On May 29, 2013, I boxed up my iPhone 5 and put it in a drawer. It’s been almost two months since then. You can review some of the reasons why and my reflections on being a dumb-phone user in the entries above.

I wanted to follow up with some more observations on being a dumb phone user, mainly good things:


  • This summer I’ve been around a lake and several pools. At no time did I worry about getting pushed in for fear of ruining my phone. When you only paid $30 for your phone, you’re not worried about accidents. It’s easily replaceable. Heck, my little whitey Alcatel phone might even float.
  • Focus. It goes without saying that I’ve successfully removed digital distractions from my life when I’m away from a desk or a coffee shop.
  • Technologically snobbery. I’ve discovered it goes both ways. When I carried my iPhone, I would look with pity upon people with lesser devices – mainly Droids. I honestly never criticized folks with dumb phones. On the other hand, carrying a dumb phone evokes the opposite snobbery. Due to my purposeful choice to limit the noise of technology with its beeps, tweets, and angry birds, I find myself looking with disdain upon smart phone users whose noses are embedded in their devices and can’t seem to exercise self-control over their use of them.
  • I actually like the included tones on my dumb phone. They’re a welcome change. It also has bluetooth, so I’ve been able to easily put some custom ones on it as well. Here’s Adelyn’s ringtone.

What’s not-so-good:

  • It doesn’t receive MMS – on purpose. But it’s a pain to have to text folks who’ve sent me one and say, “I can’t get MMS” all the time.
  • It’s terribly unintuitive.
  • My massive list of contacts is not accessible, nor easy to add, so I only have 55 contacts in the phone. That means I rarely know who’s calling me. Depending on the time of day, that has meant many more rejected calls and then checking voice mail. It’s also led to many text responses of “who is this?”
  • It’s pretty hard to do anything. When you’ve been spoiled with an iPhone with drag and drop, add to contacts, visual voice mail, great camera, etc., going to a dumb phone brings expected and many inconveniences.
  • The camera. I mentioned it above, but the iPhone camera is just amazing, convenient and easy. It also makes sharing your photos as easy as taking them.
  • It’s a phone. That’s all. It shouldn’t be a negative, but with a full calendar, I miss the readily-accessibly way to check or make appointments.

What’s ahead…

Carolyn noted the other day that my “let me see your iPhone” requests have increased more rapidly than my hair loss rate. Usually, it’s when I want to take a picture or check a contact’s phone number. That awareness has been an indication for me that I will probably be making another digital lifestyle adjustment experiment (DLAE).

In other words, I do think I’ll be unboxing my iPhone sometime in the near future. My DLAE has been a welcome adjustment, and I’ve learned a lot. I have some more planning and adjusting to finalize mentally before then, however. I want to implement more discipline and methods of interacting with a smart phone into my lifestyle before powering back up and linking back in.

I’m thankful that I got the iPad Mini for this experiment. It’s been a helpful salve to ease the withdrawal pains. I haven’t missed my iPad 2. It’s been just small enough to carry with me more frequently but big enough to make sure I don’t take it everywhere. If and when I unbox the iPhone, I’ll be disconnecting the data capability from the iPad.

In the meantime, call me, maybe.

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