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.
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.
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.