Archive for June, 2011
I am 3 weeks into my dumb phone experiment. I’ve lost all interest in my phone. I often have no idea where it is. I don’t bother to charge it at night. I have practiced the texting and gotten much better at it, although I still think it is very annoying. For instance, it thinks that pressing the sequence 278624 is more likely to be because I want to say “brtobi” than “brunch”. I do occasionally really miss the smart phone, for useful reasons, like being able to look up something which is actually pressing or important, or having access to the occasional important and time sensitive email. I had myself rather convinced that much more of my email was important and time sensitive. It turns out that only applies to maybe 1 or 2 emails per week.
Mostly I am discovering that my addiction to my smart phone was just that, an addiction. It wasn’t vastly improving my life. It wasn’t making my life easier. I just “liked” it, and I kind of didn’t even like it, I just felt like I needed it, and felt anxious when I didn’t have it, which I chose to interpret as
liking loving it, but it turns out it was just a cliché unhealthy relationship. How embarrassing.
I’m also feeling slightly more motivated to see people in person, it is particularly odd because these are people I don’t normally interact with via text or social media, and yet by tuning that noise down, it is those people I am thinking of more often than the missing static in the cloud. By slightly more motivated, I mean the idea has crossed my mind on more than one occasion, I’m still not actually inspired to making that face to face social interaction happen, and it is unlikely I will be spurred to action any time soon, what with it being SUMMER and all.
When I was 5 years old, I had a friend who lived one street over, but our houses lined up so that we shared a backyard fence.
This sounds like the ultimate in coolness and convenience, but my mother decreed that I was not allowed to climb the fence to go visit her. If I was invited over, I was to walk around in a civilized fashion and appear at their front door.
I was also not allowed to walk over to her house by myself, no matter how I complained and cajoled. We lived in a decent neighborhood, but not the kind where everyone knew everyone and kept an eye out on the neighborhood kids. Also, the way around was fairly long, and people tended to drive on her street pretty quickly, plus there wasn’t a real sidewalk.
Eventually, one day my mother relented. I could walk around by myself, and call her as soon as I arrived at my friend’s house.
I set off on my little adventure. I made it about half way to my friend’s house when I came upon a group of big boys. To then me, they were huge. To now me, I think they were in the 5th to 7th grade range. I continued on my route, without hesitation, for the last time in my life.
The boys parted to let me walk into their midst, but then closed ranks behind me, and surrounded me. How many boys? All the boys in the world, as far as I was concerned, but I am guessing 5 or 6 of them.
I tried to continue on my way, but they kept blocking me. Bumping me. Trapping me.
“Where you going?”
“To my friend’s.”
“You want to hang with us?”
“I have to go to my friend’s.”
I kept trying to pass. They kept preventing me.
“I have to go.”
“Just give me a kiss, and we’ll let you go.”
“Yeah, give us some kisses.”
Adrenaline coursed through my body. I didn’t know that at the time, but I am well familiar with the signs and symptoms now. Fear and rage and regret and so much flight or fight, but with no understanding of how to do either one.
Shaking I tried to pass them, and just kept saying I had to go.
Then one boy said, “Wait a minute. I think I know her,” and they all paused.
“Are you Jimmy’s little sister’s friend?”
“Let her go guys.” Turning to me, “Don’t tell.”
So, I made my way to my friend’s house, and I called my house to say I had made it there safely.
I didn’t tell on the boys. I didn’t want to get in trouble. I was told I shouldn’t walk by myself, but I kept bugging them to let me walk by myself. I didn’t want them to know that I couldn’t even walk one street over by myself.
Not that I intended to walk to her house by myself again.
Hell, at least I made it to 5.
My first several cell phones did not have a QWERTY keyboard, and I did more texting on it than I did talking. It was fine.
Then I got the Sidekick II, and entered the much easier world of QWERTY texting. In the meantime, in the non-QWERTY world, they became helpful. Now that I am back to having a non-QWERTY keypad, I am being much pained by this helpfulness. As usual, it doesn’t help me, because there is something about the way I am wired that means most UI design works for shit for me, the more carefully designed it is, the more it tends to suck for me.
I am trying to make the help back the fuck off, so I can text the way I did before the QWERTY phone, I was fairly fast at that. So far, I am just being hampered by all the help.
Seriously, yesterday friend texted to ask info she needed about cooking something. She clearly wanted the info quickly, and I could not fucking manage to write a reply. I ended up resorting to finding my husband in the store (BevMo) and interrupting his booze shopping to ask him to text me what I wanted to reply, so I could forward it to her. I’m not kidding. That is how I replied to her.
Today, I was waiting for take out dumplings and I texted my husband who was waiting out in the car.
“15 min wait. It might take me that long to type this.”
I was able to get a reply from him and type one response before the food was ready.
Next we went to Paradis where we samples some flavors and then all of us chose the Orange Buttermilk, because it was SO good. I need to look at buttermilk ice cream recipes. I’ve never had it before, but I need to make sure it is not the last. I would have tweeted about it, if I had better texting capabilities, but I did not. I might have mentioned it on facebook if I had a smart phone, but I did not.
So, that is how things are progressing during my experiment.
Sometimes I just leave my house without my phone, and I don’t really care. This is a new development. I used to find it very stressful if I accidentally (rarely) left my phone behind.
A couple of times, it has been truly frustrating to not have my phone so that I could access my email.
Mostly, it has just highlighted for me how useless the phone seems to me without that feature.
However, rather than making me want to run out and get a phone that I can get email on, it mostly makes me think about getting rid of my phone entirely.
So, yes, I was very addicted to my smart phone, but so far any withdrawal symptoms have been minimal, at worst, or possibly just nonexistent.