Two weeks ago I cancelled my T-Mobile Blackberry service and didn't replace it with anything else. It's sort of an experiment I've been thinking about doing for a while now and I took the opportunity of my Blackberry software totally malfunctioning on a daily basis (and the fact that, for the last five years, I've lived with zero, one, or two bars of service at any given time in my apartment) as an excuse to give mobile isolationism a shot. Anyway, I've since been smartphone-less. It's the first time in 9 years I haven't had a smartphone. No e-mail, no Foursquare, no Google Maps, no blogging from the road. Best bit: no skin-crawling, anxiety-inducing weekend blinking red "you have new messages" light.
I figure that I'm on the computer, like, ten hours a day anyway. I work in new media. Why do I need to be tethered to my email all the time? I hardly ever get any important personal emails anyway -- since I'm in my 30s, my friends are, for the most part, still avid texters and callers.
I also hated that I'd become one of those super-fidgety people who used my Blackberry as a social shield. Waiting for friends outside a restaurant, I'd never just take in my surroundings or people-watch -- I'd bury my face in my handheld instead, trying to appear busy. And it started to bother me that even though I go to shows all the time, I feel like I hardly ever really see bands because I spend half the time taking (crap) photos of them on my Blackberry. I was always tweeting, always checking in on Foursquare, always looking at Facebook, always emailing -- and I had this vision of myself turning into one of those scary obese screen-bound humans in Wall-e. Remember them?
So I cancelled my Blackberry service and now I just have a flip phone. (By the way, you would not believe how hard it is to find a decent-looking flip phone in 2010.) I've put pink bunny stickers all over it because I'm really immature like that. And I feel great. No more blinking red "read me" light.
Let's see how long this lasts. Eh, I'll probably cave and get an iPhone when it lands on Verizon next year.