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Stephen Hackett's blog about things that light up and make noise. 512 Pixels is about Apple, technology, journalism and design.

iPhoneless: The Failure

I made it two months and one day without an iPhone.

For those keeping score, that’s ten months shy of my original goal.

In that original post, I wrote:

I — like most people I observe in waiting rooms and in line at Starbucks — kill little bits of time with my head down, the glow of my smartphone lighting up my face. Twitter, App.net, Google Reader, Instagram, Email, iMessage, Tumblr and more wedge their way in to my life in little two-minute increments throughout the day.

Being without a smartphone is weird. I started noticing (and getting angry with) people who ignore each other to attend to something on their phones.

I found it easier to connect to people in person — be it over coffee or in meetings — without my iPhone serving as a distraction.

Most of the time, I enjoyed not being as connected as I once was.

So, what happened?

The iPad mini is a great device, and while it got me by for work, it was increasingly frustrating to have to rely on it to get my job done. I spend more and more time between offices, and having to bring my tablet with me was becoming problematic.

Not having an iPhone was also stressful at home. I missed what would have been fun photos or videos of the kids because my Canon was in my bag in the car, and got lost while out of town without Internet-connected maps. Not having iMessage in my pocket made keeping up with friends and family more difficult.

While I failed at keeping my word on the length of my experiment, that doesn’t mean my experiment itself was a failure. Moving forward, I’ll be leaving my iPhone in my pocket much more, relying on it more as a tool, and less of a reason to ignore those around me.