in Maja Writes, Reader Favorites

A week without my iPhone

I’m permanently attached to my iPhone. Big surprise, most of us are after all. It is my phone, my camera, my notepad, my calendar, my radio, my music player, my weather report, my health tracker, my contact list, my source of entertainment and my means of communicating with anyone who is further than 30 feet away from me. I check it constantly, I post photos to Instagram several times a day, and I scroll through Tumblr or Pinterest when I’m bored. I only ever turn it off when I board a plane, and I turn it right back on again as soon as the plane has started taxiing upon arrival. I can’t imagine my life without it.

Which is why I decided to ditch it completely for a whole week.

iphone_vs_flip_phone

That’s right: meet my old Samsung e730. I bought it in 2006 which makes it 8 years old, and it works just as well as on the day I bought it. It has a state of the art clamshell design and features an mp3 player, 92 MB memory, polyphonic ringtones, a 176 x 220 pixel display and a 1,3 mpx camera. What more could you possibly want? I’ve kept it around in my tech-mess drawer for all these years because I couldn’t stand the thought of throwing it away, and now it is time to put it to good use again.

So, without further ado: my week without my iPhone.

Monday

I always use my phone to check the weather report and listen to the radio in the morning. Today I had to do this on my laptop (who usually sits on my table untouched until late in the afternoon) but this really isn’t the biggest of inconveniences. I couldn’t listen to music on my way to work, since my “new” phone doesn’t take a standard headphone jack and since I deleted all the music off my old iPod years ago. Will have to dig out my mp3 collection (how incredibly 90’s) and revive the iPod for tomorrow morning. Also had to bring my point-and-shoot camera in case of anything shot-worthy. Throughout the day I notice how all my texts are less than Twitter length because it is a total bore to type using physical buttons. My recovering tendonitis hates me, and I suddenly worry that people might think I’m mad at them because of my short messages. I actually called The Boyfriend to let him know I was running late just because I couldn’t be bothered to type a text. When I walked home from work I suddenly noticed how noisy the world around me was, and again I cursed my lack of music. Surprisingly I don’t find myself missing social media, as they are just as available to me on my MacBook, and I didn’t bother to bring my phone into meetings as I knew there wouldn’t be anything interesting going on in it anyway. I’m sure I was much more focused that I usually am.

Instagrams that didn’t happen: gorgeous dewy rose on my way to work, cool graffiti, more cool graffiti.

Tuesday

This morning I didn’t even remember to take my phone out of my bag until half an hour into the workday. I don’t miss my iPhone at all except for whenever I want to snap a photo or when I have to type a text, which is still a pain in my butt. In the evening I watch a movie without a single distracted moment for the first time in years, and I make a mental note to delete several apps from my iPhone once I get it back. Am also entertaining the idea of having a designated phone basket where I leave my phone as soon as I get home from work each day. I find myself dreaming of a super-simplified iPhone with just a few apps on it, only to remember that I was the one who installed all those apps in the first place and that I could just as easily delete them. Pinterest, eBay, Etsy, the Tamagotchi app – you’re going down.

flipphone

Wednesday

I just realized I haven’t taken my vitamins at all this week because my phone doesn’t remind me to take them. Not good. I still don’t really miss my phone though, except for when I want to listen to music or snap a quick photo. Am also discovering that the world truly does not go to shits when I don’t reply to Facebook messages right away. When a friend needed to get in touch with me quickly she ended up just sending me a text instead. Who would have thunk it?

Instagrams that didn’t happen: a dang-it-I’m-sick selfie

Thursday

Today I’m home with an awful cold, so I have to break one of my rules – I get out my iPad so that I can stay on top of work e-mails. I am careful not to open any other apps, but I did take the liberty to delete a whole bunch of them. It felt good. Am also discovering that I really really miss being able to Chromecast YouTube-videos to my TV. This is one of my favorite ways to relax, and having to do it from my laptop is so much more of a hassle compared to doing it from my phone, especially when I’m sick and would rather not leave the sofa.

Friday

Still sick, so I still need my iPad to stay on top of work emails. This is proving to be my biggest anti dumb-phone argument so far: I can’t check my work email on my laptop, so I depend on having some sort of 4G device in order to stay in the loop. In the evening I notice how I have only had three comments on my blog this week. Could this be blamed on my lack of promotion on Instagram?

