How long could you live without your phone? An hour? A day?

Vox Pops International will be presenting on the YMS Digital Stage, sharing how one brave 23-year-old girl coped without access to her mobile phone for 24 hours. The results are fascinating! Here Laurence Gibbons previews what to expect.

According to the latest UK government statistics, a whopping 538,000 mobile phones are stolen annually.

If you add to this the possibility of mobiles breaking or being lost, the average phone will last just 15 months.

So, with 94% of those aged between 14 and 64 owning a mobile phone the likelihood is you have, at some point, found yourself without your mobile and isolated from the digital world.

For some, the loss of a phone can be a minor inconvenience, but for many, it can fuel a nervous breakdown circa Britney Spears in 2007.  

More worrying than Britney’s very public breakdown, is the news that children as young as four have been given psychological treatment as a result of mobile phone addiction. During some recent interviews we conducted with millennials, the majority admitted to feeling a compulsion to check their phones throughout the day to help keep them entertained, informed and connected with friends. Experts aren’t surprised that people of all ages, not just the youth, have become addicted to mobile devices, as they provide positive reinforcement and support in the form of ‘likes’ on social media accounts.

To test this addiction to mobile devices and the reliance people have developed for them we added to the 538,000 phones stolen annually and pinched one poor person’s phone.

Don’t worry, you won’t be perverting the course of justice if you don’t immediately report Vox Pops International to Scotland Yard. You see, although we did steal someone’s phone and lock it in a box for a whole day, it was done so with the willing agreement of the owner herself.

We managed to pull off a mind control feat even Derren Brown couldn’t manage and convinced Daisy – a typically tech-reliant 23-year-old – to voluntarily spend a day without her mobile device. To make things worse, she agreed to attempt a series of tasks that would normally be completed in minutes with the help of her trusty iPhone, but we wanted her to go 20 years back in time and experience how people would have managed in 1997 – before mobile ruled the world.

The result - Daisy spent one day running around her hometown of Harpenden trying to bank the old fashioned way, and then went on a desperate hunt for friends. Without Whatsapp she struggled to organise a mass game of Scrabble and things got worse when we sent her to Central London to purchase the current Number 1 single and find us some evenings entertainment.

You can watch Daisy attempt these tasks, and more during our screening of this 15-minute ethnographic documentary at YMS 17.

After filming with Daisy, we began to wonder what the future had in store for the human race. Would we become tech-addicted morons, unable to function socially or personally without a mobile device permanently connected to our person? To find out we spoke to Futurist David Smith who painted us a picture of a world where we would wear technology inside us and have personal digital assistants. We will be sharing David Smith’s predictions with you all at the YMS17 as well.

So to see what the future has in store, don’t miss our screenings at YMS17, or visit us on stand 06.

Haven't got your tickets for YMS LDN 2017 yet? Head on over to our event page for more information on the biggest youth marketing conference in Europe.