Just over three months ago, I wrote about why I decided to ditch my iPhone. As promised, I wanted to do a followup and let you know how it has been now that I have gone 90 days without owning a smartphone of any kind.
Below are the things I have experienced more and less of as a result of living without a smartphone:
Man does the feeling of freedom sure feel good. That’s why I chose to use the picture above for this post. Now that I do not carry a smartphone with me, I have come to realize is that it is much easier to live in the moment. I feel free when I leave the house because I am actually leaving my computer behind.
Prior to ditching my iPhone, leaving the house just meant switching from using my MacBook to my phone. I never really got anytime away from it all. It felt like the internet was always there, whether it was on the screen in front of me or in my pocket. Talk about information overload.
I spend a good amount of time on my computer at home, so I do not miss surfing the web when I am not here anymore. It feels amazing to not have to worry about anything other than what I am doing at any given moment.
It reminds me of what life was like when I was younger and had nothing to worry about except what I was doing at any certain moment. If I wanted to go outside and ride my bike, I did. I didn’t ride my bike while talking on my phone and blasting out emails. I just focused on the bike ride and my surroundings. I actually took the time to notice things like grass, animals, and trees.
For the most part, the only thing I actually missed was the GPS and Google Maps features of the iPhone. I used to use it on a daily basis to find stores, restaurants, and other destinations I needed to find. It was especially useful when traveling around because I could just type in where we were going and figure it out as we drove.
Instead, I have had to go back to using a paper map (yes, they still make them). I must say, it took a lot of getting used to since paper maps are a tad less interactive. You cannot ask a map where you are at any given point in your trip, nor can you ask it for directions and get a nice step-by-step guide to follow.
Luckily I have realized that I enjoy getting lost from time to time. A few times I have ended up going somewhere completely different than planned. This is especially true for things like restaurants. If I can’t find it, instead of looking it up I will just give somewhere else a try. It feels good to do things on whim instead of always doing things we plan in advance.
I think it makes life a little more interesting since it isn’t so predictable. It makes going places more of a challenge and adventure. I like it.
When it comes to life without a smartphone, I must say there are far less distractions. I can still remember the days when I would sit down at a restaurant with my girlfriend and occasionally check my email, Twitter, and Facebook to see what was happening out there in the land of the internet. Talk about distractions!
Not a day goes by where I do not see someone walking down the sidewalk texting (or surfing the web) on their phone, only to miss walking into someone by a few inches because they are not paying attention to where they are going.
Is this really the way life should be? Do we really need to be so on top of things that we need to constantly be distracted from what is actually happening around us? I sure don’t think so.
As I mentioned in my last post, I am saving roughly $80/month by not having an iPhone. I did in fact buy a Tracfone, but I only use it for emergencies and other situations where I need to talk to someone outside the house. I haven’t even used $20 worth of minutes in the last 90 days nor do I plan on using the rest of them anytime soon.
I must say, it feels good to have one less monthly bill coming out of my bank account. While it might not be a ton of money, it is $80 less a month I have to worry about.
I have also noticed a lot less worries in my life. I no longer worry about going over my minutes, nor do I worry about any issues with my service provider.
Best of all, I no longer worry about having a $300+ piece of technology in my pocket at all times. It is quite the relief to not have to worry about keeping my phone safe. The nice thing about the Tracfone is I can easily replace it for about 30 bucks if I were to break it or lose it.
I do realize that smartphones are very useful for certain people in certain situations. That’s why I don’t anticipate everyone ditching them anytime soon. However, it is worth thinking about a life without one.
After trying it for 90 days, I can honestly say it’s not so bad after all. Who wouldn’t prefer a life with more freedom and adventures and less distractions, expenses, and worries? I know I sure do.
Photo Credit: Josef Grunig