Instagrams that didn’t happen: Kleenex mountain

Saturday

I always wake up long before The Boyfriend on weekends, and usually I just turn on the radio app on my phone and start scrolling through social media to pass the time, but today this is not an option. I walk the dog and start typing up a blog post instead. Way more productive, although not quite as comfortable and lazy as I would like. I end up finishing next week’s blog posts before breakfast. After breakfast we take a stroll around town and I buy a little blue vase that I want to use as my designated post-work iPhone dumping ground. Later in the afternoon I find myself desperately wanting to scroll through my tumblr feed while The Boyfriend plays Playstation. Some websites just work better on a phone or tablet than on a laptop, and Tumblr is one of them. I start tidying up instead.

phone_vase

 

Sunday

Another day where I did just fine without my smartphone. I checked e-mail and social media on my laptop, and spent a few hours turning an old dress into a skirt (a project that I had been putting off for months). I would have liked to show off the finished result using Snapchat or Instagram, but in the end it was probably better that I didn’t, seeing as I’d like to do a blog post about it. It wouldn’t be as much fun if you already saw it on Instagram two weeks ago.

So long, apps

After one week I am surprised to say that I didn’t miss my smartphone nearly as much as I thought I would. In fact I feel like this has been a healthy reality check for me. I’m not saying I’m throwing the iPhone away and going back to my flip phone, goodness no, but it has been an eye opener to see how pleasant it was to not have the allure of e-mails and social media constantly in the back of my mind. I wouldn’t want to be without the convenience of my smartphone – a phone, an iPod and a camera is just too much to carry around – but that doesn’t mean that the smartphone needs to be permanently attached to my hand at all hours of the day. I also have to admit that I missed the convenience of replying to texts via iMessage on my MacBook. Once Os X Yosemite comes around I will be able to reply to all texts (and calls) on my MacBook, not just the ones from people with iPhones, and I have been yearning for this function ever since they announced it. Can you tell I really really hate to reply to messages on my actual phone? In the end I ended up deleting 29 apps, including all my games and shopping apps, and I can probably still delete a few more. I’ll let you know how project phone vase goes, but so far I’ve got high hopes. I can’t wait to go back to a modern touch screen though. Physical buttons can take a motherfudging hike.

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26 Comments

  1. Loved this! And even more the adorable blue i-phone dumping ground! When I tried my digital detox last year I deleted pinterest, twitter, bloglovin and facebook from my phone. I also gave myself an online ban after 8 pm if any other family members were home. Scary how much time I could spend on other activities… They have all crept back, apart from fb. Maybe time to do it again? Thanks for the inspiration! Now – where did you find that vase? ;-)

    • Thank you for the lovely comment Joanna! I did the same thing at the beginning of this year – I set an alarm on my phone to go off at 7 pm every day to remind me to shut down my laptop. I also installed an extension to Chrome that limits my favorite time-wasting websites to 30 minutes a day. It was SO.HARD. to change that habit, but I am so happy I did it! These days I don’t even notice that the Chrome extension is active, because I just don’t spend that much time on those sites anymore :)

      And the vase is from Kremmerhuset, it is the perfect size for a phone!

  2. WOW. I am not sure I could go a whole week without my iPhone (well, I could, but I wouldn’t like it), as I am hopelessly addicted to refreshing instagram and checking my email every 15 minutes… But, in saying that, I think this is a huge reality check – I’m probably going to assess the way that I use my phone and look at deleting a few apps; eBay is going to have to be one of the first ones as it’s the only reason why I end up buying lots of 2nd hand clothing, those darned saved searches!! Loved reading this Maja! xx

    • eBay is such a trap, delete it! I had to delete all my saved searches this summer except for two – one for Acne Admire boots and one for the Acne Velocite jacket. I am serious about the boots if they pop up at the right price, but the jacket is more of a pipe dream at this point :)

  3. I’m going to be honest, my first reaction when I read the title of this post was to shudder – I always feel slightly lost without my phone! However, from past experiences from camping trips and such I know how freeing it can be to not be constantly checking your phone and scrolling through instagram. It’s interesting to think about how much of the technology we use is actually useful, and how much of it is just time filling.

    It is wonderful to see your blog being revived in such an incredible way. Not only are you posting regularly, but you are posting a wide variety of interesting posts that cover a range of topics. It always makes my day to see that you have posted something new :D

    • Thank you so much for the encouraging words, it is so good to know that you guys appreciate the effort that I’m putting into my blog these days! I’m only doing it for fun of course, and I’m having a great time doing it, but it is always nice to know that you guys are actually enjoying the content. Please feel free to let me know if there’s anything you would like me to blog about – I feel so much safer when I have a nice big backlog of ideas!

      • I would absolutely love it if you could write a post about Paris and the things you most enjoyed and would recommend to people who are visiting. My mum and I are travelling from Australia to Paris next year as a combined 21st/60th birthday adventure, and I have been stalking all of my favourite bloggers sites for ideas for the trip.

