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If you ever asked someone for their mobile phone number and they said, “Sorry, I don’t own a mobile phone,” you 1 either that a) they are lying or b) they are crazy. 2 seems hard to believe that in this day and age there are people who don’t own a mobile phone, but 3 , those people exist, and I am one of them.

But why would somebody in their right mind decide to do something so contrary to 4 society deems so essential? In my case, it was more by accident than 5 . One day I forgot my incredibly expensive phone in a bar and it just 6 . Then, as a way of punishing myself for such a terrible mistake, I decided not to get a new one for some time.

7 a phone, I became fully aware of the extent to which such a small device rules our daily actions. My hand had to reach into my pocket hundreds of times before learning that there wasn’t a phone 8 in it. It was the first stage of my detox. Every 30 minutes or so, I was desperate to check what 9 in the world for the last 30 minutes –that was how often I 10 my phone before losing it. Little 11 that you can get separation anxiety from a machine.

In stage two I began to fill the void left by my phone with the simple little habits that we all used to have before our phones took 12 our lives. I started making uninterrupted eye contact when someone was talking to me, or making small talk with my co-workers, or looking through the window when travelling on the train, or even asking for directions and looking around while I was walking. By the end of this second stage, I was still suffering from axiety, but that didn't prevent 13 that there was a whole world in front of me which I had never appreciated, because I had always been looking down.

In the third and final stage I got rid of my anxiety. Now I started to really enjoy my new-found freedom, the contemplative moments, the social interactions, the sunshine, the fresh air. I'm still in that stage, and I'm determined to continue in in for as long as I enjoy it, which I don't think is going to end any time soon. I should have 14 a long time ago, I had been missing out on so many things. The only problem now is that while I have opened my eyes, everybody around me is still looking at the world through their touchscreen, and it can sometimes be annoying for outsiders like me. I wish phones 15 invented.