Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

After a long addiction where I had used my phones as projects rather than tools, I decided to unwind. The blinking notification light was the first one to go, as I couldn't concentrate when it was active (which was most of the time). The next step was to buy a huge battery which made my phone twice as thick, but I only needed to charge it every few days which was a huge thing not having to worry about constantly. After a couple of weeks I started disabling more and more of the apps which made my phone buzz, and at the end I had only the most basic apps.

At the final step I realized that I had a huge expensive phone with only basic functionality and a web browser that always seemed to steal my attention (procrastinating on the web). I bought a Nokia C5-00 (dumbphone) and told my family that if they needed to reach me, they'd have to text or call - everything else would be dealt with a couple of times a day on my tablet.

It's been a year, and I love the freedom to work and be with friends and family without constantly having my phone in my face. I also seem to handle boring situations much better as I no longer can rely on my phone to entertain me whenever I have 3 minutes to spare. I am now a 22 year old Swedish programmer with a dumbphone that I charge once every 1-2 weeks, and I love it. Also, the reactions from co-workers and train conductors scanning my SMS-tickets are very interesting.

e: grammar

I did a similar thing. I replaced my iPhone (after I dropped and smashed it) with a Nokia 105 "dumbphone". It can only do calls and SMS messaging. It's the best thing I've ever done. I knew I'd get by without most things but I wondered how I'd get by without google maps in my pocket. I bought a road atlas for the car and quickly re-learned how to read a map and plan a route the old fashioned way. If I'm going somewhere the seems remotely complicated to find I'll just print off a google map before I leave. Looking back now, it's scary how reliant I'd become on dumbly following google maps turn by turn directions.

Emails, again I simply deal with the way we used to before smartphones. As and when.

Most 2FA systems also still support SMS as an option so even that's not a limiting factor of using a dumbphone.

My new phone cost me £10 and costs only £5/month to run because I literally cannot use any data.

The only downside I've encountered is the feeling that others are being ignorant/rude whilst blankly staring into their phone. You don't notice this when you're doing it too, but it's really very noticeable once you stop.

I've never been truly addicted to my phone, even though I've had a smartphone since before they were a thing (HP iPaq, running Windows CE). I've always been app-phobic on phones, only ever installing the minimum that I need. As such the notification problem has never been an issue. If my phone is flashing, it means I've missed a call, or there's a text message. That's it. Most people don't use SMS anymore for casual conversation, so I don't get pinged about those until I'm in front of a computer.

I do like having a web browser in my pocket though. I'm old, and I was there when dial-up BBS's gave way to basic dial-up internet. I used the internet as a resource, and I still mostly have that mindset. It's not an entertainment platform for me - I fire up a browser when I want to find something out, and then I close it again. However I do watch the odd fun YouTube video from time to time (not on my phone tho).

This switching away from being always-online seems to be picking up as a trend. I think it's a good thing. Like all things, the internet should only be used in moderation.

The internet is a tool, no different from a shovel or a paintbrush, and you don't spend all day carrying those around and looking at them, do you?


Edit: s/spade/shovel

I disagree with the Internet is a tool... statement. The Internet is definitely not just a tool. It's a different type of consciousness; it's not completely mature yet as to approach the organic, human type, but it's definitely much bigger than a tool.

Your disconnection from it may help you rediscover your own consciousness and do things the old-fashioned way but it doesn't confer any superiority or higher levels of intelligence or higher information evaluation abilities on you.

What kind of higher information evaluation abilities are you talking about? The way I understand it is that if you're using the internet, is you're disconnecting from the pipeline, and evaluating information that you already have. Internet is for gathering, maybe filtering information. But the actual evaluation is usually separate from it.

You're looking at a very specific case. My point is more general.

Some people tend to believe that a return to the old ways of no invasion of the zeros and ones of the Internet would make their lives better by some significant margin. They see some less digitalized folk and wish they could have that life because they also believe the lives of these folks are much simpler, more triangular, etc.

Nassim Taleb and a few others have advocated a disconnect from news. This makes sense from a knowledge building POV as some folks actually only know stuff about the world through mainstream media, which I believe is particularly unhealthy and misleading.

Disconnecting from the entire Internet however is a different matter. My point is that such a recoiling into a zero Internet shell doesn't necessarily confer any superior analytical abilities on anybody. It may help your sanity/peace of mind/mental health (depending on what your obsessions are)/etc.

And to your point about actual evaluation being separate from the information processing pipeline, I also disagree. More often than not you still need the various resources available on the Internet to aid in the evaluation of the data/information you have collected.

There's such a thing as a responsible/profitable use of the Internet and the gains are probably much higher than whatever any sound minded individual would gain from a disconnection.

I did mostly the same, except:

- I went without any phone at all at first, after breaking my smartphone much like you did; then decided I should at least have an old Nokia charged in case of emergency. No contract at all.

- I don't like using it, and I still hate voice/SMS 2FA, I use Authy instead wherever possible.

- I cheat a bit, since I do have a Nexus 7 still which I use around home and sometimes put in my pocket for podcasts. I don't think this is really cheating though, since it's WiFi only, so it's not really different from using a laptop - I can't be connected unless I'm stationary.

> The only downside I've encountered is the feeling that others are being ignorant/rude whilst blankly staring into their phone. You don't notice this when you're doing it too, but it's really very noticeable once you stop.

Yes! I don't mind it too much at the moment though, because I just think I'm glad not to be doing that. I've occasionally half-joked (with family) something like 'Well, it's nice to be out somewhere different for a change while we use our phones, isn't it?' :)

I'm aware of this. It's still more secure than not using 2FA at all though.

> Emails, again I simply deal with the way we used to before smartphones. As and when.

Which is exactly the opposite of my way of handling e-mail versus SMS. It it's really really urgent, be courteous enough to give your time and call me. For anything else send an e-mail.

E-mail is my primary communication channel and any device that can't handle it is useless. Whereas SMS is discourteous to me as it demands that I read and respond on one particular device, rather than that which is most convenient or appropriate. Quite often I'll read an e-mail on my phone and sit-down at the laptop to compose a reply.

Have been thinking about doing the same. I've had a company paid phone the las five years but I wish they would get me a good pad and a cheap nokia instead.

Have you asked them?

I guess I will do next time it comes up.

In at least one way it should be an obvious win: my phones take some beating. My pad has taken significantly less.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact