GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – They survived!

Nearly two dozen Adelphi University students made it a full week without their cell phones!

As CBS2 first told you last week, it was part of a college course intended to break the powerful addiction of smartphones.

MORE: ‘Life Unplugged’: College Professor Making Students Give Up Smartphones For A Week To Test Addiction

CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff went back on Thursday as students were reunited with their beloved mobile devices.

It’s old school in Jacob Dannenberg’s dorm room – with an alarm clock to wake him.

Handwritten notes remind him an actual wristwatch to keep track of time.

No it wasn’t 1999, it was an Adelphi University course called “Life Unplugged.” where students did the unthinkable one week ago – handed over their smartphones.

Adelphi University Prof. Donna Freitas and her class. (Credit: CBS2)

“I’m freaking out, I could probably cry right now,” one student said.

It was a bold experiment to recognize today’s compulsive relationships with ever present devices.

Seven days later, “who’s excited they’re getting their phones back today?” Professor Donna Freitas asked.

Gone were the nerves and the shakes.

“Everything is perfect right now. I’m having a lot better relationships… it’s a stress free environment no pressure about social media,” Jacob Dannenberg said.

“I think it’s really refreshing and relaxing… I was able to fall asleep a lot easier,” student Adrianna Cigliano.

They managed to find their way, even without GPS for a week.

“I just had to take the same route everywhere,” one student joked.

They were also more productive.

“Doing homework was 100 percent easier. I got it done faster, I was in the zone,” Cigliano said.

Prof. Freitas says it’s important for everyone to assess their addiction.

“Are the conveniences worth it because the drawback are pretty significant,” Freitas said.

“The fact that no one can focus, that my students can’t sleep… They feel bad about themselves because of social media, the list goes on and on.”

The sweet reunions went sour quickly as endless notifications piled up.

“Oh my God this is so bad!… I just want to shut it off now!” the Adelphi class said.

Students say they’re not quite breaking up with their phones, but promise the relationship will change.

“I want to keep that balance and figure out the healthy relationship that we deserve to have with our phones,” Cigliano added.

“My screen time is definitely going to go down and I’m going start to appreciate my surroundings more because usually I’m looking at my screen all the time,” Ashley Castillero said.

Students told CBS2 they look forward to living more in the moment, with their heads up more often, notifications off, and the “do not disturb” on.

Students were allowed to use a desktop computer or laptop during the experiment. They also made emergency communication plans with family.

Comments (16)
  1. Tom says:

    Read “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport.

  2. Cosmic says:

    I have FB as my only social media and never peruse it any longer. I don’t care about what you are eating, I don’t care where you are, I don’t care about your politics. EFF IT! I ride my bike, go for walks on the beach, forest, write, play and perform music, hang with friends/family. I Look around at things. I only use my phone for news, interests , weather (i’m a meteorologist) and pix. I take lots of photos, never of myself and usually nature or other interesting things and share them on my neighborhood FB page and my own to make people happy and smile. I detest FB and everybody’s opinion’s and LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME! ICK!

  3. Aranhas says:

    Tossed my phone 8 years ago. I’m free. Untraceable. I buy and sell apartment buildings. Use a landline and computer email and haven’t lost a dime. I work with attorneys, managers, contractors, agents, and dozens of people daily. When I leave home to take a walk I’m free. FREE. You don’t appreciate that word until you are separated from the chains of a smartphone.

  4. Adorable Deplorable says:

    Torah-observant Jews ditch their smartphones one day each week.
    It’s called “Sabbath.”
    Because God commanded them to do so.

  5. bill10558 says:

    The blissfullness of Plato’s shadow people…..take a few courses in the history of ideas kids and take responsibility for you own education based on reality. Many of your credentialed professors have been hoodwinked too.

  6. eeyorestail says:

    Meh, see what happens where they’re not in a controlled environment being freshmen in a dorm where they know where they’re going and where they’re going to eat, or where they’re sleeping at night. They’ll be begging for their smartphones back.

    Hotels don’t even use No/Vacancy signs anymore and I miss absolutely nothing about dealing with travel agents and taxi drivers trying to rip you off.

    1. William Herald says:

      So then, your addicted with excuses.

  7. James Wilson says:

    Smart Kids.

  8. Yirmin says:

    The problem is smart phones are more like heroin than they are like spaghetti… It is easy to limit the amount of spaghetti you eat to maybe once a week or once a month… but smart phones are much more addictive and are more like heroin… if you start using it, it quickly starts getting used more and more and become the same problem again. The best option is to just eliminate it completely, if you need a phone get a old school flip phone.

  9. Eric L says:

    I’m 44 years old and have no problems living without a smartphone tempting my constant attentions. I stopped at a flip phone because I could see where this was headed. ‘Taint natural to overburden the mind / attention.

  10. Jonathan26 says:

    A few years from now, master’s theses will be written about the adverse effects of pervasive devices on our culture, mental health, psychology and work environments.

    1. OJ says:

      Agree unfortunately the addiction will make the whole change movement a tremendous uphill battle…..as a side note can any school please hold a class where students master communicating without using the word “like” every 3rd word?

      1. Biology and Environmental Science teacher here. Working on it every single day, OJ! When they present projects, using the word ‘like’ costs them points. Teachers hate it just as much as you do!

        1. Cosmic says:

          Oh but the smartest person in the world, AOC uses LIKE LIKE LIKE a thousand times per sentence. She’s so smart, and knows everything about our earth-system. All this with her bartender experiences! She’s so smart…oh, that;s right Greta the Great is even smarter. Forgot. Silly me.

      2. H. T. Benderski says:

        I thought I was the only one annoyed

      3. Edgar Schwartz says:

        “like” and “so”…

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