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The Apple Watch as Phone deterrent
Turns out my ideal minimalist phone wasn't a phone.
Remember when I wrote: “How I made my iPhone dumber”?
Well, guess what motherfuckers. The things I outlined in that piece lasted several weeks, and then I returned to my old ways. A phone junkie.
My problem is simple. I don’t want to pull out my phone for a text and find myself scrolling through inane bullshit on social media.
Because I will do it.
I have no self-control.
You could say that SituationNowhere.com is slowly documenting an undiagnosed mental illness of mine.
Or you could be nicer to me!!!
Before the Apple Watch, I tried the Jelly smartphone by Unihertz. It’s TINY and cheap. I figured I wouldn't be compelled to doom scroll if the screen was small enough. I kept my iPhone for music & maps in the car. And swapped my SIM card whenever I needed one or the other. It was great! I felt free of my addiction!
Buuuuuut, swapping SIM cards proved tiresome. And Apple’s propriety iMessage was a pain. I wouldn’t see texts on both devices. BOO!
But, then…I had a thought. Something I never tried before…
The Apple Watch.
I can keep the same phone number for a nominal monthly fee, and it can operate without a phone if I opt for the cellular model. And I won’t lose my iMessages.
On YouTube, I discovered a bunch of videos with titles like “Can the Apple Watch Ultra replace my phone?”
Fantastic! I wasn’t the only asshole thinking about it!
I didn’t want to spend $800 on the ultra, but the $299 SE with cellular was a compelling option.
And after a month of use, I’m happy to report…
This actually works for me.
Can you fucking believe it?
I barely use my phone anymore. It’s there for car maps and music, and if I need it to take photos, but in that latter case, I’ll switch to airplane mode to discourage scrolling.
TEXTING? I love it. If there’s something urgent I need to respond to, I use voice-to-text. If it’s something that can wait, something I can respond to on my work computer later, I do that.
PHONE: Sometimes I’ll Dick Tracy it, but mostly I use a pair of AirPods or Bluetooth speakers. Bonus: when I talk to someone, I’m not scrolling distractedly.
NOTES: I’ve been looking for a reason to abandon Evernote, and its lack of an Apple Watch app was my opportunity. I’ve switched to Bear and love it. If I have an idea I need to get down, I can whisper it into the watch, and it’ll transcribe it into a note.
CALENDAR: I use Fantastical, and there’s an app for the watch, no complaints.
MAIL: Fuck that. I haven’t linked my email and never will!
PHOTOS: There are a few photos I need access to for reminder-type things, and I have those favorites synced to my phone.
MUSIC: I have Apple Music and created a playlist that I sync to my phone for workouts (that I never get around to.) Outside of that, I like the health features. The strong app makes logging things at the gym easier.
But, the real benefit is reclaiming moments.
I went to a concert at the Greek theater the other night. It’s one of my favorite outdoor venues in LA. Not a bad seat in the house.
Before the music started, I got a text. I looked down at my wrist, saw it was nothing urgent that needed my response, and smiled.
If I had my phone on me, I would have responded to that text, maybe even had a conversation. Maybe someone in the audience would remind me of something I wanted to look up, something I wanted to buy on Amazon.
Without my phone, I sipped my cocktail and took in the beautiful Southern California breeze.
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