October 15 2012

The Short Lived Fantasy of Living Mobile-y Simple (+update)

So a couple weeks ago I posted something about how I thought Apple was messing with my iphone and making it worse and slow to motivate me to get a new iPhone (btw- since then I’ve been hearing tons of complaints that their iPhone 4’s are acting ‘weird’ and slowing down and stuff — so I stand by my accusation moreso. Originally post here.)

Anyway, over the weekend I lost my iphone 4. I think maybe I left it in a rental car or dropped it somewhere or who the hell knows what. But it’s gone and the Find my iPhone app can’t find it. I think it’s possible that Apple Police came and confiscated it as punishment for speaking out against the system. Now I’m forced to get the 5 at virtual gunpoint because all my stuff is locked up in the cloud.

I go to the AT&T store and they inform me I’m out of contract til November. And they’re sold out of the 5 anyway. Dude told me I could pay $450 for a 4S– but that would lock me in for a 2 year contract and then I’d be stuck with a phone all old school 2011 til 2013. Which would mean my next iPhone would be the 6 in 2014 (which is just going be called simply ‘6’ btw) — or I’d finally make a switch over to Windows phone which I was considering doing anyway because the iPhone is boring and I resent the 5 on some weird level.

So here I am talking to AT&T guy and he’s like, ‘You can come back in November and order the 5…’ but he wasn’t even sure when they’d get them back in stock. Probably because the slave uprising at Foxconn set the schedule back a bit. But I told him I needed a phone like today— so I bought the cheapest phone they have. $40.

One of those guys. It looks and feels like it was made ten years ago. Original packaging probably bragged about it being ‘In Color’.

But as soon as I heard the ring tone…

… I got weirdly nostalgic for a time long past. When the world was still wide open on cellphones. When getting a text message was as exciting as getting snail mail. Games like Snake and Concentration were all involving. And getting on the internet via the phone was near impossible and clunky– but amazing that it worked.

There was a side of me that immediately felt like I should maybe relive that time. Maybe take this lifestyle change as permanent. When I wasn’t assaulted by friggin email all day. When I wasn’t always accessible. No ghost vibrations. No butt calls. When text messages were for necessity not primary communication. Maybe that simpler time was a better time. Maybe my head would be clearer if I didn’t have this constant distraction buzzing my butt every ten minutes?

I honestly started to think that maybe I would keep this old phone to make a statement to myself. And that statement… ‘I’m simplifying my life. Starting right here.’ I’ll still see texts. I’ll still be able to get to email if absolutely necessary. But this phone puts two degrees of separation between me and the world.

But then I realized the truth. I don’t have my books with me. I like them. Or my music. I like that. NYT or my photos. Or my maps which I do use and rely on alot. I guess I could sacrifice the games and the poking around at nothing apps for no reason– but flirting with going cell simple was a short lived fantasy. I realized that progress had me. The limitations on this phone would get on my nerves in no time. I’m locked in to the lifestyle. There would be no turning back time. There would be no escape.

Although in my heart, I do think we were probably all better off when a cell phone was a phone with other stuff. Not like now, when we have this massive distraction on us 24/7… that also happens to be a phone.

But for the next month or so I’ll proudly and appreciatively be living in the technopast. And at the very least– I know I’ll appreciate the involuntary mental vacation.

ok bye

PS. This flipphone is ridiculous. Super unituitive. It’s centerpiece button takes you to the AT&T flipphone shithouse app store. Everything is 3 clicks away. Texting is nightmare-ish. People can’t hear me when I talk on it. No vibration setting. And they want me to pay $5 a month just to access gmail. I’m in phonehelllllll….o. Get it?


Wombat Nuts says:

I got a cheap samsung slider phone after I was done with the Iphone. It was nice to have as a break and the time to really think about the phone I wanted to get next. The battery life was incredible and it didn’t take up so much real estate in my pocket.

flowy dress waitress says:

battery life and pocket space and the possibility to be just connected enough; that’s exactly why I have always just had a phone that is only a phone… but I recently got the 5 as a gift. I had resisted for so long and now that I have the 5, I feel like I just dived into this warm lavender-scented jacuzzi pool of iphone and I don’t want to leave ever. 🙁

Nicol says:

I have the Samsung slider phone too. It keeps things simple for me. No internet (what’s the point of having it with that tiny screen and the only thing you can see is youtube videos anyway). No emails to my phone. No apps period. No nothing except calls, texting, and picture taking. Also my phone doesn’t work in my office building so no distracting texts and calls during the day. I would have gone with the flip phone so my purse won’t randomly dial people, but I couldn’t stand texting on the flip.

