Giving up a smartphone for lent

Over the February half-term break I spent an amazing week in Morocco. For a variety of reasons I didn’t take my iPhone 3GS with me.

When I got back and switched the iPhone back on, it got stuck in some kind of infinite reboot loop. When I tried to force it off/on again it got stuck in recovery mode, the mode in which it has remained ever since! Even the Apple Genius Bar can’t restore it.

So I decided to go without the iPhone for lent (which started the day after the phone died), instead choosing to use an old Nokia handset that does little nothing more than make phone calls and send SMS text messages.

This has been an interesting “experiment” – I think many people are probably unaware of how much a smartphone has changed the way they interact with people, particularly those in front of them! I was certainly the sort of person to get a mobile phone out in a pub (for example) – and now I find myself slightly annoyed when this is done by others.

I have quite enjoyed being something of a “ludite” for the past few weeks, particularly when doing “old-fashioned” things like asking an actual person for directions!

I have already decided that if I have another smartphone I will turn all notifications off except for calls and SMS. Interactions with real people deserve my undivided attention. Personal or professional email accounts and online networks do not!

This article in the Telegraph today also highlights how this (not always great) change in behaviour has crept up on many people:

Now that lent is over, am I rushing out to buy a new iPhone 4S? Not quite. I feel as though a few more weeks (at least) of “cold turkey” can only be a good thing.

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