Life Without Phones

We use our phones every day. They have a modern name “Smart Phone”, as it can do much more tasks compared to the old one. I’ve been using iPhone for over 3 years now. And since yesterday, I started not to use it, you probably wonder why but I got some personal issues so maybe this is one of the actions I have to take.

Anyway, here is the interesting things I found that I can’t do without a phone based on these 2 days of experience. So many surprises.

  • I have to find a clock alarm, the physical item, to get myself up at morning.
  • I feel so boring when I’m on a train. I can’t check Twitter, Facebook or any RSS newsletters. I can’t read my kindle book either.
  • I was in the mood of cooking, and I realized, “Oh, I don’t have a kitchen timer.” Then after I cooked, I couldn’t take a picture.
  • Yes I can’t take a picture whenever and wherever I want like before, my phone is the only camera.
  • I can’t check-in in foursquare when I enter a cafe or restaurant, to keep log of my life.
  • I can’t track my running records, although I have a fixed route so I know exactly how many kilometers I’ve run but still I can’t keep those data.
  • I can’t block the noise by putting earphone, to be specific here, a noisy child cries loudly, rolled on the floor said to his parents that he wants juice, right in the center of a shopping center, he is totally guilty and not innocent. I have to say the f**k words and hold myself try not to kill him.
  • I don’t know the time when I’m out. I have a watch but I don’t have the habit to wear it…
  • I can’t access to the Internet, when I want to search a place, I have to do the research in my laptop before moving.
  • I can’t keep tracking my expenses. I’m using an app to do that, now if I really want to continue, maybe I have to input the amounts in some kind of Excel-like interface…
  • I can’t take a note, I don’t carry a notebook and a pen with me, I was using Evernote or Apple’s native Notes app to do this thing.
  • And of course, I can’t contact to any friends by calling or sending text messages.
  • And at work, when my boss asked, “hey, this thing seems not work in smartphone browser, go check it”, “OK, damn it! I don’t have a phone…”. Really funny.

I’m not sure where I’m going, but there was not just negative “findings” about this. I found myself have time to think about something normally I would not to because I must be checking not-that-important tweets or just trying to use the phone to kill the time. Any tasks/ideas/todos comes to my mind, I have to keep it there, into my mind stack. And trust myself if this thing is important I won’t forget about it.

I wrote this post doesn’t mean I like this idea and try to convince any of you to do the same crazy-seems-nonsense thing. But by doing this, it reminds me how my social/technical life has changed within 3 years, how great iPhone it is to make life easier.

I’m sure I can go back, live without a phone completely if I really want to. I can find lots of alternative tools, I still miss paperback books, sometimes I still want to grab a pen to take notes or just skitch some ideas to the paper. But when it comes to keep connections with friends or family, it’s still very convenient when we keep our phones in our pockets.

November 24, 2012 Diary

Share on Twitter Share
Qihuan Piao

Qihuan Piao

(aka kinopyo) is Chinese based in Tokyo. Software writer. He shares stories inspired him in this blog. His infamous line - "I feel calm when I kill those monsters, or people (in game)" shocks his friends deeply.
He also writes in Japanese and Chinese.