Life without a Smart Phone – The Bad

no smart phone

A smart phone has become such a vital part of our lives that we don’t realize it until it’s gone. I’m sure you’ve experience your phone’s battery dying or you forgot it at home. Or worst, you lost it!

Yeah, that feeling sucks! But it’s not as bad as it seems. I’ve been without a phone for a month. There’s some adjustments to make for sure.

We’ll go over the bad of not having a smart phone in your life.

This is a second post of a three part series. You can find the first blog post here.

Communication

We’re in the beginning stages of buying our first house. This requires constant communication with a real state agent and my wife.

Our real state agent doesn’t know I don’t have a phone. But, I own my phone number thanks to Google Voice. Any text (or phone call) I get them in Google Hangouts.

I get her texts and answer them from work without a problem.

The issue are the phone calls. I can’t just pick up her phone call and have a conversation without having some privacy in the office. This inconvenience is unnecessary. I cannot continue without a phone once we start looking for houses, putting down bids, and all that fun stuff!

My wife and I message each other via Google Hangouts. I text her when I’m about to leave work so she gets dinner ready. My commute isn’t bad…when there’s no traffic. But traffic is so unpredictable on my way home. Sometimes it takes me 30 minutes, and others up to 45 minutes. It’d be nice to tell her not to put her delicious meal on the oven for a few more minutes.

The other day I had to stop by the store before coming home. She wasn’t upset or anything but it’d been nice to let her know that I was going to be 20 minutes late. (She was a little worry, especially because I have no phone to talk with her).

Commuting

As mentioned in my previous post, I listen to podcast and audiobooks during my commutes.

Radio stations suck!
Old Radio Tuning
Maybe I’m getting too old or something, but can’t stand the music on most radio stations. And the news stations…they depress me.

Sometimes, I want to listen to something more than classical or jazz music. My podcasts and audiobook backlog keeps growing.

But another more serious topic, something could potentially happen on the road. I’m not being a pessimist, but how would I call for help and/or alert my wife? This is the part where I’m more concern about.

Time

OK. I don’t own a watch. (But who owns a non-smart watch now-a-days, anyway?).

If I’m out at lunch or running an errand, I tend to loose track of time. It hasn’t been a problem at work, but I won’t abuse such a courtesy either.

It feels good walking around without taking out your phone to check on the time. But it’s also important in case your time is limited and/or need to get back to the office or home.

I didn’t notice until now how we lack clocks around where we live. Why would we need them when almost everyone has a smart phone/watch?

Running

smartphone pedometer

I use RunKeeper as my pedometer to keep track of my miles.

I’m not a serious runner or anything hardcore like that. But I do like to keep track of them. How else would be able to measure my running ability?

It feels good knowing what you can do things you never imagined capable of doing.

I never imagined running 50 miles, or let alone 70 miles in a single month!

Thanks to RunKeeper, I know I can run a 5k every other day and sometimes a 7.5k during the weekends. It would’ve been difficult to measure how I’m doing without a pedometer.

If you run, get a pedometer. It’s like a journal for your runs and feels great to look back at them.

How is this a problem? I’m borrowing my wife’s phone to run. It’s not a big deal, but it’s her phone, you know.

I need a smart phone to keep track of all my runs via RunKeeper.

Fin

Yeah, most of these problems sound like first-world problems (and they are!).

But not having a smart phone taught me how dependent we’ve become of them. Also, I learned to not take them for granted for important events like a traffic accident or buying a house!

OK. We covered the good and the bad. Next time, we’ll cover the ugly part of not having a smart phone. (It’s not the phone itself, it has to do more with you!)

Have you ever been without a phone or experienced anything extra to what’s listed above? Share it in the comments below.

  • I have not tried this out myself, but I can only imagine how dependent we really are. When you put it like that I feel kind of bad. Smart phones can be great, but they can also be a huge distraction. When I was in Shanghai a while back, I noticed that EVERYONE had their nose in their phone. Absolutely everywhere. It was virtually impossible to make eye contact with anyone. It actually taught me a lesson in taking my phone and putting it my back to make it less accessible.