We all joke about kids having their smartphones attached to their hands every moment of everyday. Just go outside and look at all of the Pokémon GO addicts roaming our streets smartphone in hand, eyes turned down seeking that rare Ponyta, Staryu or wait for it ….Abra! (Just ask anyone under 30 and they can translate). But I digress this is about time or the time we all waste staying “connected”. So how do I break out of smartphone prison?
My smartphone is a BlackBerry Classic , yes you heard that right a BLACKBERRY (yes, they are still in business).
Why a BlackBerry? Two reasons – 1) I’m still a fan of a physical keyboard because I’m efficient with it, and 2) It’s not DISTRACTING. I’ve had multiple iPhones, Galaxy’s, HTC’s and others all with the latest technologies in screens, capacity and available applications. They are great, don’t get me wrong, but they are a HUGE DISTRACTION.
Let me tell you a brief story. Recently I tried the BlackBerry Priv which is a hybrid, it’s a BlackBerry but it runs the latest version of Android. It has a nice big screen, even a physical keyboard (it’s a slider), access to all of the latest apps that aren’t available on a BlackBerry OS device which is pretty much limited to about 10 apps total. I really, really liked the device, it was fast, screen was fantastic and easy to read and yes I downloaded apps at will like a kid in a candy story. That part was great, BUT after a few days I noticed that it was always begging for attention. I got hundreds of notifications in addition to the email messages, text message and occasional phone call I normally get. All those apps were needy – they DEMANDED that I look at them, I’m going to miss something or lose something or not be informed of something ….. It’s too much, I don’t need such a needy device in my life. I wanted to be in charge, not my phone. I did a factory reset and sent it back and I picked up my good old BlackBerry Classic again and got some peace and quiet. Yes, it’s not fashionable or sexy, no it doesn’t have a lot of apps for it, yes it productive and efficient for the things that matter to me.
One of the few tech columnists that I trust and enjoy Walt Mossberg wrote a column on this very topic recently, its titled “The tyranny of messaging and notifications” check it out and see if it rings true to you as well.