Could you imagine not having a smartphone, no social media at your hand, no SIRI and no emails? Well that’s what Evan Gantley has done and he feels the better for it. Campus.ie had the opportunity to sit down with Evan to find out what fronted him ditching his right hand, or so to speak.
Evan seemed full of life and relaxed as he was just a few weeks into his personal challenge “My stress levels feel lower already,” he said. The idea originated while watching a Conor McGregor match. “I had this phone and I was glued to it 24/7 watching Conor McGregor on Youtube. I just said ‘right, I’ve had enough of this.”
This was the driving force to his return to basics with a Nokia 130, which Evan is delighted to say “has a 2D Snake game.” Many researchers have suggested that the persistent use of our smartphones is not good for mental health and Evan believes this. He claims the best way of measuring the effect that it is having on people is to see how often you interact with others. “When I got rid of my smartphone, I realised I was having a lot more conversations than I would have previously.”
He says that we all stumble upon those awkward situations where “we are sitting there in a room and we don’t know anyone, so immediately we are drawn to our phones as we find it difficult to interact will be people. Now it’s a bit more interesting because I am now forced to start a conversation with people,” he said.
Evan’s attention span has also increased; “I can actually concentrate on things”, he said. He is not a fan of social dating apps and says “it doesn’t affect me.” Many are now using these apps as a means of dating but he says that it can give us a misconception of someone and that it is easier to meet them in person, where there’s “no expectations. I like to meet people face to face and not over a phone.”
Evan says they are times when he forgets that he doesn’t have a smartphone any more. “When I was driving, I pulled my phone out to use for navigation and I realised I couldn’t use my phone. I had to stop and ask for directions” he laughed.
Have there been any doubts so far? “No. I don’t think so and I don’t think there will be.”
You can track Evan’s progress on his own personal blog which he updates on his laptop. “I have created a blog but it’s early days there is only a little bit of content up”, he said.
Evans blog can be viewed at https://thehightomyway.wordpress.com