I’ve been mostly without the use of my iPhone for going on a full week because of traveling overseas. The cost of all the international plans were really silly prohibitive and I thought – what the heck – I can do without, except for emergencies. So, I got a plan that basically costs about 80 cents per minute, bought 200 minutes, and turned off all data use. If my boys need to reach me, they can. Everyone else will get my voice message saying that I’m gone because this particular international phone plan gave me a new sim card and a new number to use while I’m gone and the only people I gave this new number to were my boys.
My iPhone5 resides in either my shirt pocket (if my shirt has one) or my front right pant pocket. There it stays until I check it, which is usually every 47 seconds, give or take. The habit of “checking” my phone has become truly addictive and absurd. I can hear the ring or feel the vibration so why do I check it so often? Don’t ask.
This habit has grown more pernicious over the decades since I carried the original brick cell-phones. As their size diminished and their technology and features soared, so did my dependence and affliction increase. I’m lost without my iPhone. I even have a battery back-up charger so when/if I lose power, I’m able to keep it “alive.”
There were two reasons I chose not to get a plan that would allow my normal usage while on this trip which, by the way, is 38-days long. First, is my inherent desire not to spend money. Second was my interest in seeing how I’d do less tethered to my phone. I also thought that having 24/7 Internet access would alleviate the withdrawal symptoms since much of what the iPhone offers I can do on my laptop.
So how is it going, you ask? Do you want the truth or my best creative writing? Well, you’re going to get both since I always try to write the truth and always work at presenting the best writing possible. The truth is simple. At first, I was apoplectic with discomfort. As of this writing, I indeed feel – liberated. I carry the phone solely in case my boys need me. After all, I’m still a dad. But, I don’t check the weather, stock market, mail, texts, or anything else AT ALL and I’m quite used to it after less than a week.
In fact, it is sweet and, I think, a better way to live life. Granted, I’m spending 23 ½ of my 24 hours each day on my laptop, but at least I’m not attached at the hip to my phone. I’ve made a few calls to my younger son, who is manning our home and dog, and that did relieve some of the anxiety of negligible use of my addictive device, but it’s eased considerably in the few short days since my access has been denied.
I love what technology offers but I loathe how it’s complicated our lives and made work possible any/every hour of the day. My fervent hope is that by the end of this trip, I return to a more balanced use of my phone and technology in my normal lifestyle. My betting-man odds are, “forget about it” since I’m all but sure I’ll resume my previous habits within a matter of days, or even hours…