Survival Tips: Life without an iPhone

“NOOOO!” I heard myself issue a blood-curdling scream as the realization sunk in: Someone had just stolen my iPhone. The young punk ripped my lifeline out of my hands and ran through the closing metro doors before I could do anything. I leaped to my feet, banging on the doors to no avail. As the train gradually eased from the station I turned to my fellow passengers in utter desperation. “I WAS JUST ROBBED! HE STOLE MY PHONE!” A few lazily looked over in my direction. One woman unsympathetically muttered, “mmm hmmm, they do that.”

Didn’t they realize that I had just lost my connection to the world? What was I supposed to do without my iPhone? I was heading to the airport. How on earth would I survive a flight? What if someone sent me an e-mail? What if I got lost? My world slowed to a halt.

Despite herculean efforts on my part…from yanking the emergency brake to stop the train (in case anyone from the DC Metro is reading this, you might want to look into those bad boys. Both of the brakes on my car were loose in their sockets)…soliciting the help of a slightly over-eager DC policeman to track down a similar-looking guy and frisk him…getting the metro police to agree to review the tapes from the station to try to match our suspect to the theft…nothing worked. To make matters worse, I nearly missed my flight.

Here I am, two weeks later, still using a $20 Nokia phone with one ring tone, no games and of course no data access. It has been an interesting process. Some would probably say that I needed the cleansing. I disagree. I’m trying to hold out until the new iPhone comes out this summer. Until then, I’ll have to resign myself to the following lessons learned:

Without an iPhone, a lot of time is wasted

In the morning before I was ready to get out of bed, I used to lie in bed reading my favorite blogs and posting the best entries to Twitter. I would clean out the junk e-mails from my work account and skim the others to see what I needed to work on right away.

Now, I just lie there.

On the way to work, I’d have any form of entertainment my heart desired–from the day’s sudoku to the day’s news, to audio books, to a real book, to mindless entertainment like Ms. Pac Man.

Now, I sit and look around for punks eying my stuff.

Waiting ANYWHERE I’d have the instant ability to let my office know where I was or catch up on responding to e-mail.

Now, I wait.

There are a few benefits, though, to not being constantly plugged in

For one, I have a great excuse not to respond to work e-mails after hours. “Shoot, I don’t have an iPhone…sorry I missed that!” I shrug and move on with my life.

But, the biggest lesson I’ve taken from this is that it’s not good to get too plugged in. When my phone was stolen, I was so lost in my own world that I had no idea of my surroundings. For better or worse, it’s important to look up every now and then. And now that my phone commands far less attention, I have a lot more time to do that.

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