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To get another smartphone or not to get another smartphone... that is the question.
It's been a few days now, and I don't miss the beeps and buzzes and dings. Really and truly. When I had one before, people expected instant responses... and more and more over the past year, I had been making myself instantly available. But, really... I am not that person. I hated keeping my phone at my side. When I couldn't find the damn thing (middle aged mom brain, where you set something down for a second and can't for the life of you remember where you put it) it made me feel a bit anxious... always needing to know where I put my phone and was it charged and did I miss something or need to reply to someone. Eeeek! Kill me now!
All that said and my new sense of relief in not having a smartphone (or any cell phone or regular phone at the moment), I think I should have one.
I did one of those fun map thingies this morning. And, no, this isn't some wild tangent. Wait for it.
I like to travel.
Before kids, I would throw caution to the wind: toss my stuff in the car, grab my dog, and take off. I mostly had a regular cell phone with me, but I had maps in the car and if I was traveling for work, I would make my reservations and have maps printed before I left (along with my schedules).
With kids... I recall being stranded on the side of a road with babies... and a blown engine... I really wished I'd had a smartphone. It would have saved many many hours and whole lot of tears. I can't take the chance anymore. I can't throw caution to the wind. Blah. No matter how much I want to... I can't.
Although I think I will turn off notifications with my new phone. There will be fewer apps installed. I won't be instantly available in this now, now, now world. Sorry - that's just not going to happen. I might misplace my phone for days and find it at the bottom of a laundry basket. I might not see your text for a week. I might not check voicemail for a month... and that's just going to have to be fine.
I will have Instagram again and I will be able to search for tow trucks and hotels if and when needed.
Our smartphones are our lifelines. How many times a day do you check your notifications? Reply to a text? Update your status? Get directions? Google the nearest gas station? Read the news? Check your calendar? Set an alarm? Send an email? Take and share a picture? Or, just make a stupid phone call?
Up until 8 years ago, I refused to carry a cell phone. I didn't want an electronic leash. My employer was just so thoughtful, they got me one. Thanks Gatekeeper Systems.
Until 3 years ago, I didn't have a smartphone. I just didn't feel the need. Until.... I got one.
It's crazy stupid how many times a day I check my phone. Insane. And now it's gone.
I was visiting my Cousin in Greenville, SC and we drove up to Table Rock State Park for a little hike. The kids would love all the little waterfalls and we could have a picnic. It was so beautiful. I was in heaven, hiking up the ravine along the creek... in a tunnel of flowering rhododendrons... with waterfall after waterfall... even in the pouring rain.
Before our hike, we stopped by the Nature Center across from the park and I walked out on the dock. I was holding my phone and went to get something out of my purse. In slow motion hell, the phone dropped. It hit the dock. Broke apart... and skidded to it's final resting place: the bottom of the lake. I have the back cover and battery, but the part that you really need is gone. I contemplated going in after it, but there was a big snake hanging off the underside of the dock. Swimming with snakes? No thanks. That, and the water was too murky to see anything.
I felt a bit of panic to be honest. I couldn't take pictures! I couldn't pull up directions for the best route to get us back home. If the car broke down or something happened, I couldn't call anyone. I couldn't check my notifications....
How did I function before having a smartphone? I did just fine. Although being able to make a phone call is damn nice. I miss that.
If that's what I miss most... do I really need a smartphone? I have 2 awesome cameras. The photos are so much better than a crappy smartphone picture... although they are bulky and I can't take them to the beach (sand is the devil) and they sure won't fit in my pocket. I can wait till I get home to check my email or various social media accounts, and my online shop. I'm actually really good at reading maps and once I read through the directions and check over the map, I'm usually good to go. I don't really need that little voice dictating each turn.
So.... what do I need. I think I need Instagram. Sad, but true. It's a marketing tool. I'm trying to build a brand. Instagram is a useful tool.... I think. But do I really NEED it?
I need your help. I can buy just a regular phone and go back to living my life and taking real pictures and paying more attention to things in front of me (and not a phone)... yes, I'll need to buy a watch and probably an alarm clock and go back to handwritten grocery lists (ACK! the horror!!!)... but do I NEED Instagram to grow my business? Do my customers NEED instant responses to inquiries? Do I NEED to share my life instantly with friends and family?
Thoughts, please and thank you.
A work in progress