Earlier this week my iPhone 3GS finally gave up the ghost. It was a trusty companion for many years, but something finally gave way and the pin connectors that charging/syncing cables connect to wouldn't accept charges to the phone which made it, well, unusable. I wanted to hold out for an iPhone 5 (or 4GS or whatever the heck we'll get this fall), but obviously couldn't go without a phone until then so I sucked it up and replaced my 3GS with a white iPhone 4 (yeah, I got the white one, make fun of me now).
In the couple of days with no phone usage, it became utterly obvious how tethered I am to my phone and, when I'm without it, how odd I feel. To start, I simply felt odd without the trusty weight of my phone in my pocket, constantly vibrating as I received new emails, push notifications, and texts. My right leg suddenly felt slightly lighter... and my ears felt empty.
Not only is my phone my communication hub, it is also my portable entertainment center. When I'm walking just about anywhere--to the bus, running errands, walking the dog--I have my headphones in listening to some of my favorite podcasts (like Nerdist, Doug Loves Movies, The Bugle, and many others). Without something to listen to, I felt... well, bored. I'm so ADHD that I constantly need to have something to interact with or pay attention to. Without things to listen to while walking about, I almost felt like I was wasting time and found myself rushed to get to somewhere where I could interact with things again.
My run wasn't the same either as I didn't have my phone piping in some deathcore to my headphones as I tried to keep myself motivated all the way through my 2-3 mile loop. And I couldn't map it either as my phone is my GPS, which I use for tracking my runs and bike rides. I didn't know what my pace was, how far I'd gone (well, I had a rough idea), or how I compared to previous runs.
Lastly, my bus ride was almost unbearable. When I'm feeling tired, either because it is early in the morning or because I just finished a grueling day of work, I like to grab something light from my Netflix or Hulu queue and watch it as I wait to get home. Without my phone... I was forced to either do nothing (which is not an option for me) or read, even if I wasn't totally in the mood for it.
It's amazing how essential my phone has become to my everyday lifestyle, going far beyond a device used simply for calling people. Truthfully, using it for calling people is one of the features that isn't really all that important to me--it's all of the other things it does for me that matters. If anything, I could do without the phone service as long as I always had access to a nice, solid 3G or greater data connection which, if you ask me, is where we'll be in a few years.