Life

Florida and Two Weeks without my Smartphone

So you know I spent a very long weekend in Florida back in August, capturing the southern tip of the peninsula with my eyes and lenses. What you may not know is that on the last day of my trip my friend and I decided that we were going parasailing. We thought it was safe enough but we had a couple of events during our flight … and descent that proved the case to be otherwise.

I guess I’ll tell the story and then tell you what the real damages were.

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We were really on our last few hours of vacation together when we decided to do something exciting and go para-sailing to finish off the fun on Key Largo. We found a couple guys, their boat and their parasail and decided to give it a go. I was in my normal attire, The captain and his assistant assured us we wouldn’t be in the water at all. We would be lifting off from the boat and landing on the boat too. Because of this we didn’t change into our swimsuits nor did I think too much about bringing my phone along to take video. They gave us the option of being brought down close to the water to dip our toes in and then pulled back up. We decided against it but we did pick up a 1000 foot rope instead of the 600 ft. We wanted to be really high up. The takeoff was fine and the view was spectacular … for the first three minutes. While we were flying we dipped low twice. I wrote it off as the boat guys goofing off and scaring the noobs but the third time we fell very quickly and hit the water at high speed. So.. let me tell you that water at a high speed feels exactly like hitting the ground. Like wet hard ground. I can only describe it as feeling like a giant slapped you. We were dragged underwater for a few seconds before surfacing and being dragged through the water on our faces. Let me say at this time that you truly know you’re a nerd when you worry about holding onto your iPhone more than dying. I had a death grip on the thing. Not that it mattered after it too was dragged through saltwater. It was probably one of the scarier things that has happened to me. Plummeting from high up into water is not a fun ordeal. We did eventually stop with the boat and after the coast guard sent out a boat to check if we needed help and a few guys on sea doos came to spectate, we were eventually dragged back on the boat, dripping wet, sans a working iPhone. I walked away with some deep surface bruising but my friend suffered some internal bruising and organ swelling. I’m thinking I took less damage because I didn’t tense up. The reason I didn’t tense before impact was that I was holding my iPhone above my head, hoping to keep it from getting wet. Yeah, I’m that lame. We’re both fine now but man what a twist at the last minute. I wound up having to run to an AT&T store to pick up a cheap go phone before my flight. A little nine button Nokia is a big step down from an iPhone let me tell you.

Hence, I had to spend 2 weeks without an iPhone before I made it to the Apple store for a replacement. I discovered a few things about myself during this time.

Now I never really thought I was that dependent on the device but two weeks without really did open my eyes and give me new perspective on how being connected 24/7 impacted my life.

imageWhere the hell am I? – No More Maps
So the first problem I encountered was the fact that I couldn’t just speed off to somewhere new without some forethought and minor risk. I don’t own a GPS unit nor do I have a sense of direction. Combine these two and you have one fairly useless person on the road. I definitely got messed up around confusing parts of Atlanta. The other day I was trying to just drive home, towards roswell but i wound up doing all sorts of random things before eventually running into roswell road and taking it all the way up. This was not the easy way back. What should have been fifteen minutes turned into almost 45. Lame. Not having maps definitely stressed me out on top of adding time to my driving for all my mistakes.

image What song is that? - No More Soundhound
I’d kind of gotten used to discovering music wherever I was because of Soundhound. I’d hear a song on the radio, in a restaurant or on the street and I’d just whip out my phone and be able to find out who sang it and what it wias called. Not anymore. I had to be content with enjoying the song for the moment knowing full and well that I may never hear it again. That was so disconcerting I actually enjoyed a good song less because it was fleeting.

image What is/When is/Who is that? – No More Safari
I’m one of those people that pulls out the internet everytime there’s a question about something that it can answer.I did this a lot, especially with political and historical discussion. Without my iPhone I hit conversation roadblocks where I couldn’t check my facts so I didn’t feel comfortable making a statement. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I HATE THAT?. Yeah all-caps hate. I almost felt dumber.

image image Damn it’s Quiet // No more Pandora / Last.fm
When there’s nothing to do, I like to listen to music.I like just running Pandora on my phone while I clean or go walking in the park. All streaming services are blocked at work so my connection to pandora via my phone was integral to my sanity at work. Two weeks without made for very, very long days. Having music ripped out of my life so suddenly sucked.

image Oh my god look at that let me take a pho…damnit. // No more camera
If you know what a photo freak I am you know how much this sucked. I got so used to being able to take photos and mms them to people that my brain would still send the signal to reach into my pocket whenever I saw something funny or awesome but the sadness that settled in when I realized I couldn’t share whatever it was I was looking at kinda sucked. Also.. every awesome sunset I saw I had to take in and then forget about it. Sadface.

image image Ooh a new place, let me ch…damnit. // No More Foursquare or Yelp
So recently I got into foursquare. I try not to share most of my statuses on twitter unless I have something to say but foursquare is a great way to check out tips and get coupons for the places you visit as well as run into friends. I’m okay with the location thing since I can control who sees it. Same thing with Yelp. I loooooooooove Yelp since it’s widely used and I can easily check a venue for reviews before deciding to go. I also got used to writing my own reviews on my phone when I visited somewhere new. I guess it was kind of a good thing to be able to walk into a restaurant or venue with a blank slate as far as opinions go, but I noticed I definitely wound up in places that bad service, inappropriate pricing for the goods, or poor atmosphere more often. And no more 15% of my purchase at Whole Foods. Now that’s lame.

image image Good lord this line is long. // No more games/distractions.
I like saving money. So I go places like wal-mart where the prices are definitely lower than Kroger/Publix but the customer service is unbelievably poor. I also do stuff like wait on clients and goof off during lunch at work. This was all facilitated by the games and quirky junk on my phone. I didn’t mind the lines since I could be on the oregon trail shooting buffalo at the same time. Waiting on clients didn’t put me off when they were late because I’d just take photos and edit them on my phone or read up on USA Today. Nope. Had to sit around blank staring at stuff.

image image Man I need to tell my friends abou…damn. // No e-mail, MMS, or facebook.
I liked using e-mail, mms, or facebook to communicate with my friends. Facebook especially is something I use regularly to help me congregate with my friends. Even texting kinda took a back seat to those so going back to texting full time was a change but it didn’t suck a whole lot. Not having MMS was kind of a pain. I have people send me pictures of things I need to buy or look at so they can buy. Especially my family. This past weekend my parents went church sale-ing and found four vintage sigma lenses. I had no idea if the mount would work or not on my camera but unlike before they couldn’t send me a picture of the mount. I just wound up having to take the risk of purchasing the lenses. Of course they didn’t fit. It was okay since the lenses are vintage, with the original sigma symbol caps and everything. This kind of lack of communication increases purchasing risk though.

image Dang the call quality is awesome! // The one thing that was better
If there was one thing that was better, it was the call quality of the Nokia. Sound was loud as heck and it almost never dropped a call. This was pretty much the only thing that was good about the phone.

I replaced my phone on Saturday (thank God for out-of-warranty plans) and I’m back to business. Can I say it’s awesome!? It was kind of good for me though. I used to spend a little too much time on phone reading news and stuff and playing games and suddenly I didn’t do it at all. My available time increased by a measurable amount. However, I think all the positives of owning such a capable device outweighs the minuses and I’m pretty thrilled to have it back.

Ooh, it’s time to track my calorie intake and then take a photo of the beautiful day outside. :)

 

 

 

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