The Dumbphone Experiment: Conclusion

How was it? Surprisingly refreshing!

The Good

My main fear going into my first few days without a smartphone was that I wouldn’t know what to do with myself in those quiet moments.

Those few minutes where nothing is going on and you pull out your iPhone and then its an hour and a half later and you’ve watched every stupid video on Facebook and consumed every morsel of content on Snapchat and now you’re browsing memes on Imgur confused as to how you got there.

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After a good phone binge

Over the past week or so, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t really miss those moments at all. I didn’t have the cold turkey addict’s response that I thought I would have I just… didn’t spend X amount of hours looking at random content on my phone. And I felt great about it.

It was liberating knowing that I could exist without checking through Facebook or Snapchat throughout the day, As pathetic as that sounds.

Honestly, I barely touched my Dumbphone much this weekend either. Other than making some phone calls and sending some texts (which was much harder than I remember it being. I do miss the iPhone’s texting experience, more on that soon), my phone kind of just sat there. I didn’t even need to charge it until it finally died after 3 and a half straight days.(!!)

My productivity also went through the roof. That hour or so in the mornings and evenings I would spend “checking” my iPhone in bed was suddenly back into my day to get things done. I had completed nearly my entire checklist of things to do for the weekend before 9am Saturday.

It’s not all roses however.

The Bad

I missed the texting experience on the iPhone greatly. I use texting as my main form of communication and that is an area that Apple has nailed in the UX design of the iPhone. I would estimate that texting on my EnV Touch takes about 5 times as long as it would on my iPhone. Between wrestling with it’s user-unfriendly interface, the clunky physical keyboard (I miss Swype… and autocorrect) and just the phones relative slow speed, texting is now a chore instead of the delight it was on my iPhone.

I also had some moments where I missed the iPhone’s camera. The EnV Touch camera is miserable compared to the camera’s our smartphones now posess. I would have liked to document some of a wedding I went to, but alas, no dice.

I also missed Spotify in the car. No love for the Aux cable this week.

The absence of YouTube during breakfast was a bummer, but realizing it’s potential to suck time away, didn’t feel to bad without it.

The Ugly

I missed a few job related calls due to the poor vibrate mode on my EnV Touch. It wasn’t terrible, but because my voicemail reverted to a state of not being set up during the switch from smartphone to dumbphone, it definitely cost me some professional points.

Conclusion

Not having a smartphone is a great way to refocus yourself. Being constantly connected via a smart-device has a certain dulling effect. Perhaps this isn’t true for everyone, but for me, I feel sharper and more tuned into others when not distracted by the digital world of my phone screen.

I am happy to be back and using my iPhone again, but now have a better perspective on HOW to use it.

Our digital consumption is like a diet. Some things are better for you than others. Texting and actual phone conversation are like the salad of my digital diet. I can do that a lot and not feel like I’m getting bloated. Social media and other more addictive applications are more of the junk food of my digital diet. It’s okay every once in a while, but you can’t eat the whole bag in one sitting.

 

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