Yesterday I overheard someone saying feature phones are popular amongst hipsters.
Recently, I ditched my iPhone 6 for a Nokia 130. I guess that makes me look like I was trying to be cool, which I definitely wasn’t. In fact, I think I look less cool — and I wasn’t cool to start with!
I did it because I was tired of being constantly connected.
The computer we carry around in our pocket is amazing. We have the world at our fingertips, but that was my problem. I was addicted to checking things — twitter, medium, public markets, email, news, instagram, bank balance etc.
I did it when I woke, when I was with people, or when I was bored by myself. Reaching for my phone to check things, that didn’t need to be checked had become a habit.
Maybe I’m more obsessive than most. Or maybe I’m more aware of my addiction. Either way, it was getting in the way of life.
I wasn’t being present and was feeling drained by being constantly connected. It was distracting me from things I wanted to do.
I tried to curb it in a few ways. I tried turning off all notifications. Then I tried removing the worst offending apps from my phone. I tried Jake Knapp’s disabling safari trick. But, I couldn’t resist checking things and always found a way around it.
I decided to try something extreme. Ditch the smart phone for a feature phone. The Nokia 130 seemed perfect. It was 20 quid. No apps. No camera. Just phone calls and texts.
I’m 10 days in and it’s been one of the best things I’ve done this year.
I had the same urges to check things in the first week, but had no way of acting on it. They became less frequent in the second week, and now I hardly get them at all.
I feel so much better. I’m more present and my mind feels less cluttered.
I also now enjoy the things I used to check too frequently more. Take Twitter for example. I used to check it 20 times a day for a few minutes. Now it’s two or three times a day for 5–10 mins. I look forward to sitting down and browsing it properly
I thought I would miss apps that are exclusive to the phone, but I don’t. The only thing I’ve found inconvenient is needing to google something on the move. But how great I feel without a smartphone far outweighs that.
The only time I pull the iPhone 6 out of the cupboard is when I run or bike. I like to use Strava and Nike + to track things and I listen to music whilst I’m exercising. But I put it straight back into the cupboard afterwards. I can use the laptop for most other things and can live without the rest.
One surprising benefit of a feature phone is the battery life. My first full charge lasted eight days. You wouldn’t think charging your phone is such a pain in the ass until you rarely need to do it.
Right, I’m off to stay with family for 3 days on the South coast. And I don’t need to pack a charger.
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