Back to Life without an iPhone

Back in 2011 I went for 87 days without an iPhone which was a challenge but has stuck with me and always made me more aware of how much time I spend glued to my tiny screen.

Well anyway, i’m running the same experiment again, but this time it’s not through choice, it’s because the battery in my 26 month old iPhone7 is broken and needs to be replaced. Apple did run a programme for a while to replace batteries for £25, but that now seems to be over and it’s a cost of nearly £57 for a new battery.

So it’s back out with the trusty Nokia 6300, that still works, despite being in a drawer for the last eight years. I charged it up and it worked first time. It’s been on my desk all day with a few calls made and received and it’s still showing 100% battery.

The camera on it is useless. It claims to deliver a 1600×1200 image size at the highest resolution. It won’t connect to my mac via bluetooth and when you send an image via multimedia, it scales it to 640×480. So it’s basically a standalone phone with little connectivity.

So one day in, what have I missed?

Not much to be honest.

  1. Whatsapp – but only because we have a little group that goes for a walk on a Monday night and I have missed out on the organisation of that, so I hope they don’t forget me.
  2. Coinbase – to see how my truly dreadful investment in Crypto is doing – but i’m sure I could check online anyway
  3. Fitbit – I have been a bit obsessed with steps and heart rate for a few years and whilst my actual fitbit measures it, I can’t see the weekly figures.

And what positives have I noticed already?

  1. There is NO DOUBT I am less distracted and have freed up more time to work
  2. You work in a more linear fashion where you complete a job and then go onto the next one. I have genuinely only checked for new emails when I have finished what I’m doing, rather than as soon as they arrive. Very few emails need instantaneous feedback and most can wait a little while, for a better response
  3. You don’t really need Google Maps for 99% of your journeys – But I always seemed to have it on, justifying it in my head by saying I needed to know about traffic.

Apple have said 5-7 working days for the return of the iPhone, so I’ll see how I get on. That’s not exactly a speedy service for a phone I use for work. The cynic in me would say they are trying to trick you into a getting a new phone. In truth, I almost fell for it too, but thought this would be more valuable to see how life without an iPhone goes again.

It went off this morning and is due back by the middle of next week.

Let’s see if I can cope.

 

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Living without an iPhone – a social and business experiment – Day 31

Okay a full month has passed and I am still off my iPhone 4. What have I learnt so far?

1. I get more work done

2. I am far more able to work in a linear fashion and do the job I have in front of me before being distracted by the next job that appears via my email inbox.

3. I have spent more time talking on the phone as my crappy old three year old Nokia 6300 is a better phone than the iPhone 4 and it doesn’t hurt my ear when I use it.

4. The battery life of an iPhone 4 is amazing if you never use it. It just sits there on standby in my bag in case I ever need it. I’m sure i’ve only charged it two or three times in the whole month.

5. My kids are absolutely disgusted with me and think they should have first dabs on the iPhone.

6. I almost lost my bottle at the weekend and brought it with me as we were going shopping for Duke of Edinburgh gear for my daughter and felt a bit exposed by not being able to price check what we bought. In the end, we just went to Sports Direct where everything was cheaper anyway. Their Field and Trek instore section is remarkable value with a brilliant Karrimor sleeping bag reduced to £18 from £50.

7. When and if I do switch back, I will not switch push email back on.

8. The reason I will keep with my Nokia is more to do with the weakness of the phone element of the iPhone than any of the features and apps that I have barely missed at all.

9. The reason I will probably switch back at some point is the quality of the camera on the iPhone 4, which is excellent compared to the 3g and my crappy Nokia.

The experiment continues.

Living without an iPhone – a social and business experiment – Day 7

The first week is done and for me, it’s been a genuine success. I seem to have been far more efficient with my emails. At the end of Friday I went home with 29 in the inbox, compared to 74 the week before.

I am not ‘grazing’ information I don’t need and without doubt moving more logically from one job to the next. I am not being distracted as much as usual.

I have also had a surprisingly positive reaction with Rosie McArtney being genuinely supportive and believing that more people will switch their own iPhone/Blackberry/Smartphone off. It may not be a coincidence that she lost hers earlier in the year and has been working with a nrmal phone for some time now too.

I’m spending more time on the phone speaking to customers and suppliers – again this has to be a good thing. That’s okay now as I’m using a phone that was designed a phone (Nokia 6300) and the battery life is awesome. It hasn’t needed charging since I switched it on, on Wednesday.

So am I going back now my week is up?

No. Not for now.

I’ll live week by week and see whether I drift into the same lazy habits I had fallen into before I underwent this experiment.

Living without an iPhone – a social and business experiment – Day 4

I’m starting to quite like this. I am definitely spending less time with emails and more time actually doing work. For me this is a huge progression. But firstly a few confessions.

1. The phone I bought was crap – I had a few people complaining that they couldn’t hear me. It may be that they were trying to prove a point and were taking the mickey, but I suspect you get what you pay for and as a casual user it would be a fie phone, but for a business user, it is a little weedy. If yu know of any kids or deserving causes that want it, let me know and i’ll donate it.

I have now had my much older Nokia 6300 unlocked and taped the micro sim in place as the adapter still hasn’t arrived. The iPhone still functions as a wifi device, but no longer as a phone. I have to confess to feeling a little more comfortable with it as a piece of technology. A phone that works as a phone is a good start.

2. I have used the iPhone a bit – Mainly to make outgoing calls as I burnt the credit on my £10 sim in about ten minutes flat. That is now over as I am back on my normal number.

3. I have even accessed an email – I know, I know. I was in the car (parked) and trying to get the number of a supplier. The easiest way was to look at an old email and ring them from that. It was a quick in and out. Honest. But I did immediately go and look at Sky Sports App ad a few others.

It made me feel slightly dirty and not in the spirit of my experiment. Sorry.

And now onto the positives

1. I am working in a more linear way – Dealing with requests once and getting tasks completed and filed.

2. I have more time – I am definitely spending less time worrying about emails and more time doing actual work.

3. I am a safer driver – I have not even touched my phone, checked an email or read a text whilst i’m driving. Car kit or no car kit.

An early conclusion?

I am not wanting to cut my nose off to spite my face, but I do feel it is making me change my (dirty) iPhone habits. I may go back to the iPhone at some point in the future, but I am pretty sure the default position will be to have the email push switched off. If this has only taught me that much, it’s been worth it.

My worry of living without it, is already overpaying for Christmas.