Today I complete 3 months of NOT using my BlackBerry.
Here is my story. I have been a BlackBerry addict. The first thing I do in the morning is to half open an eyelid and skim through my BlackBerry emails. The last thing I do at night is to watch for red light blinking and make sure that that there are no unread messages. If I stop at traffic signal, I check for new emails. If I am in the loo and I have my phone in my pocket, I check emails. Even when I have my daughter on my lap and my wife besides me, my mind unconsciously wanders to my “BB”.
This has never bothered me that much and I love my emails and blog subscriptions. But I ve always had this feeling that I don’t have control over my temptation to check my BlackBerry messages.
So I chose to do an experiment for 3 months. Just 3 months, no big deal. Not to carry my smartphone. The idea initially occurred like a simple thing to do. But then, when I started contemplating, it appeared very hard.
I have very strong reasons to use my Smartphone. Some of them are:
- My BlackBerry handset and monthly bills are free. Sponsored by my company. The company pays for the handset, monthly bills and undertakes repairs if any. I don’t need to spend one rupee on it. Conventional thinking tells me, it’s free, so enjoy it when you can.
- My work requires me to be plugged in and that’s the reason my company provides me with BlackBerry. As an Escalation Engineer, my work usually involves firefighting IT issues and pacifying angry customers.
- Most importantly, I love checking stock tickers, latest blog updates and responding to email threads.
On Nov, 18th 2011, I choose NOT to carry my smartphone for the next 3 months. Since I knew it would soon turn out to be a really hard thing to do, I tied an incentive to it. That is, after 3 months I am going to buy a Samsung Galaxy SII. Let this be a good way to move to the Android world.
Its been 3 months without carrying my BlackBerry and I feel accomplished J
The following are what I have discovered:
- If you don’t respond to an email or message immediately, nothing is going to happen. Absolutely nothing. People might be accustomed to getting fast responses; I let them know my responses are going to be delayed. I promised my boss and my colleagues that my responses will be complete, factual and exactly to the question when I respond. People appreciate this much more.
- Lots and lots of freedom. I don’t know why, but maybe it is because I don’t need to respond immediately and my information hunger has now reduced,
- I started to reading books. Real books. I completed “Snow Storm” by Alexander Pushkin,
- When I spend time with people, I give 100% attention. No fiddling with my phone, no emails, nothing. Undivided attention.
This is my story and I am not righteous about it. It worked for me and it may work for you. Try it. Just a suggestion.
Btw, the Samsung Galaxy SII, it is still on my list, but I ll buy it later J
I want to thank Leo Babauto of ZenHabits for all the inspiration.