You might think that millennials couldn’t possibly survive a full week with their precious smartphones — and you might be right. But it turns out that trying to go without your phone for a week might be beneficial for smartphone users of all ages, and could help them draw some interesting conclusions about the world around them, and their safety.
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Writing for Business Insider, Jeremy Berke explained what it was like to stop using the iPhone for seven straight days.
“It was a big deal for me. I’m 23, and I’ve been attached to a cellphone since shortly after I started walking,” he said.
Berke immediately noticed the absence of his beloved smartphone on his commute to work and realized that many other people stare at the phone just as much as he did. “I never noticed that before because I was looking at my phone, too,” he said.
He said he felt like an alien on the subway, where everyone else was using a smartphone to amuse themselves during the commute. The same thing happened in the elevator as well.
The most “startling” realization was that many people walk and look at their phones at the same time. “The weekday New York sidewalks are almost like that scene from ‘Wall-E,’ an animated science fiction movie,” he continued.
But apparently that’s the norm nowadays, even if it’s not safe for humans to walk and text at the same time. Scientific studies that Berke quotes reveal that it’s more likely to walk unsafely while using a smartphone. For example, a 2013 study shows that from 2004 to 2010, injuries to pedestrians on their phones more than doubled.
“So if I learned anything over my phoneless week, it’s simply to look where I’m going when I’m walking. Besides, people-watching can be more fun than texting,” he concluded.