A Little Experiment Results

The iPhone/Blackberry experiment is over. I went from Monday morning until about Friday afternoon with no iPhone. I turned it on maybe twice to get some information that wasn’t available anywhere else and promptly turned it back off. As promised here are some thoughts on the week.

It was definitely a challenge and a mindset change to not have so much information readily available in my pocket. Most of my day is spent either downloading or uploading code, documents, emails, etc. via the internet, but I’ve realized there is so much distraction in such a small form factor. It’s just so darn convenient that it was a bit difficult to adjust. The ease with which I can get almost any type or amount of information on a smart phone is unfathomable. The Blackberry effectively has no browser which means it has no ability to get that information. It couldn’t even load up Google… This was probably for the best. Forced information diet at least from that medium.

I did miss the music that I have on my iPhone. When I got in the car or sat down to work, I missed the ability to put my headphones in and get in the zone. I suppose I could have downloaded some of my iTunes library to a computer while at work, but that thought didn’t cross my mind until just now. It was somewhat nice to drive for an hour one day with nothing but road noise.

I missed the way I’ve been able to interact with the content on the screen. I made the mistake of poking the Blackberry screen in order to get it to do something more than a few times. I also missed being able to fire up a quick game while sitting in the waiting room for a doctor’s appointment. I did start up Brickbreaker a few times, though. The distraction factor of “get me away from ‘8216;boring’ right now” simply wasn’t as easily available and this made all the difference

The most interesting observation that I made during my down week was that, although I felt less connected, I didn’t really feel like I was missing out. The thought crossed my mind a couple of times, but most of the interaction that I participate in during a regular day could also be handled through another device. I did drift toward that at times during the week, but I was conscious of it which made all the difference. When I was forced to move to my iPad or computer to do the same thing that I used to do on my iPhone, it was more of a conscious choice instead of just a automatic response to move toward my iPhone. I’ll take this as a good thing. Being mindful of my device and information consumption was a good outcome for my little experiment. Now, it’s time to carry those lessons forward.