What I learned when I gave up my cell phone | Hays Edmunds | TEDxYouth@MBJH

What I learned when I gave up my cell phone | Hays Edmunds | TEDxYouth@MBJH

“When I was bouncing ideas around ideas for my TED talk, I had the idea to talk about people’s dependence on technology, especially smartphones. I liked that idea, but it was missing something. I thought ‘Could I live without technology? What if I did?’ And then a new idea hit me – I could give up technology for a month to see if it really was possible.”- Hays Edmunds

Hays Edmunds is a ninth-grade student at Mountain Brook Junior High. His interests include playing music, playing lacrosse, and hanging out with his friends. Hays spent an entire month without technology, and, in his words, “It was very, very, very tough.” But, he learned a lot about himself, his relationships, and his family through the process.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx


  1. lukeslc on September 11, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    I could live without a cellphone — no problem, but then again, I am not addicted to it.

  2. Alex Leitch BSc Open on September 11, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    I have been ten years without a phone……

  3. Jessica James on September 11, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    I got my first phone when I was 18

  4. Cactus Bob on September 11, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    This has to be one of the dumbest "talks" i have ever seen. what do these people do for a living? do they even work? The cell phone is a great tool .it has brought me freedom . gone are the days when i checked my messages with a beeper(answering machine control) and a pay phone 4-6 times a day . now a customer can just call me directly.
    cell phone= income. it’s that simple.

  5. Music_Lights on September 11, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    Lol that’s how I grew up. We didn’t have smart phones in my early days or at least they were more flip phones lol xD

  6. Aeroluster on September 11, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    I just need something to discover new obscure music, so I still use my PC for mp3 from time to time. Gave up my phone for 3 days once and relapsed.

  7. Jill Baribault on September 11, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    makes you feel happy to be raised before the internet when you had to leave your house top see your friends

  8. To be honest on September 11, 2019 at 8:11 pm


  9. peter krauss on September 11, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    i ve never had a cellphone. i might get one but i m not sure

  10. nootie b on September 11, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    This is pretty cringy but it has a good point lol
    (Also he’s cute thats probably why I clicked on this video honestly😂)

  11. Scotty Höek on September 11, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Translation: I lived like people did, 10 years before my birth. Big deal.

  12. Amalia A on September 11, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    I’m giving it up for 3 months.. here we go

  13. Gaurav Loya on September 11, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Just got to recall my old days when there was no smartphone and how good I was to use my time effectively. I think Feature phone was still okay but smartphone is just a time and focus sucker.

  14. Steve Roodenrys-Brown on September 11, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    If i didn’t have a job I could easily live without a phone

  15. James Thomason on September 11, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Proud of him/ you. I was the last of my friends to get a cell phone in 2004 even though it was "analog". Swore it just was not "necessary" & today I question that due to friends, GPS music ect… as most every other "user" out there. If it were not for cycling I would be +300#s more than likely. Luckily cycling requires effort to put your phone in your pocket & leave the computer for the duration of my what I label: "Escape". Tell your mom & dad I said hey. Your dad & I have been together in school since kindergarden – I still have the pic too 🙂

  16. sirgeechi on September 11, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    I went without my phone for seven months…. In jail

  17. The Pondering Minimalist on September 11, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Now, it’s like Youtube videos for the day, and then get up & repeat..
    Getup, watch, repeat..

  18. Magnus Johansson on September 11, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    The best thing about not using a smart phone or any other mobile phone is the reduction of microwave radiation one gets.

  19. Someguyto on September 11, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    I had a cell phone for 2 years and gave it up. Yes I can live without a cell phone.

  20. gsotoaz on September 11, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    He needs to slow down, and talk slower.

  21. Waylon Lyons on September 11, 2019 at 8:30 pm


  22. Travis S. on September 11, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Today marks one week smart phone free. I downgraded to a $11.00 flip phone and in past few days my attention span has snapped back like i didnt even imagine. I find myself more living in the moment and not distracted at all. Im enjoying the feeling and finding it odd seeing people glued to smart phones and realize how silly i must have looked. Freedom!

  23. flimmyjimmy983 on September 11, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    HI I’m the second comment dam

  24. Hari Krishnan Rajagopal on September 11, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    It really added some reason for my "year without smartphone". I don’t know how it’s going to end but I am sure this year will make some substantial changes in my life. Happy Newyear! ( To everyone reading this comment ) I really appreciate your thoughts on this new year resolution.

  25. Dz Nutz on September 11, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    I literally only use my cellphone like a home phone.. granted I use a computer for entertainment but I watch maybe 10 hrs of TV a week.. I listen to music more or less… but then again I was born in 82 and I didn’t own a cellphone until I was like 21ish and it was a work cellphone Nokia flip phone that could ran over by a tank and still work… however I never felt the need to really attach that digital umbilical cord to my brain… it seemed to effect people around me negatively and that’s how I viewed cellphones.. I still look at them as the bane of in person communication/socializing

  26. Jyri Väätäinen on September 11, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    I have no TV and no Radio for 3 Years. I don’t have Xbox, Wii, Instagram or Twitter! Life continues despite I answer NO when they ask about TV, Twitter or Instagram. I come to someone, they usually on TV. When they come to me, I have no TV, so we usually just talk. I mean all people know about dinner, is TV or smartphone dinner, now I have laptop and 4G smartphone. This just so I don’t need to have cable modem in my house and I can listen music from Google Music using connection. I love to discover new tunes, so subscription pass is for people like us. I don’t have much apps in my phone, most are pre-installed and I don’t have Facebook on it, only on laptop when on it. Probably don’t need at all… I use my smartphone so I don’t need Internet to home, a camera, MP3, calendar etc. All in one is for me, everything in moderation. Don’t like to post about life in Facebook or changing selfies. If we changed our selfies this often as many do daily to our id cards, we’d be moneyless by now. In Finland I think ID card renewal is 50 euros about five years.

  27. Shadow Man on September 11, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    I’m 53 and have never owned any mobile Phone. Decades of life without one taught me we learn and explore more the ‘old way.’

  28. Shining MissingNo. on September 11, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    I’m watching this on a phone…. so….

  29. Whealth By Umar on September 11, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    People who were born in 60s or 70s were not living with any cellphone in there youth.

  30. lukeslc on September 11, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    Good for you, Hays!!

  31. richard hyser on September 11, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    If your born after the 90’S You won’t even comprehend life without a smart phone.

  32. Samsonite on September 11, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    I know relatively young people who’ve never owned a cell phone. People always manage to get a hold of them.