What if you took part in phone-free days in 2024?

From February 6 to 8, 2024, World Phone Free Days will take place...

On April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper, an engineer at Motorola, experimented for the first time with a call from a cell phone! Fifty years later, the device has conquered our planet to become one of the most essential and used objects. But then, why set up these phone-free days?

A companion sometimes a little too invasive

The usefulness of the cell phone no longer needs to be demonstrated. A study published by INSEE reveals that 95% of the French population aged 15 or over owned a mobile phone in 2021. And over the years, the features offered have multiplied, no longer limited to simple calls and text messages.

  • Alarms and alarm clock
  • Calculator
  • Step counter
  • Camera
  • Notepad and organizational tools
  • News Tracking Apps
  • Gaming and entertainment apps
  • Online shopping apps

These are just a few examples of the features now available. Such a wide choice, that it may happen that the tool encroaches on the daily lives of its users. It is also very possible that you have already faced one of the following situations:

  • Participating in a meal during which those present are more absorbed in their phones than in conversation
  • Call or send text messages to someone in the same home, or even in the same room as you
  • Spend several hours playing or scrolling through applications from your smartphone to the detriment of your obligations
  • Feeling intense frustration when one of your messages remains unanswered for a period of time that you consider too long

If banning the use of cell phones is not possible, thinking about this type of behavior can make it possible to positively review our use of the mobile device, in order to give it a more appropriate place in our lives. This is the reflection that is being discussed during the 3 days without phones this month of February. Let's see together how to organize it peacefully!

Some ideas for positive participation in these days:

As you will have understood, the mobile phone is a rather addictive tool, and very often totally incorporated into our daily lives. Thus, although the event established since February 6, 2001 at the initiative of the writer Phil Marso is called “phone-free days”, the intensity of your participation must be based on your personal abilities. There is no question here of relegating the phone to the closet for 3 days, to compensate even more from February 9. That wouldn't make much sense.

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On the other hand, it may be an opportunity to organize, with family or friends, a debate or a game on the question:

  • How do you use your phone?
  • How many hours per day/per week do you spend on this?
  • Does it ever spill over into your daily life?
  • Are all its features essential?
  • Or on the contrary, are there any that you could easily delete?
  • What applications do you think really bring positivity into your daily life?

So there are so many questions that you can raise to fuel the debate!!

This may also be the time to spend a meal/evening disconnected, and take advantage of this moment to take the time to interact with the people present next to you. The opportunity to take your card games and board games out of your cupboards.

Finally, it's also the time to remember all those activities that you love but that you never take the time to do (or discover new ones). For example, we can cite:

  • Drawing, painting
  • creative hobbies
  • Puzzles and brain teasers
  • Sport
  • The kitchen

Or even tidy up your house a little, and to complete the work that has perhaps already been waiting for you for several months?

What you should not do

We previously mentioned a series of ideas intended to help you participate positively in the event, conversely, here are some pitfalls to avoid so as not to turn your adventure into a bad experience:

Force someone to participate with you

If you have decided to move away from technology, screens, and more specifically the telephone for these three days, it may seem frustrating or even disappointing to see that your loved ones, for their part, are continuing their usual personal use of technology. It can then be tempting to encourage them (a little too strongly) to let go. However, as explained above, the telephone and technological tools have now become part of everyday life. And a reflection on their use must remain a voluntary and personal decision.. By pushing too hard with your friends, or confiscating your family's phones, you risk provoking strong arguments rather than succeeding in inciting discussion. The result obtained would then be contrary to the spirit of the event.

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Not informing your loved ones of your temporary unavailability

Likewise, if you are usually someone who is easy to reach, it can be disconcerting or even worrying for your loved ones not to be able to do this for the duration of your disconnection. Here again, the situation can lead to conflict and worry on their part. To avoid any diplomatic mishaps, be sure to notify the people who are most likely to want to reach you during your short technology break. You can briefly explain your motivations and tell them the date from which you will be contactable again.

Deciding on a whim to get rid of your cell phone for good

A hasty decision is often a decision that is quickly reversed. So, it would be a shame to give away or sell your device, only to end up buying one again a few days/weeks/months later. Especially since the manufacture of mobile phones is expensive in raw materials and in particular in rare metals, and therefore their premature replacement is not very ecological. The opportunity to recall that your old phones can be recycled and that when your device really requires replacement, it is possible to opt for the reconditioned :

Going on a hike or excursion without means of communication

While it may be tempting to take advantage of these few days of disconnection to reconnect with nature, On the other hand, it can be dangerous to do so without having an effective means of notifying emergency services in the event of an accident.. So, it can be very useful to store your cell phone and a battery to charge it at the bottom of your backpack. Best case scenario, he'll spend the duration of the excursion comfortably accommodated between two pairs of spare socks while you playfully experiment with compasses, walkie-talkies, or smoke signals. But in the event of an accident or if you can no longer find your way, it would still be possible for you, in an emergency, to call on its services.

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Refer to other digital activities

Taking a break from your phone will only be beneficial for you if the approach is accompanied either by reflection on the use of technology and screens in general, or by activities that you do not practice often enough in the past. makes use of it. So, it would be of little use not to use your mobile, if in exchange you decide:

  • to use your computer to perform the actions you would have done with the phone
  • to spend the entire duration of your break on a video game or in front of the TV
  • to do a marathon of your favorite films or series

You have the rest of the year to practice these activities, take advantage of your break to (re)discover more improbable activities. For example, you could (re)discover the pleasure of gardening?


You've reached the end of this article, ready to decide whether or not you want to take a technology break this year. The opportunity also to remember that, if the days without telephone take place from February 6 to 8, the reflections and ideas for activities proposed above remain valid all year round. It's never "too late" to decide to take some time to enjoy each other, or to practice activities that don't require any screens!!

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