When coronavirus hit, I began to realize that the data sent out from my smartphone could be weaponized against me in a quarantine scenario where leaving the house was “illegal.” I didn’t want to voluntarily help the elites monitor my every movement and then nudge me into performing their desired behaviors, so I made the decision to buy a dumb phone (a classic phone without apps) and tried leaving my smartphone at home when going out.

Very early into the coronavirus pandemic, Google compiled location data from Android users around the world to put out worldwide “mobility reports” to help Bill Gates know if his evil plan was working or not.

Community Mobility Reports aim to provide insights into what has changed in response to policies aimed at combating COVID-19. The reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.

Google would then join Apple to hard-code contract tracing software directly into their operating systems. I could only guess how many other Silicon Valley companies were soaking up my location and usage data to aid pro-quarantine factions. Why should I give them all that information for free to simply search the web, send text messages, and use a navigation app?

I had to accept that I have become dependent on my smartphone. I took it everywhere I went and glanced at it incessantly to experience its warm glow even when not receiving notifications. I didn’t buy my first smartphone until I was already in my thirties, so did I really need the internet in my pocket at all times? I already spend most of my day in front of a computer, typing articles like this, so why take another digital screen with me wherever I go? I saw the coronavirus crisis as a prime opportunity to reduce Silicon Valley’s access to my data while lessening my dependence on digital screens.

When I shared my decision to buy a dumb phone on one of my live streams, a common response was that I would be tracked anyway through cell towers. This is true. Every phone, smartphone or not, is connected to a cell tower that knows your exact location within a few meters. This location data is then eventually packaged and sold to various marketing firms, but a smartphone is different in that it produces reams more precise data every day—I imagine several extra gigabytes a month—about who you are and everything you’re doing, and directly pipes all that data to Silicon Valley firms in real-time, allowing them to build a master profile on you that can easily be used against you. So yes, I know that using a cell phone gives up my location data, but with a dumb phone, nothing beyond that is given. The difference in data flow is like between a leaky bathroom faucet and Niagara Falls.

The smartphone alternative I chose is the Nokia 3310. For its sparse features, the price is surprisingly high, suggesting that smartphones are given away at razor-thin margins for companies to make money on the backend from the free data you give them. Since you don’t need any mobile internet with the Nokia, you can find a plan for under $10 a month with US Mobile or Tello. I pay $7 a month for a basic plan (about half of my monthly charge is taxes).

Sometimes when I go outside the house, I only take the Nokia. Less than ten people know its number. I’m trying to leave my smartphone at home more often and use it as a home tablet to stay in touch with friends around the world. In the case I need to take the smartphone outside, I leave it on airplane mode as long as I can.

How about for driving navigation? I plan my trip at home before leaving. Either I write the directions down on a sticky note or print them out.

How about music and podcasts? I have an old Android smartphone with no SIM card. I factory reset the phone and made up a new Google account. Using wifi at home, I load up my podcasts and download songs using Spotify’s offline feature.

How about meeting out with friends? I don’t meet friends out in public much anymore (thanks, Bill Gates), but if I do, I give them my dumb phone number. You can use phone calls and SMS to stay in touch with them when heading out to meet.

It’s possible that my attempt is futile and makes little difference to the powers of Silicon Valley, but I’m certain they have less data on me than before. Even better, I stare at screens much less. For short trips, I leave the house without taking any phone. I actually like the feeling that no one knows where I am or how to get in touch with me. My family is of course annoyed with yet another one of my eccentric experiments, but I simply don’t want what amounts to having an ankle monitoring device in my pocket, radiating my testicles, at all hours of the day. I wonder if in a year or so it’ll be wise to use a smartphone at all.

Read Next: I Was Fooled By The Promise Of The Internet

Loading new replies...

100% agree. I have never owned a smartphone. It ASTOUNDS me that people believe they need a smartphone. (I am not speaking of people who use it for work). I currently have the Alcatel Go Flip. I use a Garmin brand GPS in my car, and I have an old-school iPod classic.

