A few months ago I told you guys about how I was dumping my smartphone, mostly due to feeling addicted to it but with cost as a pretty big factor.
It’s been an interesting experience, especially after a gift I received on Christmas.
But before we get to that, let’s start with how my life has changed.
With a smartphone, I found myself looking at it constantly. When I woke up, any spare minute in my day, and just before bed all found me with that little screen in front of my face.
I thought it would be really hard to give up, but didn’t expect many difficulties. Here’s what I’ve noticed:
I’m less efficient, but probably not in the way you’re thinking. My phone was my camera, my planner, my notepad, my GPS, and my mini laptop all rolled into one. So while I’ve had to buy single function items like a planner and a camera, which is technically a less efficient use of space and items, it means that I don’t get sidetracked by Facebook when I just want to put my work hours on my schedule.
I’m not always hunting for a good new calendar or to-do app, since I have what I need: a pen and paper.
I do, however, miss a few functions. I didn’t realize how much I’d miss being able to listen to music in the car, or have threaded texts (with no issues with my inbox filling up; it’s been ages since I’ve had to clean out a text inbox!), or have GPS.
I found myself leeching off other people with smartphones, primarily The Geek. If we’re hanging out together, he can use his phone to look up phone numbers, nearby places to eat, directions, etc. so it’s not entirely fair to say I’ve given up on smartphones… I just don’t have to pay for one :P And, full disclosure, if my job begins to require a lot of in-home visits, I’m probably going to invest in a GPS to save myself the headache.
I felt pretty good about my transition. It was a little rough, but I got a dumb phone with a keypad for easier texting, since that’s most of what I do, and a bare minimum data plan in case I really need to look something up. Then, on Christmas morning, I opened up a present from The Geek’s parents.
This is about what I expected…
But nope. It was a real, solid, iPad mini. Yowza!
Honestly, I’ve found this to be the perfect medium between an iPhone and a dumb phone. Now I can listen to podcasts on my way to work, I’ve added some of my games as reinforcers for the kids I work with ( if nothing else will motivate them, usually a shiny game they never have access to will do the trick), and with the wireless keyboard I got for it, this has mostly taken the place of my laptop.
At first I did get sucked into a few of the time wasting games, with all their meaningless numbers and sounds and achievements that made it feel like I was accomplishing something and had my brain squirting out dopamine like a fire hydrant. Within a month I’ve come to my senses and deleted those games, though I still find myself occasionally killing time with one of my reinforcer games.
So now I have my phone, which just texts and takes phone calls. There’s my laptop, which stays at home and is used for work, video games, and YouTube (my iPad has awful buffering rates in the YouTube app). And lastly my iPad, which comes around as my reference for crafty projects and recipes, my access to Google Drive (which itself has routines/workouts/important stuff) and is used for basic blogging, social media, and sometimes games.
Personally, I think the secret why this has worked out so well is two-fold: the iPad is too big to fit in my pocket, and requires wi-fi for a lot of things. This means I don’t have it on me all the time, and even if I did all of the really big time sucks aren’t available.
If I already had a smartphone or a netbook or something similar, this would’ve been redundant, but for me, the iPad mini is the perfect blend of portability, technology, and limited use so I can actually get stuff done.
Okay, okay, this is starting to sound like a sponsored post or something. I just wanted to be honest about what’s worked for me, what hasn’t, and why (instead of just saying “I got rid of my smartphone and you should too!” as I’ve seen a few posts take that route).
Do you own a smartphone? A tablet? Have they helped you, or does it feel like it’s easy to get sucked into them?