For many people, smartphone separation anxiety is a thing. Misplacing your device or having to put it way for a period of time can, in some cases, result in a faster heart rate, clammy hands, and even a few beads of sweat forming on your furrowed brow.
But with smartphones these days used for just about every task known to man and even, occasionally, for making calls it’s little wonder that many of us feel the jitters if we can’t use ours precisely when we want.
So its all the more surprising to learn that Simon Cowell hasn’t used his handset in almost a year. Even more startling, he says he feels great for it.
The 58-year-old creator of popular TV talent shows in the U.S. and U.K. told the Mail recently that he ditched his smartphone because he started to find it annoying.
‘I literally have not been on my phone for 10 months,” Cowell said over the weekend.
“The difference it made was that I became more aware of the people around me and way more focused. The thing I get irritated with is when you have a meeting everyone’s on their phone, and I was probably in that place, too. You can’t concentrate.”
Far from causing him stress, Cowell claims life without a phone has actually been “good for my mental health. It’s a very strange experience but it really is good for you and it has absolutely made me happier.”
A quick look at Cowell’s Twitter feed appears to confirm his self-imposed smartphone separation, with his 12.5 million followers having received no new tweets since June 2017.
The media mogul is already known to be a bit of technophobe, confessing years ago that he doesn’t even know how to operate a computer.
Of course, a busy fella like Cowell is likely to have a personal assistant helping him with what must be a hectic schedule, and it’s a safe bet they’re not operating sans smartphone. As for Cowell himself, he looks all set to stay smartphone-free for the foreseeable future.
While many regular folks will be willing to admit they use their handset a little more than they should, the idea of ditching it entirely will seem like a drastic and wholly impossible measure to take.
But now tech companies, it seems, are taking the lead. While certainly not encouraging anyone to discard their handset for good, a growing number of tech firms are trying to encourage people to look more closely at how they engage with their device. Google, for example, is rolling out tools to help users better manage the amount of time they spend on their phone, while YouTube recently added a feature that prompts people to take a break from the video-streaming app after a specified amount of time.
Instagram is also believed to be prepping a time-management tool, while Apple, too, may introduce a similar feature aimed at children after shareholders called on the tech company to look at adding more parental controls.