A couple of days ago, I wrote a post about how I was intending to ditch my smartphone for at least a month. Well, it’s 24 hours later as I type this, and the “experiment” was a complete and utter failure!
I mentioned in the article that I had a “few use cases” that would prove the process of ditching my smartphone difficult. I knew it would be hard, but let me tell you, I massively underestimated just how reliant I am on my smartphone. So much so that just 24 hours later, I’ve actually ditched the crappy Nokia, and I’m back on my smartphone.
So why was this process such a catastrophic failure right from the start? Well, there were a number of crucial use cases that I didn’t consider before taking the plunge. Basically, like the idiot I am, I didn’t give it enough thought.
The use cases I listed in my original article were:
I decided that I didn’t really need a camera, that I could check Fosstodon less often, I could (and did) buy a Bluetooth MP3 player and use that for music and podcasts, I could check my email and calendar as and when I needed to – like Fosstodon, and I could simply go back to texting instead of WhatsApp.
All of this was fine, and worked as expected for the most part. However, there were some surprises once I actually got going:
In short, there weren’t many. Along with the Nokia, I bought a Bluetooth MP3 player. I transferred my music library on to it, along with a handful of podcasts that I haven’t got around to listening to yet.
The audio quality in the car was actually better from the MP3 player than it was from my smartphone. Plus, I discovered a number of hidden gems in my old music library that was stored on my Synology NAS.
I’m actually considering canceling my Spotify subscription as a result of this. So it’s not all bad, as I may have saved myself £10/month, which will pay for the phone and MP3 player in 4 months.
Then again, I might not cancel it, as the playlists and convenience of Spotify excellent. 🙂
So I thought there may be a compromise to be had here. Maybe getting a simple Android phone that will allow me to have the core apps that I need, but in a cheaper device. Or maybe a feature phone that has a full QWERTY keyboard.
It then dawned on me – what’s the point in buying another Android phone if I already have a good one? It’s a completely pointless exercise; I might as well keep the smartphone I already have.
The QWERTY feature phone is another matter though. I think if I were able to find one (which I couldn’t), I could maybe make it work. But then again, I’d still have to forfeit my watch, tracker and two factor authentication. It’s a none-starter.
I’ve jumped in to this without giving it any proper thought. Whilst I’m not reliant on my smartphone for frivolous things, like social media and games, I am heavily reliant on it as part of my daily workflow and quite frankly, my life.
Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed as I thought I would be able to last longer than 24 hours. But the fact is, I can’t and that’s really sad. I suppose I can take solus in fact that I didn’t have to revert to my smartphone for silly reasons, but rather practical ones.
If I think back to the process of De-Googling my life, I started with the caveat that it needs to be as good as, or better than, anything I currently use. I knew I wouldn’t be able to approach this process in the same way, and I was willing to make compromises here. But completely changing significant portions of my workflow for products and services that are inferior, is completely pointless in my opinion.
Can you offer any advice for me to give this another go? Maybe another phone that offers some kind of middle-ground, or maybe something I haven’t thought of at all? If you do have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.