Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sipping Sweet WiFi at Chipotle

I was supposed to start my first day of work at GameStop tonight. They were missing some paperwork and so I have been sitting in Chipotle for the last 2O minutes waiting for them to call me after someone brings them the right paperwork.

I've been spending my time browsing reddit. I sure do love that site. It always has the lost random but intestine content.

I don't know if it is because the users are like me or if the best stuff gets pushed to the front page but what ever it is it continues to delighted day after day week after week year after year.

I've also been spending my spare time writing on my iPhone. I guess it has to do with my lack of a cellular data plan.

I sad I was sitting at Chipotle and browsing reddit. The reason I can do this is because I am sitting close enough to the Starbucks to get their free wifi signal.

I live free wifi. I have found that with the exception of using my iPhone in the car the majority of time I would normally use my iPhone data I am actually in a wifi hotspot.

Whether I am at home, at work or near a free public wifi hotspot like a library, Barnes and Noble or Starbucks I always seem to be able to get a signal when I need one.

It makes me wonder if I will ever go back to subscribing to a 2-year contract for an iPhone.

My "No Service" iPhone 3GS may do be just fine as essentially an iPod Touch with VOIP functionality where ever I get a wifi signal.

In essence my cell phone becomes my backup device when I am outside a wifi area.

As time goes in I am finding that I may never go back to paying for an iPhone data plan and a two year contract.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

iPhone is a luxury not a necessity.

Having an iPhone is a (or rather having a cellular data plan in an iPhone) is a luxury and not a necessity.

In the almost one month since I go rid of my cellular data plan for my iPhone guess what. The world hasn't stopped tuning. The heavens haven't fallen from and sky. The world hasn't ended. I haven't died. More

I'm Not Dead Yet

Honestly for the most part things have been just fine. Sure there have been times when I wish I had had cellular data. Doing things like having gps maps or looking up a near by business address would have been nice.

There are ways to get around these short comings. Printing driving directions ahead of a trip as well as using Google SMS search for addresses have pretty much solved those issues.

We Crave Distraction

When I think back in the types of things I user cellular data for on my iPhone the seem to break down into two main categories: utilities and distractions.

Utilities include things like GPS/maps, movie times, address search and so forth. These are things that make out lives easier because we can look this kind of information up on the fly.

Distractions are thing Like checking our Facebook status, reading news, and reading/posting on twitter. These are the little activities that we use to fill in the small gaps of time thy we fin in our day. Waiting in line. Riding in a car.

The Real Motivator

The second category us the one that I have seen the largest drop in since removing cellular data. It is also the category I was initially most worried about losing. If I'm honest it is probably the real reason I waited so long to stop paying do much for cellular data.

Thinking back I was telling myself that losing the utility functions of cellular data was the reason I didn't want to lose it. What I subconsciously isn't want to lose was the ability to be distracted at any place at any time.

What is interesting to note is that I have adapted very well to not being able to be distracted at a moments notice by twitter updates or Facebook notifications. I've replaced those with soon things offline most noticeably reading books.

Good Distractions

I haven't spoken much about this in the post yet but I still carry my iPhone alongside my cell phone. It may not have data talk or text but I still have access to all my apps.

The one that has been getting the most renewed use is the Kindle app for reading books. I've signed up with my local library and have been doing their 14 day checkouts of Kindle ebooks.

The combined freeing up of my "distraction time" (waiting for work after dropping my wife off in the mornings or sitting down eating my lunch) along with the pressure of needing to read the book in 14 days has helped me actually finish two books already.

As someone who is in the (bad) habit of buying books and only reading 10% before stopping the subtle goading that a library return date has had on my reading has been a revelation.

Conclusion

So all in all I can honestly say that my life hasn't become terribly boring I unbearable since I stopped the cellular data plan in my iPhone. It may have actually improved in some ways.

We lived for years without "always on" cellular data and it is perfectly possible to live without it today. We just has to remain open and be creative.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day 2 - What I'm using instead.

Toady I wanted to go over what I chose to use instead of a $94/month AT&T iPhone plan.

As funny as it may sound it wasn't easy to decide on which service to replace my expired AT&T contract with. I knew a few things for sure.

No Contract 

I knew that there was a chance that within 6-12 months I was going to be moving back onto a traditional 2-year contract plan and that meant I didn't want any sort of contract at all. This meant that I was looking exclusively at what we call "pre-paid" service.

the thing I didn't know at the time was that pre-paid cell phone service comes in two major flavors: "no contract" and "pay-as-you-go". No contract is very similar to traditional cell phone services in that you pay a set amount and get a certain service for one month.

This is essentially for people who want the benefits of traditional cell phone service but don't want to be locked into a 2-year contract. Pricing for these plans seemed to average around $35-50/month. An improvement from my current $94/month. Read more after the jump.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Welcome to My Life Without iPhone.

So today is the first day since I cancelled my AT&T service for my iPhone.

I've owned an iPhone since it was first introduced in 2007. I owned the original iPhone and later the iPhone 3GS.

I started this blog to record my experience living life without an iPhone. The reasons for cancelling my iPhone was that the $94 dollars I was paying AT&T each month had just gotten too onerous. My wife and I were both paying $94/month and as money gets tighter you reach a point where you stop and ask yourself: Do I really need to keep spending $188 just so that I can have the (albeit sizable) convenience of an iPhone?

That is the question I will be exploring as my adventure continues. At this time I'm planning to wait 6-12 months before getting another iPhone. Yes I believe I will get another iPhone. Honestly I love the iPhone. I love it a lot. It has been my constant companion for almost 5 years. Read more after the jump.