Without a Smartphone Day 1 & 2

Samsung SGH-A157

I have decided to start a blog about life or whatever, so here you go world. I’ll do a formal introduction of my views on life, the universe, and everything in a later post. This week, I will be using this piece of shit phone as my daily driver as a technological and social experiment.

My life has been consumed by phones throughout the years. The first phone I ever had was a Motorola Razr, and the quality of phones I have had has only gone up from there. I have had Blackberries, Androids, iPhones, and most recently Windows Phones. My current phone is a Nokia Lumia 920. Not to gush, but it’s pretty much the best phone ever.

I’m an IT person, so I’m always at a the forefront of technology. I sometimes feel like my life is consumed with gizmos, gadgets, and computers. I fix people’s computers eight hours a day for a living; I play with computers, phones, and tablets all the time at home, and I eat tech news for breakfast lunch and dinner. It can be overwhelming sometimes.

For these reasons, and because a lot of people told me not to, I am switching to this phone for a week. I want to see if I am able to last for that long on the worst phone I’ve ever owned. I want to prove that my phone doesn’t control me. I want to show the world that I am better than the technology that I clutch so closely.

The Rules:

1. No using my smartphone for an entire week

2. No using my personal tablet (an ASUS Windows RT tablet) as a substitute for the phone.

3. Only use my work tablet (an iPad 3) at work, to keep it from being a phone substitute.

4. Learn something

Day 1 & 2

I work at Best Buy a couple times a month because it’s fun and I like the discount. I have been contemplating making this switch for a few weeks. I have been thinking that it would be good to go on some sort of detox from my phone.

I begin work, not thinking about phones at all, but because I work at a mobile phone store, this soon changes. I remember that I want to switch to a shitty basic phone experimentally. I threaten my co-workers, and they are shocked that I am thinking of doing such a thing. When you work at a mobile phone store, it’s hard to not become attached to the latest and greatest technology. Deciding on which shitty phone to buy is harder than you may think. There are ones with cameras, bar phones, flip phones, feature phones, qwerty phones… I decide to buy the $10 flip phone and purchase it around 16:00. My teammates are in shock.

This phone is the worst I have ever owned, probably one of the worst phones ever made. It has no bluetooth, no headphone jack, no ability to sync to the computer – more on that later -. no speakerphone, no conversations text messages view, no front screen, nothing. You can make calls and texts. These is “mobile web,” but the phone’s screen is too small and the processor is too slow to do anything worthwhile. I managed at one point to get on twitter’s website, but it was completely useless.

I come out on the floor with my newly purchased phone and realize that I don’t have any contacts. I had tried to export my contacts to my SIM, but Windows Phone 8 does not support exporting contacts to SIM. No big deal, I think to myself, I’ll just export them to a vcard file from gmail when I get home and transfer them to the phone that way.

By the time I arrive home, I have put the five most important numbers to me in my phone. I get on my computer and am able to easily export my contacts to a vcard file. Thanks gmail. My phone is plugged in to my computer, but does not seem to be working. I’m awaiting the popup that lets me put the phone in mass storage mode, but no dice.

I go out to Samsung’s website to download their Kies software. Downloading the lastest version, 2.6, I think to myself, I got this, but sadly I am wrong. After an hour of googling and some frustrated words, the computer says “This phone is not supported by Kies 2.6, please download Kies 3.0.” Samsung, I’ve got some news for you, Kies 3.0 does not exist. Annoyed, I enter the contacts I needed, which takes until around 11:30, and go to bed.

I wake up to a super loud alarm that I set on my Samsung SGH-a157, hoping my roommate was not awakened by the loud noise. One awesome thing about this phone is that I have not plugged it in since I bought it.

Throughout the day, I text a few people, but the thing that I miss the most is twitter. It’s so hard to be disconnected from my friends, tech news, and things that I am interested in. During the day, I have to take a shit, this makes me miss my smartphone so much more. I forgot how boring that process was without a smartphone. I end up writing a useless note to practice typing in T9. I remember that I used to be a boss at typing in T9. Those days are long gone.

I feel lost without my smartphone, yet I am satisfied to show off this new phone. I am showing all my friends, and the first thing they do is grab it and see if there’s anything they can do with it, but at the same time I was worried last night when I drove 20 minutes to my mom’s house that I may need GPS to get to so unknown location. I’m excited and nervous for the days to come.

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