Long story short, I fried my iPhone — there was a small incident involving a nice Seattle day, an open sunroof and a freak rainstorm.
(I live in Seattle. It occasionally rains here.)
The phone kinda works. Somehow, the screen part of the touchscreen got fried. The touch part still works.
Technically, I can receive calls (the slider works) but can’t make them or send/receive texts. Forget looking up directions, checking mail, using apps.
My iPhone 5 is on order (one more week!), so I decided I’d tough it out. It’s been a helluva week.
- “Um. Do you know where Blanchard is?” Stopping and asking someone for directions? That’s so 90s. But, apparently I’ve lost all ability to follow old-school directions — you know, the kind you looked up on MapQuest and printed out?
Solution: Well, you’re pulling over and asking the nice stranger.
- Spatial & temporal amnesia. I go to a lot of meetings these days. Forget figuring how to get to 2nd & Blanchard, how do you even know you’re supposed to be at 2nd & Blanchard?! Oh, and you can’t call anyone.
Solution: I found this beautiful little app, Sunrise.im — total lifesaver.
- (Actually) Addicted to email. If I have a free second, I’ll check email. (You know, just in case.) Or, “let me just fire off this quick note.”
A couple weeks ago, I was at an event with a board member — I spent most of it firing off emails. He called me out afterwards, gently but sternly, for being rude. He was right.
Solution: I didn’t realize how bad it was — I found myself struggling with a few spare minutes. The first step? Admitting you have a problem.
- How many pings we get. My phone has been on — I feel it buzz every time. Maybe because I can’t answer them, I notice more how often it buzzes. Normally, each one of them would’ve been an interruption.
And those little red badges — all those missed calls, unread texts, unread emails? That’s a whole ‘nother kind of cognitive pressure.
- Received 1,042 emails.
- Have 248 unheard voicemails and missed calls.
- Still need to read 100+ texts.
But, you know the deepest, darkest thing I learned about myself during my week with no iPhone — no on-the-fly email, no realtime directions, no iCal?
- I liked it. Being fully present, focused & available with another human being is absolutely magical.
I’ve always been a data geek — I’ve always liked numbers & data and people have always been a little confusing to me. I’ve been working on it this year. But without my phone, I found myself engaging fully … and in the magic.
While the pace of my life continues to accelerate, this week was a nice reminder that disconnecting can bring back some humanity to life.
Solution: Be present, available. Turning off the ringer isn’t good enough — you might still check who it is (“just in case”). Try leaving your phone behind entirely and see if you feel a difference.
In the end, I conceded defeat. A replacement iPhone just arrived and, as of today, I’ll be back online. So, if you haven’t heard from me in a week — well, I’m sorry, I’ll call you back now.
NOTE 12/22: This post is actually from November. Ironically, after I got my iPhone back, I got pulled back into the whirlwind so quickly I never had a chance to finish it.