I used to use my phone quite a lot. If I was waiting for coffee I'd scroll Facebook, if sitting at friends we'd often scroll things and show each other funny stuff. I relied it on quite heavily from telling the time to the GPS and maps to know where i'm going.
So why dont I have a phone?
Well around 4 months ago I lost my job. No big deal, but it did mean I lost my steady income. My phone bill is around $120 AUD a month and i fell behind so I was cut off. I could still use it connected to WiFi and to receive calls but then I smashed it.
I have had some work but I haven't paid my phone bill and as the time goes on I'm finding less desire to. It hasn't been some great change like people imagine, super social, new hobbies lots of new social interactions etc. But there has been a difference.
First thing I noticed was I noticed a lot more. When waiting for coffee instead of looking at my phone I'd just watch the people going about their day. I noticed my favorite bakery girl had some weird quirks, I noticed the school-kids that would try and glance at my hair sneakily, I just kind of noticed more. It was nothing life changing or incredible but it was interesting.
Next thing I noticed was I actually watched the movies I put on and didn't miss things. I used to chat on Snapchat and messenger while watching movies and I'd miss little bits and pieces. Now the only way for me to use social media is on the laptop I watch movies on so if I want to chat I end up pausing and replying then un-pausing.
I also have this odd sense of freedom. It's hard to explain but it's something like I can choose who I contact. If someone calls its unlikely ill be around to answer and If I don't want to talk to someone I don't have to feel guilty ignoring their messages or calls until I feel like replying.
I feel like when I have a phone I have some obligation to reply but now It's all up to me.
First negative I noticed was when I had some work for a week. I didn't know the area or any idea where it was. I couldn't use the GPS. Okay, easy fix right? Print off directions before you leave or write it down. Okay, done, until they ask me to drive 45 minutes away to pick something up. I end up borrowing a phone writing down directions from there and finding it not too bad. In the end it wasn't too much of a hassle but you can't deny the convenience of having a map and directions to anywhere in a box in your pocket.
I also, since now unemployed found it somewhat of an obstacle not having a phone when looking for work. I would have to give my home number and with the job market so competitive I did miss out on a couple of jobs due to not getting back in time.
By far the biggest difficulty I faced was when my car broke down. It actually happened twice but the second time was close to home and I had lost the keys so it was my own fault.
On the first occasion I was driving back from a friends about 35 mins away, around halfway through the trip, on a country back road in the middle of nowhere, steam began pouring out of the engine. I pulled over and shut it off immediately. Opening the bonnet I noticed a split in one of the radiator hoses. realizing no-one really drives this road and it was going to be a 3 hour walk to the main road/home I thought I could Mcgyver my way through it. I waited for it to cool, removed the split hose and pin. I duct taped the split nice and tight with about 5 wraps and then replaced. I put some more water into the tank and turned it on and began driving. Hoorah no steam it seemed to of worked
2 minutes down the road it happened again and after that it wouldn't even start. I began my hike. After around an hour someone drove past and let me use their phone, my mum came out (It was actually her car) and then we had it towed back to the mechanic. The car is now dead and it was just a downright hassle not having a phone for all of that.
In the end I think I will pay my phone bill and get it reconnected. Or I may even trade it in and just get a pre-paid sim so I use it less. You can't really compete with the convenience and whilst I have enjoyed not having one I will probably require it for work when I find it.
I am going to try and use it less though. People think not having a phone makes you more social but in reality everyone else has one. I went to a party where most people sat on their phones in small groups and hen you don't have one you become the odd one out. You can't be social without everyone else being social either so being one person without a phone makes no difference. In this day and age we need to learn to live with and accept them for their positives and negatives. Like other harmful things we can try and mitigate the consequences by using them as little as possible but coming into the future it is just unfeasible to think we could go without these magical little devices.
If you're able I urge you to take a break from your phone for a while. If nothing else it will make you appreciate it much more when you have it back.