I did it. I actually did it. Yes friends, today I regressed back to 2005 and replaced my Samsung Galaxy S6 smart phone with the Optus X Lite ‘dumb phone’. For those of you not familiar with a dumb phone, it is a bare bones phone that provides two primary functions – making phone calls and sending texts. That is it. No Internet connectivity, no email, no Facebook app, not even an mp3 player. It does have a few other features – a primitive camera, a notes page, even a calculator!
Over the past four years with my Samsung Galaxy smart phone, I often contemplated how much I truly needed the technology– with its many apps, buttons, features, and other ‘modern conveniences’. I wondered “Could I go back to a pre-smart phone existence? Would it really be possible? If it was possible to live without a smart phone, how would I do it? Maybe I could try and see how it goes.” Thus, the Dumb Phone Hypothesis was born.
The Dumb Phone Hypothesis: I can live without a smart phone.
For those of you without a science background, a hypothesis is something believed to be true, and the veracity of that truth is validated or falsified through experiment. In my dumb phone hypothesis, I believe it is true that I can live just fine – maybe even happier – without a smart phone in my life. My experiment – using a dumb phone instead.
Why this experiment? I just don’t like the way smart phone technology makes me think or feel. I have made valiant efforts to limit my smart phone use, perhaps more than most. However, I have concluded that, for me, the costs – compulsive email checking, addictive Internet browsing, mental health – do not out way the benefits – mapping functions, checking bank accounts, instant messaging with others. In fact, the more I thought about it, there were only a few essential tasks that I needed mobile technology for – making phone calls, sending text messages, and thats about it. A dumb phone would serve that purpose just fine.
Over the next few weeks I will post on my dumb phone experience. Its been 48 hours so far. My heart hasn’t stopped beating. My lungs seem to be working properly. No nausea to report. It would appear that, yes indeed, my biological existence will continue on sans a smart phone.
I am noticing some positive benefits as well. My thoughts are clearer, I feel less impulsive, and I am spending significant more time reading and writing. Yes, texting is a pain. But I have already become significantly more efficient at it. In addition, I have found suitable alternatives on my dumb phone for many of the ‘can’t live without’ features of a smart phone. My dumb phone even has an FM radio tuner. Stoked!