        • You know, I don’t think I could write a very good blog post about it since it was three years ago this summer, but what I do remember is that I am really happy that we decided to walk a lot instead of taking the metro. Sure, it is much quicker, but you get to experience the city in a very different way on foot. I’m also really happy we decided to visit Versailles – we booked a spot in a small tour group of about 10 or so people through our hotel, which was so much better that if we had just decided to go there on our own. The guide drove us all around the castle grounds and taught us SO much! Other that that we did our fair share of shopping, much of it in the areas around Galeries Lafayette, Printemps and Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. We didn’t go there with a grand plan of things we wanted to see, as we really enjoy to just walk around and see where the day takes us. It really is a beautiful city, you and your mum are going to have such a great time!

          I do remember there being tons of advice in the comments of these posts as well, maybe that could be helpful? :)

          http://majahuse.com/packing-for-paris/

          http://majahuse.com/photos-from-paris-part-one/

          http://majahuse.com/photos-from-paris-part-two/

          http://majahuse.com/photos-from-paris-part-three/

          http://majahuse.com/the-paris-shopping-post/

    • Go right ahead, I warmly recommend it! Or just turn off the data and wifi for a week like Nina suggested, that should eliminate most of the distractions as well :)

  4. This post makes me feel a little better about my dependance to technology. Many habits you describe were ones I feared when I got my first smartphone last July. Before, I had a cellphone, even older than yours, but wouldn’t give away my number because I really REALLY didn’t want people to text me for the same reasons as you. I still have a home phone where people can reach me if they truly need to and which I’m a bit weary to let go of. I’m not constantly checking my phone for everything (just yet) and I hope I can keep this habit up! Now, to stop storing my laptop under my bed…

    Also, I agree with Bonnie above, what you’ve been doing with this space as of late is very interesting. I’m always looking forward to reading you!

    • You know, I really admire people who have been able to resist the lure of smartphones. I have always loved gadgets, and being familiar with the latest smartphone models is a large part of my job, so for me personally it would be impossible to retreat completely back to my clamshell. Being unavailable is starting to become one of our new luxuries, it seems. I know I’m going to make sure to keep my phone use in check on my “off” time from now on.

      And thank you so much for the words of encouragement!

  5. I went without using data or wifi on my iPhone for a weekend (Friday morning – Sunday afternoon) earlier this summer when I was on a hut trip, and that was a good compromise for me as I still was allowed to use it as a camera, but had no access to email or social media. I already have very few apps on my phone, but my Instagram addiction is undeniable. However, my career really depends on being active on social media, so I see no point in denying myself that habit either :)

    The only thing I wish I could change is being able to focus more on movies/TV-shows without always looking up other things on my phone! Maybe I should make a “one screen at a time” rule for myself..

    • That’s actually really clever, I’m going to remember to do that! All the true time-sucks require data or wifi after all. And I can understand your point about social media, it has been such a kick to watch your Instagram following grow over the last year, year-and-a-half. You are so successful, and it is such an inspiration!

      I’m having big trouble with “one screen at a time” myself. Definitely a rule to reinforce.

  6. That’s a very interesting experiment, and I also like your recounting of it. I’d love to hear back on that a few months from now, see if and how you changed your “relationship” to your iPhone.

    I have a little “dumping site” of my phone for when I’m home, so I only pick it up when someone calls or texts me, it does help avoiding mindless browsing but I do it on iPad instead at night – maybe I should turn that one off on week days too. The only “problem” I see with my routine is that I use my iPhone with sleep cycle as my alarm clock, so the first thing I do in the morning is to grab the phone to turn the alarm off – and quickly check e-mail, instagram etc…

    Anyway, very nice idea, thanks for sharing :)

  7. good one! I am certainly trying this. My phone is pretty much just a phone, I deleted facebook and snapchat a long time ago . but still use tumblr and instagram quite often.

  8. This is such a good idea – I hate how I can’t put my phone down, it’s annoying and distracting for other people and for me. One step towards being less ‘connected’: I stopped logging into Facebook (on either computer or phone) and feel much better for it. It just makes me REALLY unhappy for some reason. I check it once a month just to catch up with old school friends/far away family members, but other than that have very little to do with it.

    Thankfully our company has strict policies about checking email from home: we don’t, at all. (yey!)

    p.s. I really miss flip-phones, I want apple to release the ‘apple flip’!

  9. I really enjoyed this post – interesting read!

    My iPhone’s wifi-function isn’t working at the moment, so going abroad (which I do a lot during the karate season) is somewhat of a reality check for me. Especially since most of the people I travel with have functioning smart phones/laptops/iPads with them, and they spend most of their spare time on these devices.

    • Ooh, see, traveling abroad was just a whole different experience before every hotel you went to had WiFi. I was almost a little bit disappointed when I realized that I even had WiFi on the BEACH on my last holiday. Of course, I didn’t HAVE to bring my phone to the beach, but you know..