going to get better, and become more advanced, which seems like a great thing to me. Our smartphones can basically do everything for us now; I can only imagine what things will be like for us down the road.

leul b.

After reading what Michael Grothaus had to say about smartphones. I agree with Raneem that the image she used show how the people in today's world are affected by it.More or less the image she used shows that how important can smartphone can be and with out it life could be harder and complicated this days. In the conversation above also mention that Jack A. mention that smartphone is very important in today's society and if a person does not have a phone when they hit the 11 years old mark they are weird.
yes, I agree that smartphones are important and can make your life easier, but i don't believe that you are weird at all if you don't have smartphone because Grothaus showed us you can survive with out smartphone and the only con of not having smartphone is that you have to work your mind and try to use other resources other that your smartphone


I agree with M. Paton’s idea that we have become dependent on our smartphones, but I have a problem when he states that this is just what the world has come to. As Michael Grothaus states in his article, he used to ignore people in line, and bury himself in his phone. This is relatable because I see people do this all the time, and I myself do it, too. The interesting thing, that M. Paton does not address, was how Grothaus changed his ways once he lost his smartphone. While standing in line at the market, he spoke to the stranger in front of him, which he called a risk, but it ended up being lovely. Personally, I do not think that conversation is a lost cause, I think people choose to avoid it; so while M. Paton’s general statement is true, I think it is fully by choice that people do not talk to each other in real life. We are so involved in our smartphones that we forget how to hold a conversation. This lost art is not difficult to bring back, but it would take a conscious effort, similar to that of Grothaus’s, for people to relearn how to communicate.

Leah Adams

It has become common today to dismiss the idea that people should try to separate themselves from their phones, and the idea people are addicted to their smartphones is prevalent in today’s society. The article “What Happened When I Gave Up My Smartphone For A Week,” written by Michael Grothaus, describes his one week challenge in which he voluntarily gave up the so – called “smart” abilities of his iPhone. He could only make and receive phone calls and text messages; his reasoning behind doing this is to see if people really are addicted to their ever – present smartphones. It seems from the various comments, most people, specifically teenagers/young adults, appear to agree with Grothaus that people have extreme difficulties surviving without their cell phones. One of the most common themes throughout both the article and the comments is that the author himself said he felt separated from the world and his friends, and a majority of the comments’ authors wrote they would feel the exact same way. Commenter Jeremy demonstrates that his experiences without a cell phone. He discusses his frequent groundings which resulted in his loss of phone privileges. Furthermore, Jeremy says he has experienced the severe distracting aspects of cell phones. For example, he claims he has almost gotten hit by a vehicle because he was on his phone and not paying attention to his surroundings. Jeremy also describes how he could relate to the feelings Grothaus had of being cut off from the world, a type of separation anxiety. However, both commenter and author share they were able to talk with more actual people and were not focused solely on their phones. People are more aware of the world around them when their noses are not buried in their phones. I agree that people seem much too dependent and addicted to their smartphones because I sometimes find myself having similar experiences. Often, I find myself constantly checking my phone and social media accounts simply for the sake of something to do with a few spare moments or just to look busy. However, this is too distracting, and as Grothaus points out, it keeps me from finishing other work. I also find I am not focused on what everyone else is doing when I stay off of my cell phone. I am not waiting for that text or notification to transmit to or from me; I am more alert and aware of the world around me when I am not looking down on my phone. Instead, I can see the world around me such as the beautiful sunsets or even get to see a friend passing by on the street. Needless to say, Grothaus readily argues that people are too addicted to their smartphones, and other commenters, like Jeremy and I, agree with Grothaus and think people should be less dependent on their mobile smart devices.


I agree with Jordan Ramos in the empathy for the author of the article. Like Jordan said, I get extremely bored without my phone, especially when I see people around me on their phones and just knowing I can’t be on mine, which frequently happens when my phone is almost dead. I, just like almost everyone who posted on this blog, constantly check my phone and hate it when I can’t. I recently lost my phone for the day, and it was torture throughout the entire day. I am so glad I have a Mac because I really don’t think I could’ve gone the whole day without at least my text messages. I can’t even imagine giving it up for the whole week, even though in this experiment he still had calling and messaging. I use my phone mostly for social media so I would be very lost without it. I agree with Jordan that my addiction to my phone is something I wish I could change, but I disagree that it is something that could be changed. With today’s culture, I just don’t think it’s possible. As Jordan said, phones are only going to get better and more advanced, making it even harder to put them down.

Ryan Grauel

I agree with Leah Adams that too often, I grab my smart phone and browse through it just to appear busy. In today’s day and age this habit has become instinctive to many and reflects one of the negatives of having smartphone technology. This results in the loss of basic human interaction in places where it used to be common, such as, waiting in a line or sitting in a classroom. In the article Grothaus cites that the average American checks their phone 46 times a day. It is certain that several of those times are occurring when the user is just standing or sitting around and wants to appear as though they have something they are doing.

Diamone Litle

While reading the article of Taking the challenge: Michael Grothaus on his smartphone-free week none of his responses were surprising to me. This is because it was completely normal to feel how he did, not being able to check emails or feeling left out because you can not check your notifications to see what is going on etc. I would have survived as he did, but my reactions would have been the exact same. so much is online now and deals with social media that it can be a blessing and also a curse. The world revolves around social media and you can miss a lot being on there, but also not being on there. Although, I was surprised that we check our phones 8 billion times a day and I believe it. I enjoyed this article and it was very interesting.

Michael Rosario

When talking about feeling cut off, did you not have anyone to talk to throughout the week? Why not do something productive like a hobby of yours?


I agreed with Grothaus, He tries to reconnect socially with the outside world after not using his phone for a week. He felt cut off by not having the latest news or weather information in his disposal. I too would feel left out or even cut off from the world without my phone.

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