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Live without an iPhone

My First Month With a Flip Phone

I decided to get a flip phone when I felt like I was not missing out on much during the pandemic. 

The first month was a hard transition because I had been using iPhones for almost 8 years. My iPhone 7 Plus has travelled with me, heard me crying to friends after a breakup, snapped pictures of blackboards after lectures, and guided me to secret beaches.

The first step was removing my SIM card from my iPhone and placing it in my flip phone. Pretty straightforward, right? Yet, because it was easy to switch the SIM card back and forth, I frequently found myself right back to using my iPhone again. So, I started observing why I needed an iPhone. 

Most of the reasons were for going out. I would need directions on how to get to a friends house. I would see a beautiful sunset I wanted to take pictures of. I would want to look up good ice cream or a restaurant nearby. I would discreetly text someone that I’d be a few minutes late when I was still hanging out with a different person. 

This happened much less during the pandemic, and I started brewing up alternatives for my “needs” I had for a smartphone. 

I bought this camera to replace my photo taking needs. The Canon Ivy REC has been a fun attachment to my wallet. 

A fading sunset I can still capture on my Canon Ivy REC camera

I check google maps before I head to a friends place and use my car GPS to travel anywhere new. I write down addresses on paper that I can type into the GPS. 

Now, I look up places to eat and visit ahead of time. And honestly, most of my friends have iPhones, and I can peak over their shoulder as they search up the highest rated seafood nearby. 

A restaurant we found just by walking around the docks and following the direction that most people were walking. See my friends with their iPhones taking pictures that are as good as my pictures

I was more timely and aware of my tardiness and made it a part of my identity to not be late. 

This first month, I also noticed my focus increasing during my working hours. I still wanted to impulsively grab something to read or scroll my eyes on at random breakpoints during the day. I bought some Chinese books that I had been wanting for years and set that there as my easy distraction. 

By using our smartphones, we are just distracting ourselves from the hard work that needs to be done. We use them to pass the “extra” time until it’s crunch time and the deadline is imminent. Only then, do we have no option but to work. The smartphone is just enabling our tendencies to procrastinate. 

Very few people want to sit alone with their thoughts and twiddle their thumbs. You can confront uncomfortable feelings and realize unsettling things about yourself or others. You may realize it’s time for a career switch or to terminate something you’ve been subconsciously, or consciously, avoiding, like a toxic friendship. Sitting alone with your thoughts with no distractions brings you in touch with reality. For a lot of people, this is simply too much, especially when experiencing alienation out of our control, and we just need a break. Unfortunately, it’s so much easier to just grab and click. 

What other reasons do you have for checking your phone? What is your creative solution?