One of the things that the week off has given me is the knowledge that my current cell phone plan contract has expired. Being an individual that is acutely aware such details, it’s been expired from September. Perhaps it is a sign as to how much care and concern I give my cell phone (which sounds something akin to “Oops, I dropped it again. Oh good, it survived! Again!”), or perhaps it is a sign of the love/hate relationship I’ve had with this particular cell phone and provider. I don’t have a smartphone; I have what I can only term as a developmentally disadvantaged phone. It was born in an era slightly before the web interface really took off but they were smart enough to put a slide out keyboard so that I would not use it as a projectile having hit 3 a bunch of times in order to get a letter E for a text message. It’s been a nice run but, really, the limitations are such that it makes it more of a pain at times when a web enabled browser or just the perfect application would be quite delightful.
Despite having said that, I will admit there is a relief to not having a smartphone at times. Judging from how often my friends, family, and coworkers will glance at their phones, I do take a secret delight in not being that connected all the time. Some may argue that one doesn’t have to check the phone every time they get a buzz or a beep, but being the curious creatures that humans are (and me being one of the curiouser; yes, I just invented a word), I’d find it hard not to check and see what the message was. I’ve also had the distinct displeasure of sitting next to someone in a post conference meal and being ignored in favor of a smart phone conversation throughout the whole meal. I’m glad there were other people to talk to around me, but it was like sitting next to a wall of silence. A very rude experience, but thankfully it has only happened once.
There is a little joy in being just a tiny bit disconnected. If people really want to reach me, they can text, send me a DM through Twitter, or *gasp* call me. I do like calling people back after they send me text messages. It’s like a fun breach of some unwritten protocol about limiting it to text messages. But, seriously, in the same span of typing out several text messages back to you, we have can have the whole conversation in less than a minute and both go on with our lives. Text is great for dropping a quick note or having small exchanges when the phone isn’t an option, but there are things that are easier with just a quick call.
So, in getting to the actual speculation part of the post, I’m wondering if anyone else likes the idea of being slightly disconnected in this technology day and age. That they are purposefully technology limited so as to limit the amount of contact stimulus they have in their lives. For as much as I may protest being so connected, I have a touch of gadget dorkiness to me that makes me go “must get phone that can run my life”. I will probably give in, but not without an eye towards determining how much notification that I can get at one time.
My question is thus: how much connectedness do you prefer and how does your choice in technology reflect it?