World Days Without Phone & Smartphone Date in the current year: February 6, 2022

World Days Without Phone & Smartphone Try a digital detox on February 6, 7 and/or 8 by participating in World Days Without Phone & Smartphone (Journées mondiales sans téléphone portable & smartphone), an annual campaign that was launched over two decades ago.

Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives, replacing a whole bunch of other gadgets, including portable media players, simple digital cameras, personal navigation assistants, handheld game consoles, alarm clocks, personal digital assistants, and more. No one can deny that they have made our lives much easier; however, every medal has its reverse.

Psychologists, sociologists, medical experts and other professionals have been investigating the relationships between mobile phone use and mental health for quite some time. In 2008, they coined the term “nomophobia” (short for “no mobile phobia”) for the fear of, or anxiety caused by, having no access to a working mobile phone.

Although the term is supposed to be humorous and nomophobia doesn’t appear on the DSM-5, the stress people experience when they are anxious about running out of battery, having no network coverage or losing their mobile phone is real. That is why more and more people are growing concerned with how overuse of smartphones affects our lives

World Day Without Cell Phone was conceived by the French author Phil Marso, partly to promote his detective novel titled Tueur de portable sans mobile apparent (Mobile Phone Killer with no Apparent Mobile), and partly to raise awareness of our increasing dependence on cell phones. While Marso is not against mobile phones per se, he believes that we shouldn’t rely on them too much, and it might be beneficial to give up your phone for at least one day a year in order to rethink its role in your life.

The inaugural World Day Without Cell Phone was held on February 6, 2001. Marso chose such a date as a reference to a line in the popular song «Le téléfon» by Nino Ferrer: «Gaston y a l'téléfon qui son / Et y a jamais person qui y répond» (“Gaston, the phone rings / But nobody ever picks up”); February 6 is the feast day of Saint Gaston, commonly known as Saint Vedast outside France.

In 2004, World Day Without Cell Phone was expanded to three days, from February 6 to 8. The campaign is currently known as World Days Without Phone & Smartphone. Of course, it’s up to you to decide how long your “digital abstinence” is going to last; some people manage to go without their phones for all three days, and some decide that one day is enough for a digital detox.

In addition to raising awareness of nomophobia, the World Days Without Phone & Smartphone campaign aims to draw attention to other issues, such as the impact of mobile phones on the environment, cyberbullying, etc. In some countries, people even organize protests against the increase of cell phone plan prices.

Alongside World Days Without Phone & Smartphone, there are at least two more days when you can take a break from technology and the endless flow of new information you have to deal with every day: International Internet-Free Day (January 31) and World Day Without Wi-Fi (November 8).

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International Observances

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World Days Without Phone & Smartphone, World Day Without Cell Phone, international observances, digital detox, nomophobia