Anyone who has seen my fingernails will attest to the fact that I am a compulsive person. Having a smart phone in my pocket gets along real well with my compulsive tendencies. I check it every few minutes. I’m especially satisfied to feel the vibration or hear the chime that means there is something to look at. I’m looking at my phone at inappropriate times: during dinner, while I’m with my kids, in a meeting, while I’m driving. I try to moderate, putting my phone somewhere inconvenient or turning it off, but I’m still constantly checking for it, going and getting it, thinking about it.
My phone just isn’t important enough to me, really, to spend so much time with it. There are so many other things I’d rather think about!
There are a couple of disadvantages to not having a smart phone that I had to consider.
- No access to the Internet means I won’t be able to quickly look something up when I’m out and about.
- I won’t have a way to easily play music in the car when my daughter says “I want kid’s songs!”
- My phone will not be a media player, so no more podcasts.
- I won’t be able to take decent photos with my phone, which means either no pictures or carrying around a bulky digital camera.
- Texting will likely be harder, and receiving photo messages will be small and distorted.
Choosing a phone that is not a smart phone is not very fun. I bought a Motorola Razr on Ebay, but because it was an unlocked phone and not an AT&T phone, picture texts didn’t work at all, so I ended up just using an old phone we had laying around. At least it has a keyboard. That helps.
The first couple of weeks without my beautiful smart phone were pretty hard. I kept feeling for it in my pocket and realizing that it just wasn’t there. I’d pull out my new phone and be immediately disappointed. There’s just nothing to do with it! Especially when there is a lag in my daily life, waiting in line somewhere for example, I notice that I want my smart phone, but then I just stand there instead. I notice all the other people standing around looking at their phone. I never noticed them before because I was one of them. I rode by a bus stop the other day, and of the 10 or so people waiting for the bus, 9 of them were looking at their phone. I’m one part jealous and one part amazed by the fact that most people are just like me.
I’m not taking pictures, I’m not keeping up with Facebook, I’m seeing new emails in the morning when I get to work, I’m not constantly connected, I’m beginning to feel more comfortable in the in-between times, when I’m alone with myself, with nothing to do. Sometimes doing nothing is nice.