A lot has been written about people becoming slaves to their Smartphones. That was (and perhaps still is) the case with me. Previously I saw the phone as a liberator because the phone and the computer allowed me to do what I do, which has included vastly simplifying my life in all regards but still being able to run my business.
Well, having simplified almost everything else, my main problem was this damn phone I am checking every 30 seconds.
I had started trying to set limits for myself around 3 months ago. Limit 1 was simply not to use it in the car whatsoever. Limit 2 was turning it off at 9pm and not turning it on in the morning until I showered and made my coffee.
Some of these things caused issues because people were used to me answering them promptly, but people started getting used to it.
Prior to the current month-long trip to Panama, Anguilla, and then back to Panama that i am on, my I-phone was on the fritz and I figured it didnt have too long to live. I mentioned this to my ex-wife a month ago and she said she has a near brand-new I-Phone 5 that she got when her step-dad died and I could have it.
Its a big process getting an I-Phone unattached from an apple account, including having the executor of the state prove his credentials, etc.
So, I left off to Panama with my I-Phone and this backup Iphone that still wasnt usable.
On the first week of my trip my I-Phone went dead for good. I was in Panama City at the time. My first thought was f*ck, I am going to have to buy a phone tomorrow. My second thought was Eh, I will wait until I am in St. Martin on Sunday, they will be cheaper there, then on the plane I thought Eh, I will just do nothing about it for now, and call Apple on monday.
Its now been two weeks and I still dont have a working phone. It turns out that Apple really, really wants you to buy a new I-phone, as I am still getting the run around even though I, and the executor of the estate have both jumped through all of the hoops that Apple has asked us to jump through.
A big part of me, however, doesnt really want to get a new phone. I am perfectly happy without one.
The first day in Panama without a phone went like this:
I was making plans with friends. Most people outside the US communicate on whatsapp, which now I didnt have.
So, I just emailed one guy in the group and said just email me back when and where to be, I dont care what we do really.
I got a response back an hour later and that was the extent of my planning
instead of the usual messaging between 3-4 different people and the endless Im here, where are you? messages.
On Sunday my plane to St. Martin was late, so I missed my ferry to Anguilla and had no way of telling the lady who was going to pick me up at the ferry (the free wifi at the SXM airport never works). I also didnt have any minutes on my Anguilla phone (just a cheap piece of junk).
At first I panicked a bit. Suddenly I had a problem because I did not have a phone, but in the end I just walked 100 yards to a place with wifi and sent her a skype message.
In any event, I have been totally happy without a phone. I do have a google voice number so I can make and receive calls over my laptop. Also, anyone who really needs to get in touch with me can do so by skype, email, or Facebook. However, it sure feels great not being distracted by constant text and whatsapp messages.
I will of course have to get another cell phone. I would prefer if Apple would just unlock this perfectly good one that I have, but I have a feeling that they wont. In that case, I am certainly not going to buy an I-Phone, just so I dont reward Apples behavior.
I have a client who has never owned a smartphone. When I first met him 2.5 years ago I was incredulous that this tech-savvy guy didnt have one, but I am starting to come around to his way of thinking and perhaps I will go that route.
If I do eventually get this I-Phone activated I will learn how to implement the features that only allow calls and texts from select numbers for much of the day. Maybe Ill allow an hour of texts in the morning, and another in the afternoon.
Otherwise, I am enjoying the peace and quiet and the increase in my productivity from not having a phone.
I highly suggest that everyone try turning their phones off Friday afternoon and not turning them back on until Monday morning. I guarantee that you will enjoy it.