I posted my iPhone on Craigslist yesterday morning around 11am. I got back to the house to check my email at around 4. I had at least 5 to 7 responses and immediately began responding. By 5pm I had already arranged my first meeting and by 6:30pm I had $300 cash in my hand and said goodbuy to my iPhone. So it has been about 1 week since I deactivated it and I wanted to share my thoughts.
First, let me just be up front. I did not get rid of my iPhone out of social awareness that I could take the $30 a month and spend that on homeless babies or some other very worthy cause. Certainly that is much more of a possibility now, but that is not what motivated me to get rid of it. So why?
1. The burden. I am a fiend for porn if I am not careful. The iPhone made it all too easy to not be careful. Everywhere I went, all day long, that phone seemed to weigh heavier and heavier in my hand as the temptations would grow. So over the last few days I have felt a freedom that I have not felt in quite a while. I cannot put a price on that freedom.
2. The time. When I bought the iPhone I was so excited about the email function. I would be able to stay on top and respond to emails virtually at anytime and at any location. As a part-time college instructor often teaching two classes at once this was a major benefit for me. I could quickly respond to student crisis as they arose rather than being overwhelmed when I logged on throughout the day. Not only this but as I began to download and use other apps this “time-saving” argument seemed to justify itself more and more. I could keep up with my Google Reader. I could post more with WordPress. I could keep in a constant state of tweetasy with Twitter. The reality. Those things all fell to the wayside. Why? There was so much other stuff to do with the phone. In the time since I have stopped using the phone. I have kept up with my Google reader. Posted more on WordPress. The tweets remain about the same. But the best part. Now at home when I’m home and away from the computer, I am unplugged. I can’t just whip out my phone and hop on the internet spending time looking at all the latest apps, or even just surfing the web.
3. The money. Ok I made the above disclaimer about the financial aspect of getting rid of the iPhone, but it is still a part of the decision. Our monthly cell phone bill jumped from about $90 a month when we were with US Cellular to over $140 a month with AT&T. At least $30 a month is dedicated to the iPhone.
I want you to also know that this has been very hard for me to give up. I now use this antiquated Nokia flip phone with about the crappiest camera I’ve ever seen. It is humbling. My daughter’s friends now have nicer phones than I. Unmistakeably, this humility is a large part of the process for me. To realize that I am not the summation of all my techy toys. That in fact life does exist in a structured and manageable form without a phone that can literally do everything for me at anytime in any place. Sure I miss my iPhone and I hope that some day I will be able to get another (when I can trust myself and it makes more financial sense). But until then I’ll enjoy the time I have with my little Nokia.
So technology aside, what are other things that we have come to rely on thinking that life can’t be survived without it?