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Giving up my smartphone

I know, I must be crazy. I’m not a Luddite, really.

I’ve had a cellphone of some kind since 2001. Before everyone had iPhones, I had a Motorola Razr, which I absolutely loved.  Of course, texting in those days was limited to a few words and “text speak”, which is unheard of these days with the predictive text on our phones rarely making the dreaded auto-correct mistakes some of us were so familiar with. The Razr had music download capability and a really cool interface. Also, it was thin and small.

Since having an iPhone since 2011, I have noticed that I spend A LOT of time on it and feel actually anxious when I don’t have it around me at all times. I don’t do much texting or messaging, but I do love having Google at my fingertips at all times and of course, there’s the ever-present social media trap. FOMO, fear of missing out. But what am I really missing out on? More political bullshit on Facebook?  Playing mindless games when my brain needs to shut off for a few minutes? The simple fact that my phone is small enough to fit in my hand makes it too convenient to put down. Just for the record, I do have a very nice new tablet that I can use for playing games, checking Facebook, etc. I can even listen to audiobooks or read the news. The thing about the tablet is that it’s bigger than a phone. It’s not as portable or as convenient for constant checking and keeping snugly in my palm for a quick distraction.

So, what to do? Delete all of my apps that cause a distraction? Leave my iPhone at home? I decided, after much consideration, to get a “basic  phone.” Yes! You can still buy a phone that doesn’t have the capability to download a million apps or require a fingerprint or face scan to use. Something that doesn’t cost $1000 and requires a $60 case to protect the “investment.” I bought an Alcatel “Go Flip” phone for $20. I downloaded some music for working out and the very limited KaiOS store had a couple of very retro games. I have had to learn other forms of communicating with friends. It is time-consuming to type long texts, so I have a texting app on my tablet if I need to type something long and I can also use Messenger. It does the job and it does it cheaply.

Do I miss having my iPhone on me at all times? Sometimes. I actually like not being tied down by all the messages and notifications.

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