For 48 hours I stowed my fancy phablet in a drawer and popped my SIM card into the Punkt. MP01 for their Digital Detox challenge. Here’s what happened:
Hour one: No Notifications!
I was relieved to be notification-free for the first couple of hours into my detox. We all know how those notifications beg to be viewed immediately. See no notifications, hear no notifications, read no notifications.
Hour three: No Signal
One major drawback of the otherwise-perfect Punkt. phone is reliance on 2G. In the US, 2G has been all but retired, save for a few pockets of signal here and there. My carrier, Cricket, relies on AT&T’s towers; AT&T claims that they will shut down all 2G towers by the end of the year. Since I didn’t want to switch carriers just for this challenge, I ended up with a phone that got no signal whatsoever unless I left my apartment building and walked two blocks south. Talk about withdrawing from the digital world… (I switched my SIM to T-Mobile, which eliminated the problem)
Hour four: Still frantically trying to text to the international number to let Punkt. know my digital detox is underway… hope the tweet will suffice…
14 hours in: The Uber Conundrum
Since I don’t have a car, I rely heavily on Uber for transportation: this presented a unique challenge during my 48 hour detox. Since I knew I was doing this challenge ahead of time, I contacted Uber for a solution. Apparently, if you contact them and ask nicely, Uber will give you web access through a computer browser. I was able to call for my Uber on my laptop, record my driver’s plate number, step outside and Voila! Problem solved!
24 hours in: not having to bring my charger to work is awesome!
36 hours in: couldn’t call an Uber from work. Had to take the bus. It’s ok, I saved a few bucks! Saw a chicken on the street. Wanted to take a pic. Couldn’t, and felt sad. Comforted myself by remembering that there are shed loads of chicken photos on the web already.
38 to 40 hours: took a nap. FOMO is fading…
42 hours: put phone in pocket; worried that I didn’t lock it, then realized butt-dialling would be very difficult without a touchscreen :)
48 hours: SUCCESS! I have survived my digital detox, and like with most detoxes I feel anxious, relieved, and a little green around the gills. Could I be smartphone-free for life? I don’t think so. Could I do it again for 48 hours? HELL YES, and I might.