I woke up this morning to a bricked Google Pixel 4. After taking it to a local repair shop for a diagnosis, I was told that a fuse had been blown on the motherboard. A board-level repair would cost half as much as a brand new phone, and I was thinking about upgrading to the new Pixel 6 once it came out later this month. After spending a few hours sorting out account details and learning about replacement options with my carrier I learned that it would cost me $150 to get a replacement by this coming Monday. What good would it do to pay $150 for a phone that I would only have for a week until upgrading?
And that’s when I realized I had stumbled into a very unique moment in which I had every reason to attempt something I had been hesitantly curious to try: living without a phone. After all, the Pixel 6 was rumored to launch only ten days from now on October 19th. And if I decide at the end that life is better with a smartphone, then I’ll get one.
Okay so there are a few things I’m a bit worried about. The most obvious one is that I’ll be unreachable to close family and friends during this time. Ten days isn’t a ton of time, so I decided to email those closest to me to tell them about this experiment. A less obvious problem is that I’ll be unable to do typical two-factor authentication, which my university and some other services periodically require. The good news is that I have backup codes saved on my laptop, but it’s kind of a hassle.
I’m very curious to see how this will turn out. I’m hoping that I’ll appreciate the disconnection so much that I won’t want to go back to smartphones. I’ll likely still want the basic call and text functionality, so maybe I’ll go with a simpler phone. I had heard of the lightphone before and loved the idea, but was afraid of giving up apps like Uber for emergencies. Today I looked into some other “feature phones” and discovered the Nokia 6300, the Punkt. MP02, and the Mudita Pure. Anyway, I’ll probably write at least one more post on this experiment when the ten days are up.
Has anyone else made the switch away from their smartphone? Would love to hear about it below.