Last night I activated my new flip phone, and today I'm here to update you on the experiment. First off, a friend gently informed me that I used the wrong terminology for yesterday's post: it should have been entitled "Do: Digital Detox," because that's an actual phrase with a formal definition. Who knew?! Clearly not me.
But, then again, my experiment doesn't exactly fit into the definition above. I'm not fasting, I'm reforming. I'm experimenting with being less connected digitally, so I can be more connected humanly. If I could re-title yesterday's post, perhaps I'd call it Digital Rehab, or Digital Reform, or Digital Regression. Or maybe, Breaking Free from Smartphone Slavery. That has a nice ring to it, I like the alliteration. Well, moving on—
After 15 hours of dumbphone living (8 of which I was asleep), here are my preliminary observations:
- This thing is not made for texting! I'm going to have to become a woman of few texted words; no more essay-length texts, and many more phone calls. This is directly related to the primary reason I'm trying out flip phone life. I recently awakened to the fact that texting gives me a false sense of closeness to people: I can be in relationship, and keep my distance. This is my default M.O., and it hasn't been good for me and the depth of my friendships. I don't like to be close to people (that's another article), but I want to learn to be close. You know, so I can have a 40th birthday party with close friends.
- I can talk hands-free. It's much more cheek-shoulder compatible than the iPhone. I can pinch it between my jaw and my shoulder, just like old-fashioned home phones.
- I have no idea how to access voicemail. Gonna need to visit the AT&T store for help.
- I have no idea how to change the ring tone. I'll get there eventually, my 10-year old can likely help with this.
- My body has symptoms of withdrawal. I feel tingling in my fingertips, they want to text. Thankfully, I can still send iMessages from my computer, which is a welcome relief. If I'm sent a group text and there's a non-Apple user in the group, I can read and reply only via my flip phone. This morning I received a group text from some family members, and it was so difficult to open, read, and respond. I almost threw the DUMBphone in frustration.
So far, I've placed one call and received one call. Both were easy and went swimmingly well. I called my hunky husband to celebrate the phone's activation; he had to be the first! He's also the only contact I've put into the phone so far, symbolic of my love and devotion. (His bets are placed on my return to smartphone living.)
Be back soon with more lab reports. Over and out.