Tiddats says:

Having the basic phone really puts you in good shoes. You get a chance to really see how peeps use the Iphone as a bandaid to shore up the insecurity of the ego. They actually think they are special with the Iphone and terminaly unique just like everyone else. It’s a sickness and Todd’s got the cure. Way to go!

Elyza says:

You make things so clear. Thanks for tikang the time!

the REAL weeze says:


jetstar says:

toddaous: How about a nice new shiny Samsung Galaxy S III? You don’t have to drink the Apple Kool Aid and get a way better phone.

Angela says:

I’ll have to look into the new Beastie album I was unaware of it (but I’m quite out of touch with the mtaesirnam as it is). However I have rediscovered Paul’s Botique and Shake Your Rump’ sounds so fresh, like it was released last week.

Jimmy the Juicer says:

Get a land line,screw the cell companies.If you want to talk to me call my house, if I’m not there then call back later maybe I’ll answer the phone if I’m not too busy on the internet with my computer or just enjoying the peace of not having to look at some tiny screen piece of crap that will be obsolete right after it comes out of the box.

The Garden of Eden says:

Good for you Todd. Then again even with a smartphone you can always force limits on yourself. What I mean is, if you know you’re not going to be surfing the web, checking e-mail or doing anything else for that requires a data plan, then you don’t need a state-of-the-art phone (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S3).

Also another thing to consider is choosing a plan that realistic to your needs.

For me, I don’t talk a lot and only use wireless once in a while to check e-mail. I only pay $20 a month.

Btw, that simple phone you’re using is like something from the 2005-2006 era.

Goats says:

I have a droid 3. But I’ve never carried my cell with me unless I’m going somewhere far from home where I’d need to contact someone. I use my cell as I would a landline for the most part. I do like having my books on it for train rides. That’s pretty much the only time I use it other than for fantasy football. I miss the days of answering machines and rotary phones….so I pretend it’s 1980 and don’t keep my phone with me….

Dr. Steel says:

How do you lose an iPhone? Careless Todd. Very careless of you.

Rahal says:

Cool a Kuwaiti eBay ! Good thing you don’t have to wait long for your stuff.Hope it’s expand[]omarker Reply:October 28th, 2011 at 1:58 pmWill wait that ,, coz we need it to be big !Thanks Mai[]

Kushal says:

I didn’t want an iPhone. I’ll probably wait for a while until the bugs are all wkerod out. I’m just tired of hearing about the iPhone every time I turn the television or radio on. Come on, lets be real there’s a lot more relevant stuff to talk about.

Nick says:

because you cant put videos on with the USB chord the only thing you can do is have the SD card and buy a SD card reeadr and do it that way all you then got to do is copy and paste the videos into the flix section i believe it is.. but i think they can only be MP4 files..

Jeanne says:

Thanky Thanky for all this good infomrtaion!

JT says:

As much as I admire all the wonderful advancements in technology, I find I am personally happier with less tech.

I just got cable again after not having it for 10 years…..eh, my life hasn’t changed significantly, other than I now pay more for TV, or more specifically,I pay more to be able to flip through 400 channels and not settle on one thing so I never watch one whole show.

I still have an old Nokia cellphone. I can get email and text but that’s about it…oh yeah, and I can make calls. But even with that, I leave it in my car most of the time for emergencies….I kinda like not being on-call for everyone who has my number and email addy….

Ok, gonna go listen to my noisey 8-track tapes now!!

Code Monkey says:

I was on the bus to work this morning and while standing, there was an Asian man (probably in his late 20s) watching news on his Samsung Galaxy 3 and reading posts on Twitter with his iPad. Personally, I don’t understand why you really need to surf the web while on the go. For business people, it makes perfect sense – look at Blackberry. But for your average joe/jane it’s really not needed.

If I wanted to surf the Net, I’d do it in the comfort of my own home, not on a crowded bus.

organic olive oil sale says:

Thanks for the good article, I was searching for details like this, going to check out the other posts.

compassstl says:

Good call switching to Windows Phone. I’ve used most every platform out there and WP is far and away the most satisfying, AND excepting your apps most, if not all, of your stuff will transfer to it. I recommend the Nokia Lumia 920 for all the photos and videos you like taking. Best mainstream phone camera bar none.
K bye!

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