One month ago, or thereabouts, a surprise and torrential downpour killed the blackberry I had left out on a table on my backyard deck. My daughter suggested I put it in a tupperware container with rice for the night. Feeling foolish, I did just that.
The next day, the water bubbles could still be seen under the glass of the phone, and the logo sticker wrapping the battery was still drippy to the touch.
Alas, this began my journey without a mobile phone. It has been three and a half weeks of waiting and doing without, due to a few unrelated issues, and I hear I have another 7 - 14 days left.
What has the experience been like?
I suppose it has been like 1998, I think that is the year we all started getting blackberries, right?
Remember, once you had the lovely little device, you no longer had to study and print out your work calendar the night before you left the office?
A few of the other flash-back/time-warpy negatives I've noticed:
- I can't send an email when an idea strikes me. I have to try to remember the thought, and remember to send the email later, at a time when I'm near a computer.
- I feel more backed up on email -- now, even more messages likely go unread.
- I can't text or email anyone to tell them the conference room has changed, or where, exactly, we're sitting in a large restaurant.
- I have to be at my computer for every con-call/webcast -- because all the dial-in numbers are in the calendar.
- I can't check my calendar during a meeting to see if I am free for some inevitable future meeting.
- I can't call anyone from someone else's phone. All the phone numbers are in my mobile device. I don't even know my husband's mobile number.
- I can't check my detailed agenda for an external event while I'm at, or en route to the event, or send a quick message to the event's organizer. Thus, I need to print out the detailed agenda and make sure it includes a mobile phone number of the point person.
- I can't "just enter" an appointment on my calendar when leaving the dentist and such. You have to walk out with those little white cards and hope you don't lose it, or forget to enter it into your computer later.
- I can't get on Twitter or Facebook when I'm out and about and my mind gets bored.
- I can't easily connect with my sister or my friends. The way I have been doing that (Facebook, texting, emailing, calling) is connected in some way to my mobile device -- and I tend to do those activities when I am away from work/my computer.
- I can't confirm that someone got a message when I'm not at work.
- I can't snap a photo and upload it anywhere.
- I can't look at the photos I've taken.
A few of the neat things I've noticed:
- My attention is 100% at home. I don't sneak peeks at the blackberry in the evening and hold up my finger to my kids excited commentary while I finish a "quick message."
- My attention is 100% at meetings. No sneak peeking there either.
- My attention is 100% while driving. Okay, I said it.
- I don't have to bring the mobile phone with me everywhere I go, all day long -- and stress out when I realize I'm half way across the building and I've left it in my office.
- My husband can't call me and tell me to pick up some dinner or a bottle of wine (after a long day when I just want to get home!)
- My 8 year old can't call me 13 times during the course of an hour to ask me when I will be home, or ask me what I am doing.
- In fact, I get no unwanted calls at unwanted times.
One other thing that has happened -- which is more negative than neat -- is that I've been using my office phone. I use it for out-going calls. None of the speed dials work anymore (they were programmed SO LONG AGO), so it does slow me down as I now have to go into my contacts and look up the number before dialing. I am also forced to use it for in-coming calls, which means I have to be absolutely in my office when the call is scheduled to come. Each time I give my office number out, a little giggle goes off in my head. Kind of like seeing someone from childhood. You have to reach way back in your mind to remember the number and how it all works.
The number one negative ...
I've experienced is Stress. Stress from fear of missing a meeting, not having certain information, not seeing certain emails in a timely manner. That type of stress.
The number one positive ...
I've experienced is time. My time has been more mine.
- At the airport one evening flying home from a business trip, when I normally would have been doing email right until I boarded the plane, I instead had a nice appetizer and met some interesting people.
- After work, I'm apt to talk to my kids while cooking dinner, rather than putting my head into my email between flipping the burgers.
Those are the stand outs at this point, nearly a month into the remotely unwired journey.
Oh, and the number one LUCKY ...
I'm so lucky this happened to me during the summer. You know the time when people squeeze in vacations and email and meeting volume dip just a bit?
----------- Talk Back --------------------
Do you remember life pre-smart phone? What is one thing about those "old fashioned times" that you miss? What is one thing you rather liked?