Starting off the new year without a smartphone.

“I don’t know, Dad … it seems a little clunky,” my 12-year-old son said as I fumbled with my new Light Phone II. This was a replacement for my failing iPhone. I had decided not to get a new iPhone, or any other smartphone. I needed a break. I would go into the new year without a smartphone, to see how it felt.

My son was right: It was clunky—a little slower and a lot less whizbang-slick than iPhones had numbed me to expect. But this was the point, wasn’t it? To be a little more clunky, to consciously