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A Day Without a Smartphone: A Short Satire

After a mysterious blue fog surrounded the boundaries of America, there was a communication breakdown and all Smartphones and computers disappeared. Everyone woke up late as the economy halted and people were left in a state of shock unclear on how to relate to one another. Riddled with “phantom vibrations” coming from their upper legs, stress began to build with no access to their favorite social media sites. It wasn’t long before social unrest broke out leaving people to meet outside in the streets.

But what happened next wasn’t expected.

Initially people gathered in the streets and the parks bearing their agitation and loneliness. Many were spotting snapping at each other and their kids as a result of irritable withdrawal syndrome. But as acceptance began to settle in they began to talk to one another and recognized that there were indeed not alone.

Neighbors started to get to know one another, they talked about how crazy it was when they first didn’t have access to their phones, but were now enjoying being unteathered. They got to know one another, learning about their work, histories and what made them laugh.

Parents were attentive, playing and reading to their kids. The kids seemed less abrasive than usual and also happier.

It felt good to be connected, there were more real hugs, more real “likes” with real people.

Some people were spotted reading a physical book, while others were found tending their gardens. In some cities people went to the parks and played sports, others were busy catching snowflakes on their tongues. In California people were spotted heading for the beaches, laying out reading a magazine or playing in the waves.

Some people stayed in and baked cookies, played board games, practiced their guitar or got down to writing that novel they’ve been waiting to do.

There was more time for self-care with yoga, meditation, long walks and even savoring that cup of coffee.

As it was getting dark, people joined to watch the sunset and then afterwards lied down and stared up at the vast sky of stars.

Of course it wasn’t a complete utopia, some people still had to battle traffic, relate to annoying people, and deal with all of life’s other techno-free stressors.

But as they went to bed there was a greater feeling of connection to others in a way that they had forgotten or never known before (depending on their age).

While there were definitely things they missed about their technology, they felt a real sense of connection and community.

The next morning the blue fog had lifted and everyone’s Smartphones and computers were back. Everyone was woken up on time and as the messages drew in their attention, they soon remembered the wonders of the day before, put it down and headed out to enjoy the day.


Of course, there are so many benefits to technology (many of which I love), but it’s not much of a debate to know that most of us have become overly dependent on it with ourselves, our relationships and our kids. What would it be like if we had more moments when we could put it down and pay attention to this physical world and the relationships in it?

What would you do with those moments?

little things

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom we could all benefit from.

A Day Without a Smartphone: A Short Satire

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is creator of the six month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind, the premier eCourse Basics of Mindfulness Meditation: A 28 Day Program, the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations. Join The Now Effect Community for free Daily Now Moments and a Weekly Newsletter. Dr. Goldstein is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles.

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APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2014). A Day Without a Smartphone: A Short Satire. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 24 Feb 2014
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