And so it came to pass: As my year headed from mundane to catastrophic software failure, I found myself in a pub in St Albans, being a nomophobe (fear of not having a workng mobile phone) as my wife visited the latrines, then my phone died - never to live again.

I sat nonplussed and, although my life didn’t flash before me, a mild panic washed over me!

What if there’s an emergency (there rarely is), or an important email is about to hit my inbox on a Saturday evening (it never does), and, more importantly, how many points did my Captain, Haaland rack up on the fantasy league app for me this week?

To cut a long, and ultimately dull story short, I spent two hours on my wife’s phone the other day to my network provider as I reiterated 15 times that I had not dropped said phone into a sink or toilet, eaten it or dunked it in a muddy puddle.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Brett Ellis didn't think he could manage without his mobile phoneBrett Ellis didn't think he could manage without his mobile phone

Eventually they agreed to an ‘investigation,’ and I found myself contemplating being phoneless for a week.

But oh, what a revelation it proved to be!

Worried how I would survive, despite doing just that until my mid 20s before first using a mobile phone, I quickly came to embrace the solitude it gave me.

On the Monday night I actually watched an entire football game for the first time in years, without scores of checks each time the ball and chain of telephony called me hither.

I could judge who had had a good game, was fully focussed and, for the first time ever, I read a book whilst cycling on the shed turbo trainer, in lieu of the clamour for my attention from Netflix, Amazon or a random funny cat video.

In the mornings I paid attention to GMTV with a cup of tea as opposed to staring aimlessly at the phone screen to see if the world had shifted on its axis via the latest revelations from folk I have no interest in.

Now, fully immersed in the no-tech world, I found myself looking and smiling and not missing the constant distractions we allow our addiction to thrust upon us, consuming every waking hour as we check for a revelation that rarely comes like fish on a hook.

And then, as happy as I have been for many a year, I arrived home at the weekend to find a non-descript box. Opening it eagerly, expecting it to be the new Slimfast meal pack, I found a new phone and my face dropped.

Wallowing in a pit of self-obsession, I submitted, which, I’m sure is not what Alexander Graham Bell had in mind all those years ago, when our lives were much more innocent but richer for it.

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher.