Skip to main content

A week without phone



A week without phone
Two weeks back, I had a situation where I was left without a phone. My wife had offered me to swap the sim card and use her phone. It was a generous offer that I politely declined.
So, here I was without the one gadget that people touch the most in their lives, every single day. They touch the phone more than a girl twirling her hair back to her ears or a guy checking out each and every hot chick passing by the street!
So my adventure began on Monday and lasted for whole 5 days. Here is what I observed.
  • Mobile is everywhere
  • Every single person driving a car has a mobile phone in one hand at the traffic         lights.
  • 80% of them don’t use any headphones or Bluetooth device when talking on their phone
  • More than 50% of them read their phones and drive. Out of the total 50%, 90% are Indians
  • 10% of them have a cigarette in one hand, and the other hand with the mobile phone on the steering wheel
  • 90% of the people walking on the street have mobile phones up to the face
  • 90% of the people eating in cafeteria during lunch hours eat with mobile phone in other hand. It doesn’t matter if there is a group or no group at the lunch table
  • 60% of the people click pictures of the food before they eat. They do typing after taking the picture. I assume they post it somewhere online
  • 80% of the people have phone sitting right next to their desk and charging
  • 50% uses headphones in office and is hooked to their mobile devices
  • 90% of the people will glance at the phone the minute they hear a notification sound. This is true even where there is a work discussion going on.
  • 60% of the managers will check and respond to their emails during meetings.


How difficult was the transition with no phone?
Not that much. On the contrary, I was more focused and could see a lot more world, activities, places, and faces that I normally wouldn’t. I actually could hear bird chirps, could observe different people’s reaction, and let my mind wander to any topic, not have to worry about the emails or the phone calls.   I could understand the lyrics and the meaning of a song or verse. I could play close attention to signs. Some of the radio ads are really funny.
For e.g – Loose Yourself by Eminem might be the best song ever written. Every single line has a deep meaning to it.  It is a very dark song and at the same time very uplifting song.
Or I could see the arrow sign in the negative space of a FedEx logo. Hint - Check the white space between E and X of FedEx logo.
It felt like freedom. It actually did.
Not everything is rosy. I missed the maps, the news, the camera and the mails. There is always temptation to get the latest news or check emails, but once you resist that temptation, it really doesn’t feel much.
We have come a long way from Motorola Razr phones from 2004 to an iPhone or other smart phones. In the same period, social websites exploded. Right from MySpace to Facebook to Instagram to Twitter to Path to Pinterest to Snapchat – all are exploding and vying for our attention. Then there are countless messaging apps that are vying for our attention. This all happened in a relatively short time span of 5-7 years. There is no shortage of free information that is available to anyone who is really interested in trying new things. The truth of the matter is we, as human beings now are wired to receive up to minute information as soon as it happens and share as much information as quickly as possible. We are really dependent on our phones for everything. On the one hand it makes our lives so much better, but on the other hand, we unknowingly, are becoming slave to it.

What now?
A week off from the devices was let me appreciate the smaller things in life. I was more focused, less distracted and in general made my life a little better. I received my new phone and I am back to my old habits, but I need to change that. I think I am going to make this a habit of not using a phone for a week each month from now on. That would be a good start.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Interesting Articles - May 2nd 2017

1. All eyes on iPhone Sales - iPhone 8 (4 mins)
I love reading Bob Lefetz newsletter. He has his own unique way of saying the things that he wants to say where a layman can understand it.
"Tech is all about utility, not fashion. And there’s no breakthrough coming, other than a curved screen. You needed a new phone when they went from 3G to LTE. You needed a new phone when they increased the screen size. You no longer need a new phone, especially since the carriers have stopped subsidizing the purchase, now that the true cost is evident. People drive their cars ever-longer, but analysts believe consumers are all gonna fork over a thousand bucks for a fashion statement? Not gonna happen. Otherwise, 3-D TV would have been a juggernaut and you’d be throwing away your present flat screen for one with 4k."
http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/2017/05/01/iphone-8/
Bonus article  - Bob had an amazing post last week just before Twitter's quarterly results
http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/2017/04/25/tw…

Oatmeal, Organic Milk, Amazon and retail, Microsoft Windows 10S - May 3rd 2017

Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert dominated the news with their monologues and they are must watch. Apple released it Quarterly results and they really look good to me :-) (Wall St disagrees, but when a company makes $50b in revenue in a quarter and $11b in profit - that's really good to me). Jokes aside, Apple is stagnant with no real new product in the pipeline and the next quarter, historically has been weak and with everyone waiting for 10th anniversary iPhone and the rumor that they won't be on sale till 2018, then it doesn't bode well for them.
Here are some interesting posts for today.

1. Oatmeal - You are not going to believe what I am going to tell you! (10 mins)

If there is one story you have to read today, read this. This is amazing and it is fun and makes you wonder on how we think and act and how our brain is wired with our core beliefs and how they shape our decision making. This is really good.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe



2. Organic Milk: A natural Scam? …

Interesting Articles - April 20th 2017

1. Codeine and Kids - What can go wrong?

Deep down we all knew the side effects of the painkillers and cough syrup, now the FDA has come out slinging against Codeine and Tramadol. On one hand FDA has decided to come against the painkillers, but on the other hand, it did nothing to stop pharmaceuticals to sell OTC cough syrups and drugs that do contain those chemical elements.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/04/20/524376484/dont-give-kids-cough-syrup-or-pain-meds-that-contain-codeine-fda-says

2. Emirates - The problem begins

This was my fear when the current administration signed the executive order to ban tablets and laptops for three middle eastern airlines. How long before the other two airlines cut down the stops in US and concentrate more in Europe and the rest of the world? What it means for passengers? More expensive flights for world travelers. The tourism industry is already hit with anxiety and a lot of travelers are definitely avoiding the hassle to come to thi…