Ah, to be disconnected from the Overmind

Sure it's tempting.  But then what would I do on the weekends and on vacation?  Like Sam Graham-Felsen, I too have read Thoreau.  From Technology.

Why I Dumped My iPhone—And I'm Not Going Back
No matter how impure Thoreau’s experiment in simple living may have been, there was something undeniable in his suggestion that we often have to strip convenience from our lives to feel alive. The iPhone had certainly made my life easier, but had it made my life better?

First thing the next morning, I went to the AT&T store. I had to explain several times that I didn’t want to trade my iPhone in for a newer model, or a Droid, or anything with the Internet. I just wanted something that would allow me to make calls. The sales clerk looked at me with an expression that read: “Who gets something worse on Black Friday?” I walked out with a ridiculously unsleek '90s-era Nokia that my friends still tease me about.

Since then, I haven’t become a Renaissance man or a soulful motorcycle mechanic, but my daily life has improved. Commutes are no longer opportunities to catch up on email or Twitter, so I’m reading books again. It feels a little like getting a new contact lens prescription: Things that were blurred together feel sharper and more distinctly colored. And of course, I’m no longer engaged in half-conversations with the people in front of me and half-conversations with the Internet.

There are, of course, inconveniences. I had to buy a printer for my boarding passes. I hand-write driving directions or text them to myself. If I’m in an unfamiliar neighborhood or a new city, I actually have to do some planning before I bolt out the door. And when I get lost and am too embarrassed to ask a stranger, I have to call my wife, who has an iPhone, for directions.

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