Are you a nomophobe?
2nd October 2019

Every year, we become more and more reliant upon our smartphones. Smartphone addiction or nomophobia can have negative consequences on our mental and physical health, our relationships and life satisfaction.

‘Hold Hands - Not Phones’, is an initiative led by Old Bromsgrovian Violetta Onishchenko and Laszlo Bliss which explores our relationship with the smartphone, the negative consequences of excessive screen time, and finds fun and practical solutions to decrease screen time. Hold Hands - Not Phones is about connecting people in real time and allowing them space free from mobile phones.  

On Monday 23rd September, Violetta, who is a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, Future Leader in the Citywealth’s 2018 Top 100 List and Founder of Hold Hands - Not Phones spent the day at Bromsgrove School where she gave a careers talk to pupils at her previous house, Oakley and met with Year 13 pupils to discuss the impact of excessive smartphone use.  Violetta has also been invited back to speak with Prep school pupils.   

Commenting on the initiative, Violetta said “Together, we can create a world where you get to make an intentional choice of when you pick up your smartphone and what you use it for.  We’d like a world where people are happy and complete, without their smartphone glued to their hand”. 

The emblem of Hold Hands - Not Phones is a Holdhands macrame bracelet, made from cotton rope. It is a symbol of people tying knots of connection, friendship and love. The idea for the bracelet came from wanting something that is produced, a simple human craft, not done through an online app or the internet, but gifted face to face, with no filter. 

Violetta and Laszlo propose to have an international Hold Hands - Not Phones Day every year on 18th March. A day when every school, university, office, friends and family encourage phone free space and give each other an opportunity to connect in reality. 

If you would like to share ideas or get involved, contact

You may also be interested in ...