Update: As of 2013, data is now included with my cell phone plan. But thanks to my four year break from it, mobile data no longer interrupts my life like it use to. When used sparingly, it actually enhances it.
A year ago this week, I canceled my data plan. The unexpected catalyst was an awesome trip to Montana. After being tied to my Blackberry for four years, here are 10 observations of “my rebirth” into mobile obscurity:
- My quality of life has improved while productivity has remained constant. By that I mean I get as much done as I did before, only now I enjoy a lot more personal time without work interfering. In many cases, that translates into greater productivity upon returning to work the next morning or after the weekend. Believe it or not.
- My relationship with my wife and children has improved. I recognize them more. I play with them more. With fewer alerts to interrupt us, it’s a lot more fun now.
- Email still waits for me on my computer. Continue reading…
I got to thinking today of the popularity of cell phones and just how intrusive they have become in our lives. I stopped to think when I bought my first plan. Technically, I bought a prepaid cell phone back in 2001 for my mother sorta as a family phone when I worked for Cingular. But I didn’t get my own plan until 2003 (call me a late bloomer). So…
I dislike cell phones. I do enjoy how they allow people to stay aurally connected just about anywhere, but I dislike them so much that I held off on purchasing one until a mere four years ago in 2002. They just seem too obtrusive (like my BlackBerry isn’t, right?). Regardless, I really liked what Paul Allen had to say on cell phones in his recent interview with Business Q: “I’ve had my phone on ‘vibrate’ for 10 years. I’ve never interrupted a meeting. Why can’t everyone one put their phones on vibrate?”
Amen to that. Just last week, Lindsey and I had some guests over for dinner. While eating, a cell phone rang and one of the guest answered it and began talking on the line during the meal. They didn’t even bother to excuse them self and take the call into another room. Now I know emergencies happen, but they can’t make up more than 1% of mobile calls.
Call me old-fashioned, but what’s the rush in answering cell phones? Are we really that important? And please, everyone put their phones on vibrate, and at the least, don’t answer them during dinner.