The other day I wrote about how my opinion on mobile phones is shifting. I realize I'm not the first hipster to call out mobile phones on being too mainstream, but it's genuinely how my opinion seems to swing these days. During most days since I'm back from cycling I've tried to limit my usage, keeping it in my bag or facing down in silent mode so it can't disturb me. A few days ago I tried to go all radical and actually left my phone at home.
It's probably too short to form any serious opinion on this, but I can definitely say that it didn't feel quite as liberating as I imagined. It was quite easy to adjust to not having it in the morning; I just put on some nice music on my ipod classic and enjoyed a peaceful train ride in to work, and some pleasant mindwanderings that I wouldn't have had if I was reading Hacker News articles or if I was browsing 9gag.
But it was after the working day that I missed my phone the most, on the commute back. I didn't have much mental energy left and would quite have liked to do mindless activities on the phone. Somehow I've gotten so used to the phone that it costs more mental energy to not use it. That's definitely not right. In practical terms I did not 'miss out' on anything. No important messages were had, and they could have been delivered via email instead. My lack of 'connection' throughout the day did not result in a horrible social catastrophe like being too late to wish someone a happy birthday on Facebook. (By the way I don't do that).
Even on the way back, with a tired mind, I enjoyed more mindwanderings than usual, and felt more refreshed than usual when I got home. Not being preoccupied with the phone is likely a large factor in this, but also the fact that I used noise cancelling earphones to listen to music on the way home, something I never do when I'm playing around with my phone. I'm not sure if a combination of phone play and music is too much, but for the moment at least I don't feel the urge to use both.
Not having a phone with me for the day felt good, but I think it did cost me willpower. But then again, what kind of self-improvement does not cost willpower? Worth a try.