A Day Without an iPhone

2009-October-13

On Sunday, Meaghan and I went out to see somebody to whom she had been referred for computer help. After a few hours we'd gotten everything working and headed back home, but not before we had some Wendy's and paid a quick visit to Megan. When we got back to Gabaldon, I had forgotten that I'd set my iPhone somewhere on the dashboard, and I took that which I needed and headed out for the evening.

As I went to bed I discovered that I didn't have the iPhone, which I use as an alarm clock each morning, and figured I'd just get it from her during our class together on Monday. Unfortunately, Monday showed up to class, but Meaghan didn't, for whatever reason. I would call or text her, but that's a bit difficult without my phone.

Fortunately it's not too difficult to do everything I need on public computers, on my mobile computer, or in general, just not to do certain things, but it's really quite an eye-opener as to how often I really do use the iPhone, and the types of things for which I use it.

For example, I'm pretty sure I send a tweet to twitter once every hour or so during the average day, and most of these I send from my phone. I also check my e-mail somewhat obsessively, and of course, facebook, plus I sometimes snap photos and put them on flickr or just use it to browse engadget, calculate something quickly, and of course I've been in the habit of listening to music with it as I'm talking around campus during the day.

It's a bit of an eye opener as to how reliant I really am on the iPhone (or even more generically, a mobile device that I can use for information and communication) for the things I need and want to do on a daily basis. As an example, I wanted to call Megan to say hello and wish her good luck on her exam, but wasn't able to. I also use it to communicate with people I need to meet or ask a question of, and a few other things.

In general, it's not super easy to go about my daily life these days without the mobile phone. Would I be able to do the things I need to with a dumbphone instead of a smartphone, or even with a device other than the iPhone? Totally, things like Engadget and Twitter are nice but not necessary, alarms and emails and calendars are closer to being things I'd consider as "necessary" but are still not totally necessary to my life, especially given that with another time piece I can keep track of time on my own.

I did get the iPhone back later that day and I'll admit even though I had already been sitting at a computer, I made the decision to keep playing with it throughout the rest of the day. I'm not sure if I needed or legitimately wanted the information access at the time, or if I'm just used to having it, regardless of whether or not there's a legitimate need.

Something to ponder before going with another 2-year contract with a mobile cell provider.