I’m writing this as a follow-up to my post about how I ditched my iPhone earlier this year. When people find out that I have a plain, old flip phone, it’s usually met with intrigue and questions about how I can possibly survive without this app or that. While it was certainly an adjustment, I’ve never once regretted making the switch.
So today, I want to share a few alternatives for those must have apps and how I live without them. Most, if not all, of these tips should sound pretty familiar as it wasn’t that long ago that people started carrying powerful computers around in their purses and pockets.
You may not be considering something as extreme as switching to a “dumb phone,” but these tips can also come in handy for those times when you just need to unplug and take a break.
Without further ado, here are the answers to the top five questions I’m asked about living without my iPhone:
1. How do you keep up with your shopping lists and reminders?
Digital alternative: Believe it or not, my basic phone does have some decent features. There is a very simple notepad where I can jot things down as they come to me. It may be a little cumbersome to access, but it serves its purpose.
Analog alternative: Paper, of course. I created a grocery list that contains everything we buy at the store on a regular basis. It hangs on the side of my refrigerator and when I notice we are running low on something, I simply check the box next to that item on my list.
2. What about reading? I can’t live without my Kindle app.
Digital alternative: While I don’t carry a smartphone any longer, we do still have a number of devices in our home (a prehistoric first-gen iPad, a Kindle Fire, and my Surface tablet). I still enjoy reading from my Kindle library on all of them.
Analog alternative: Books. Real ones. With pages and covers and spines, oh my! Lately, I’ve picked up several titles on my reading list at yard sales, thrift stores, and of course, the library.
3. How do you find your way around without Maps??
Digital alternative: If you do a lot of traveling, a stand-alone GPS could easily replace the Maps app. As a SAHM, it’s rare for me to navigate to a new location. If I do, I can usually plan ahead and print directions from Google Maps or Mapquest, just like we all did before the era of smartphones.
Analog alternative: While I haven’t actually needed to utilize this one, paper road maps are still a viable option.
4. What about Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest/etc?
Digital alternative: You may or may not know this, but all of these sites have desktop versions that can be accessed from any computer (although I realize you can’t actually post to Instagram from a desktop – tough cookies 😛 ) Since I’m no longer connected to Facebook 24/7, I’ve tweaked my News Feed settings to show posts from the people I’m most interested in keeping up with first (close friends, family, my favorite blogs, etc).
Analog alternative: Talk to people. Face to face. Go on a playdate. Grab some coffee. Take a walk. Just do life together. You’ll feel way more social than you will scrolling through any of those apps.
5. What about the camera?!
Digital alternative: Okay, you’ve got me. This is the only function that I truly miss about my iPhone. I miss being able to take photos of my kids anywhere and everywhere. But really, how many pictures do we need anyway? I don’t need to document every single moment of every single day. When I do want to take pictures, we have a nice DSLR camera my husband got for Christmas a few years ago. It’s bulky and I don’t bring it out often, but I do still have a way of capturing quality images.
Analog alternative: Be there. Live in the moment. Breathe it in and know that you’ll never get this time back again. Take a mental snapshot. I have to believe that being fully present and living each moment will be so much more valuable than scrolling through a bunch of photos of my kids eating breakfast.
How about you? Are there any apps on your smartphone that you just can’t live without? Tell me about it in the comments!