Every year for Lent I try to give something up that I would otherwise find unimaginable or consider myself particularly dependent on. Last year I gave up meat, which isn’t that unusual but you have to remember I’m from Texas.
This year as I surveyed my life there was one thing I kept coming back to as being completely dependent on: my smartphone(s). It’s only been a few years since the iPhone came out, but it’s inconceivable to imagine my life today without my calendar, email, Foursquare, Path, Chrome, Tripit, Simplenote, WordPress, Tweetbot, Sonos, Uber, Spotify and my iTunes library, and most importantly Google Maps. (On my second screen: SmartThings, Nest, Lociktron, Lutron, 1Password, Calm, Authy, NextDraft, Withings, Circa…) These apps and everything they represent weave into every aspect of my life, I’m sure I’m one of those people who looks at their phone at least 150 times a day. My smartphone is my camera, my flashlight, my connection to the world, and my crutch.
And now it’s what I’m giving up for Lent in 2014, from March 5th until April 17th. (Yes, that includes SxSW.) For safety and business reasons I’m going to have a makes-phone-calls-only phone, and might hop in a friend’s Uber, but the idea is there will not be a device on me 24/7 that I’m tethered to, constantly looking at, and lost and hopeless without. You obviously can’t turn back the clock on progress, so I don’t expect this to be a permanent thing, but I’m curious what I miss the most, how it affects my ability to focus throughout the day, and how it changes my relationships with other people, especially the lack of messaging.
I am in the market for a cool feature phone though, maybe a small one like Zoolander had or a slidey one like in the Matrix. Any suggestions?
I’ll leave you with the “I forgot my phone” video from last year: