Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Transitioning to a Smart Phone

I have about ten days left on my cellular contract. The display on my Motorola W510 (a dinosaur of a flip phone) is all but gone. If you leave the phone open it works okay, but if you close it, it will either hang up on the call when you open it, or the display will not work when you open it and you have to power off and back on. The funny thing is my wife's identical phone started doing the same thing a couple of weeks before mine did. Anyway, despite incentives from our smaller market wireless provider, we are going to ride it out. My cousins recently gave me an iPhone 3GS and we've recently freed up some money in our budget to go with smart phones. So that is our plan. But as I am getting excited about the endless connectivity of a smart phone, I also have a few reservations. So, here are the things that I don't want to happen with my smart phone.

I don't want to become a phone addict. I don't want to be that guy who can't go to sleep at night because I'm still checking my Twitter or Facebook. I hope I am able to establish healthy limits on my "phone use" since I'm getting so much more than just a phone.

I don't want to use my phone at the expense of others. I don't want to be sitting at dinner with my wife or with some friends or acquaintences and have my face projected down at my tech toy. I also don't want to be sitting at home with my family totally ignoring them because I can now get on the internet from my recliner.

I don't want to get carried away with my apps and downloads. With all of the apps available to make my phone more functional, I want to make my phone functional, but I don't want to break the bank trying to get every app or ringtone I think I need to make my phone cool or useful.

I don't want to become a tech snob. I posted a blog a few weeks ago about the phenomenon of the Apple snob...and here I am getting an iPhone. But regardless of the brand name on our tech devices, they are not a lot different from cool cars or houses in that we often view them as status symbols. I think tech people often enjoy making people feel dumb by rattling off a bunch of sophisticated lingo that is littered with acronyms. "What, you mean you can't check your email on YOUR phone?" How do you survive?

I don't want to send my work emails to my phone. The iPhone allows me to set up more than one email account. I can also use my email address to streamline different email accounts to go to one address. I will be choosing not to do this for one reason. When I am at home, I want to be at home. I don't want to be checking office emails when I should be visiting with my family. If someone from the church wants to get in touch with me, they can call or text me. If it's an important matter, they shouldn't email, but rather call.

Rhett Smith wrote a great post a couple of days ago on establishing boundaries with Facebook. Most of the same stuff applies here. He suggests having a box or a basket at the house where we turn our tech gadgets off and place them there for a designated period of time. So what boundaries have you had to establish with technology?

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