I have joined Paul Miller (sort of)

As I type this I am peeking at a tiny screen next to my laptop, checking the progress of the installation of Opera 4.4 on my Blackberry Pearl 8100 that I just got from craigslist yesterday. I know the reactions that I may get from some, but so far, I am loving it. In comparison to the Verizon 4G LTE Android I had just days before, I feel I have made the right decision to sell that to get this... at least for now.

Why?

Simple.

I am drained.

I wouldn't say so much that it is the internet itself that is killing me but the way in which i am using it as well as the amount. I have become addicted to smartphones. I have had 4 different smartphones in the last month. Instead of it helping me, they were more of a distraction. Constantly updating this and that, playing games and checking this site and that site... even if I am at a PC! I know I am not the only one. It got to the point where I began to notice it was screwing around with my home life. I was more forgetful and my wife and kids felt neglected. They didn't say so, but more so in their actions. "Daddy, daddy, daddy!" I wasn't there. I was too busy trying to beat my high score in Temple Run.

When Paul decided that he wanted off the internet for a year. I knew exactly why. And Sherry Turkle is absolutely right.

Why Blackberry?

I could have saved and bought a 9900 but I didn't want to wait that long before I could come up with that kind of scratch. I wanted to go simpler on my smartphone. Not get rid of it completely but just get into a smaller space. I know nowadays it's all about the apps. But for me, I think its all about your life. If we care so much about not having 1,000,000 apps rather than not having time to lift our heads from these tiny screens, then whats really happening to us?

Some people will argue and say that you have to have balance. But those are the same people who use these very things heavily. You can't tell and alcoholic that he has to drink moderately if you yourself are already drunk. You have to pull back, or reevaluate or whatever.... I don't know what you should do.

But I know that I needed a break and a brake.

So here I am. A "smartphone" that keeps me connected but has a limit. So the temptation is gone. At least for now. I find myself not checking the phone needlessly as I ride the elevator like some do to avoid contact with people they are right in front of.... its true, people do that. I never knew that until now. Its amazing.

I plan to for an entire year only use outdated smartphones. To avoid the appoholism. Or all Blackberry because they actually have less than a gazillion apps. To me, thats a good thing. And I don't know if people remember, but buttons are awesome.