I bought a Sidekick II in early 2005. It was my first smart phone, and it changed my life. I’d had other phones with web access in the past, but it just wasn’t good enough to be anything more than a curiosity. The Sidekick II was very usable. I could get out and about while managing my business and helping my clients. I was no longer so tied to the computer.
I’m on my 4th Sidekick now, the Sidekick LX 2009. The first one I bought at a discounted rate and signed a contract with T-Mobile, but all the subsequent ones I bought outright, so I’ve long since been out of contract.
T-Mobile/Danger/Microsoft decided to shut down the Danger servers on May 31st 2011. Without the servers, my phone is a dumb phone, with an excellent keyboard.
T-Mobile handled the transition in a piss poor fashion. I had to spend hours on the phone with them, I could detail it all out, but who really cares. It was hideous and offensive. No two people would tell me the same thing. At first I was told that even though I was off contract, I’d be given a discount on a new phone because of the inconvenience of my phone no longer having the features I bought it for. By the end I was told that no way would I get any discount at all, unless I would sign a contract, at which point I’d get exactly the same discount as anyone else buying a phone and signing a contract. Zero compensation for the inconvenience.
I originally planned to leave T-Mobile and go to Virgin, where I could get a plan that suited me well (unlimted data and very limited talk (I hate to talk on the phone) for $25 per month. I’d have to buy a new phone outright, but I wouldn’t be under contract, and it was cheaper than what a new phone with similar features would cost me to stay on T-Mobile. Plus it was cheaper per month than T-Mobile. It, admittedly, has for less minutes, but I basically see the less minutes as a bonus.
I cut back the T-Mobile plan, because we didn’t need two phones with data plans anymore. At that point I realized it only cost us $5 a month to just have a phone that shared the minutes. $5 is less than $25. Of course it is cheaper, it has no data, but…
What if I just went without?
I’ve been living with a smart phone for several years now, and I’m addicted to the damn thing.
I think it is a useful device, but it is possible I am deluding myself over how useful it is. It might simply be a luxury item, or it could very well be a monkey on my back, ruining my ability to think properly, since I store half my brain functions in the cloud, and keeping me from really living in the moment, because I am too damn busy posting about the moment online from my phone.
So, I didn’t replace my smart phone. I just have a dumb phone. I’m seeing what that means for my life.
For one thing, I find I don’t reach for the damn phone immediately upon waking.
Actually, I sometimes leave it in the car or another room for the whole day, and don’t pay any attention to it.
It’s inconvenient to not have the internet on my phone, but my world hasn’t fallen apart, yet.
Anyhow, that’s why I am a little less responsive than you might be used to.