Editor’s note: The Anti-Technologist is a new column by Blake Snow. It advocates late adoption of consumer technology (if at all) and expels the wonders of finding offline balance in an online world.
When I said last month to ditch your smartphone, I did so with tongue firmly in cheek. I was being provocative.
After all, I own a smartphone. (It’s the kind that half of you love and the other half hate.) But I dumb it down by keeping it on a tight work leash, leaving my text messages on silent, and not subscribing to a data plan.
I also hold most the apps for my phone in contempt. Why? Because the words, “This app has made me a happier person,” has never been uttered. By anyone.
No, no. I can’t stand (most) apps. They’re distracting, fleeting, gimmicky, and largely first world junk. Digital versions of something you’d find at the dollar store. Continue reading…
Editor’s note: The Anti-Technologist is a new column by Blake Snow. It advocates late adoption of consumer technology until proven useful, and dishes advice from Snow’s forthcoming book, Finding Offline Balance in an Online World.
In 2009, I had a radical idea. “What if I canceled my phone’s data plan?” This was undoubtedly a first-world problem—I get it. But for someone who had previously spent 1,300 consecutive days attached to a Blackberry or iPhone from wake until sleep, it mattered.
The catalyst behind the idea: A weeklong trip in a remote Montana cabin with family and friends. No cellphone coverage. No internet. Just a landline, a moose lick, a horseshoe pit, and a river running through it.
Although initially apprehensive about the trip—”How am I suppose to continue my affair with work while on vacation now!?”— I was molded by it within a matter of days. As my wife said at the time, “With no online distractions, the social aspect had dramatically improved.” Continue reading…
Editor’s note: The Anti-Technologist is a new column by Blake Snow. It advocates late adoption of consumer technology and expels the wonders of finding offline balance in an online world.
I’m convinced that cellular data plans will someday replace the broadband cable lines most of us still use to access the internet. I also think data plans are great for mobile workers, extended-stay vacationers, or anyone else who doesn’t have access to the internet for the entirety of the work day.
I also know, however, that the last four years of my life after quitting my data plan have been irreversibly better than the four previous years in which I subscribed to a plan. The reason I abandoned the portable internet? In short, I did it because I was tired of being on a self-imposed work leash. That and the “always there” internet didn’t mesh well with my indulgent lust for information. So I cut it.
A lot of people I encounter are surprised by this, mostly because the mainstream view incorrectly assumes that staying on an internet-connected smartphone for extended periods lets you get ahead in life (i.e. make more money). It doesn’t. It’s just an illusion. In fact, all-day internetting actually leads to less inspired work, since obsessive users are never able to truly break away, recharge their batteries, and return to work with a hungry mind.
Nevertheless, smartphones are still great, even on dumb plans like mine. Here’s why: Continue reading…
As adherents of the Word of Wisdom, my family tries to avoid drinking tea — more specifically, anything derived from the Camellia sinensis plant (which results in black, green, white, yellow and oolong tea).
I say try because we used to suck down Chai like it was nobody’s business. That is, until we discovered that it contains black tea, in addition to delicious Indian spices. (Ignorance is bliss, people. Should have never read the label.)
But fear-not, non-tea drinkers. There are still a lot of tasty herbal alternatives, some of which are even better than the real thing. Continue reading…