Reply 14 Likes

Excellent and timely piece. A couple of years ago, I ditched my cell phone all together for about six months and used web-based apps on my laptop in addition to my business land line to communicate with people. It was refreshing and I was able to focus more on other endeavors. To no surprise, my productivity increased tenfold. I then decided to purchase another cell phone, primarily for work purposes, but elected to get a rugged feature phone. This made sense for me as I travel often and spend a lot of time in extreme environments. I used this phone for nearly a year, and since it was a feature phone, distractions were minimal. Rather than reading endless articles on my phone, or being tempted to take pictures while out in the backcountry, I was finishing a book every couple of days and got back to photography as I only used my camera when outdoors and quit taking my cell phone all together. I became more in tune with both nature and God as I was distraction-free.

I now have a rugged smart phone on a pre-paid account, but have installed a custom OS and use open source apps, primarily for communication purposes and to share pictures. Even having a more secure device that's Android and iOS free, there's no such thing as a non-intrusive cell phone as they can all be used to monitor and/or track you through means such as geospatial tracking, PRISM, and Stingray. The only way to circumvent this is to use a phone where you can remove both the SIM card and battery.

But for privacy, to avoid data mining, improving health concerns as cell phones emit radiation and cause a multitude of issues when used often, and for simplicity purposes such as living a distraction free life and being present, I strongly suggest adhering to what was outlined in the aforementioned article. Cell phones are going to be increasingly used against us in the future and in essence, they're not needed.

Reply 9 Likes

click to expand...

Looks like you found a good compromise roosh. Id give anything to be able to get rid of this device

Reply 4 Likes

Here I was sitting at a doctor's office last Friday. Three people with me in the waiting room. All with double masks (of course) and incessantly staring at their mobile phone. If you would time travel back to 100 years ago and show this scene as a photo to anyone back in those days they would be horrified as to the apocalyptic horror show that is the future. Well, it's our reality now and if we don't all fight back collectively then it'll be considered the new normal.

Reply 10 Likes

This is great and ive been needing to disconnect for a while. Some days i consciously decide not to bring it somewhere or not to look at it, and just by sticking my head up instead of down at the screen its painful to see that we are all severely addicted to these devices.

Reply 2 Likes

Here I was sitting at a doctor's office last Friday. Three people with me in the waiting room. All with double masks (of course) and incessantly staring at their mobile phone. If you would time travel back to 100 years ago and show this scene as a photo to anyone back in those days they would be horrified as to the apocalyptic horror show that is the future. Well, it's our reality now and if we don't all fight back collectively then it'll be considered the new normal.

I've had similar experiences. There was this one time where I was in a waiting room with about a dozen people. They were all glued to their phones and I was reading a book as I always have one with me. My phone was intentionally left inside of my vehicle. Suddenly, a younger woman asked me "Why don't you have your phone with you? Aren't you bored waiting here without it?" She was literally in shock that I didn't need a phone to entertain myself, and even more shocked that I was reading a book. This speaks volumes of how we've regressed as a society.

Reply 11 Likes

click to expand...

They use them to have a profile on you. What did you say when you refused the jab> interferes with gov incentives.

You made love to your wife> force pornography

Live off grid> make you scared of higher taxes

Throw the phone away> dissident> execution imminent

(I'm only being satirical here obviously)

Reply 2 Likes

I have smartphone with no cell service, I only use it as a wifi device. That doesn't change much, but it makes me feel better about it somehow. I also don't put much on it - no social media or anything, it's just to text (using Signal, which needed a number once but not after that), to look up stuff (using a browser - phone browsers/mobile websites are pretty lousy though I admit) while out, to keep notes to myself while out, to keep my todo list on me and synchronized, etc.

Reply 4 Likes

I have smartphone with no cell service, I only use it as a wifi device. That doesn't change much, but it makes me feel better about it somehow. I also don't put much on it - no social media or anything, it's just to text (using Signal, which needed a number once but not after that), to look up stuff (using a browser - phone browsers/mobile websites are pretty lousy though I admit) while out, to keep notes to myself while out, to keep my todo list on me and synchronized, etc.

I hope you realise that what you do... does not matter right? Read my previous post. These things are tracking aps BY DEFINITION.

Roosh made another great article.

Reply 2 Likes

click to expand...

