I just finally got a smartphone. I know… welcome to the 21st century. I had been putting it off because I didn’t want to pay extra for the data plan. Just to put things in perspective, I didn’t even start texting regularly until about 8 months ago. My headstone probably won’t say “Early Adopter”.
I have nothing against new technology. I’m fascinated by it actually. But I’m usually too cheap to pay early adopter prices and deal with early adopter bugs in the technology. I’d rather see some of that crap get worked out before I have to spend time with it.
So why did I finally get it? A couple reasons… I’d like to be able to communicate with my fans a little more directly and in the moment during events. Being able to easily post to facebook and twitter while things are happening will be much easier. While sitting in line for a zillion hours at the D23 Expo a couple weeks ago, it would have been nice to accomplish a little something useful. I will also be able to do credit card transaction easier and cheaper and can finally get rid of my old “chuk-chuk” machine.
On a more personal level, my old mp3 player crapped out and I figured if I’m going to spend the money, I may as well get a phone with it too. That and so many of these hotels on the road either have terrible wi-fi or they want to charge you a couple body parts for it. And not checking my emails for a week while I’m traveling could clog up some internet pipe somewhere. I know it’s only ones and zeros. But they must stack up eventually. 😉
The biggest challenge? Not becoming a smartphone douchebag. You know the type that constantly has his face in his phone, completely ignoring the world around him? By the way, if you’re reading this on your phone, take a look around you and see if there’s a real human being you can talk to. You’ll get a lot more out of it.
So here’s my top 5 tips to not being a smartphone douchebag (as self-imposed on myself)
1. Don’t have your email come to the phone automatically. Sync it manually and only a couple times per day when you’re actually going to answer things. Then you won’t be getting notifications constantly and have the urge to check it.
2. If there are other people in the room do not take your phone out unless you have a specific reason to (ie. looking up an address or something). If you’re socializing, then socialize. The people on Facebook won’t miss you.
3. If you’re somewhere with a group of strangers, say in the line at the post office, don’t take your phone out to occupy yourself until you’ve made eye contact and smiled at the people in front and behind you. There may be a better opportunity for discussion there. If they don’t reciprocate, screw ’em. Play Angry Birds to your heart’s content.
4. Find one activity that you would normally do with your phone and trying doing it in a more traditional way for a couple days. Read a hard bound book. Play a board game instead of a video game. Call someone from a pay phone. Ok, that last one might go too far.
5. For god’s sake, listen to a quality CD on a big stereo system and remember what you’ve been missing my just listening to mp3s. Might I recommend one of these… 🙂
Check back with me in six months and see how many of these rules I’ve broken. Got a good tip for not getting stuck in your personal technology? Put it in a comment below!