I've mentioned this on another thread in the forum but will repeat the gist of it here because I think it is relevant: I use an old Nexus 5 with an Ubuntu Touch operating system on it. Installing the OS takes a bit of research but once it's in, it works. I don't have to sign in on it with an apple or google account and as long as I don't download any apps from the Play store or use it for social media or email (which I haven't yet) it's completely anonymous. As for GPS, I have an old-school GPS in my car registered under a different name. I still use the smartphone for calls and texting and that's about it. Everything else (social media, banking, etc.) is done on a laptop at home. I also make a point of leaving my phone off and only turning it on to check in four or five times per day. All in all, I think this is a workable compromise.

Reply 3 Likes

click to expand...

Smart phones are intentionally desgined dopamine crack. If you want to start the process of disconnecting switch them to black and white/greyscale mode. It makes them much less sexy and much more utilitarian. Also cheap Android phones can be had with removable batteries. It's nice to take them out when you travel to keep big brother away.

Reply 6 Likes

Smart phones are intentionally desgined dopamine crack. If you want to start the process of disconnecting switch them to black and white/greyscale mode. It makes them much less sexy and much more utilitarian. Also cheap Android phones can be had with removable batteries. It's nice to take them out when you travel to keep big brother away.

With addicts, cold turkey seems to be the best way. Friendo

Reply 4 Likes

100% agree. I have never owned a smartphone. It ASTOUNDS me that people believe they need a smartphone. (I am not speaking of people who use it for work). I currently have the Alcatel Go Flip. I use a Garmin brand GPS in my car, and I have an old-school iPod classic.

Luna Novem, we might be brothers -- you just described me almost to a T. I've never owned a smartphone, either, and your alternative gear is exactly what I have with the exception of the iPod model. The hard drive in the Classic couldn't withstand the bouncing when I do cardio, so I went with the solid state iPod Touch for music. Roosh's suggestion to use an old Android device for music/podcasts is interesting, but my iPod Touch also serves as a 2FA device required by my employer, so it's the better choice for me.

Reply 2 Likes

click to expand...

As for GPS, I have an old-school GPS in my car registered under a different name.

Register your GPS? Is this a new thing? My Garmin 2495LMT (purchased back in 2012) permits free lifetime map updates, but there is no registration that could tie it to me or my movements.

Reply 1 Like

Good article, but I don't know how much ditching my smartphone would really help me. I've had the same phone 5.5 years and it's pretty boring. I just treat it like an extension of my computer. If I did get rid of my phone, I'd just do my computer more instead. I feel like only getting rid of my computer or somehow radically limiting it would make a significant change in my life.

Of course, from a security perspective the article presents a lot of good points. I simply don't do anything interesting enough to be all that worried about whatever data they harvest from my whereabouts. The situation could certainly change in the future if my state decided to become a covid totalitarian hellhole, but considering that I'm just at home or church all the time anyway, there's not much for me to hide.

Reply 2 Likes

click to expand...

Register your GPS? Is this a new thing? My Garmin 2495LMT (purchased back in 2012) permits free lifetime map updates, but there is no registration that could tie it to me or my movements.

Yeah, you might be right - it was actually given to me by someone else and I just assumed they had registered it.

Reply Like

Great article! I bought a dumb phone back in August and used that as my primary texting/calling device but also had my iphone to browse and read twitter and that sort of thing. The immediate benefit was that my phone bill shrank after switching from Verizon to the cheaper plan. It was a bit of a headache to break out of Verizon's tentacles, but I'm glad I did it.

Fast forward a few more months, I ditched the iphone completely. For me, the biggest problem with it was the ease of access to porn that it provided. I found that all the iphone ever did for me was provide another channel to the internet that I had to resist when I had the urge to go online and look at things I shouldn't. The Apple logo with a bite out of it also became too much for me. All I could see was evil.

Since ditching the iphone I have noticed a marked improvement. My only channel to the internet right now is through a laptop, and I find that any urges I get I can handle much more easily. Laptops are more of a tool and the sin that they potentially can help cause can be managed more easily. I can say with certainty ditching my iphone has helped my faith and made my spiritual life much easier in the sense that I'm not needlessly wasting energy fighting temptations from products that don't need to be in my life.

****As a side note, I think it's worth mentioning that implementing these changes doesn't need to happen overnight. You only need to take the small step you are probably capable of taking and want to take right now. Give it some time, and you will be ready for the next change, which will then be easier because you are used to the first change you made.***

Reply 3 Likes

click to expand...