Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Sold my Treo 650

I've been using a combo pda / phone for several years now and have really enjoyed the technology. I've used various models: pocket pc phones, treo 650, samsung sph-i500, etc. The Treo 650 has been my overall favorite.

However, I've learned over the past couple of years that having a combo pda / phone can have its' problems if you don't know how to control its' usage. It came to head over the past couple of weeks.

While its' a good thing to have access to your email from wherever, I found that I was always checking it - in the grocery store, waiting for a movie to start, in the car, out to dinner, etc. If something "important" came along, I felt the need to address it right then - even when I wasn't supposed to be working. In addition, even if I didn't deal with right then, the contents of the email were on my mind and I was thinking about it rather than the current situation. I felt like I was being controlled by my easily accesible email, and that I could never "leave" work at work.

The simplest solution for me was to sell it. Its' been very freeing to deal with my email when I should be dealing with it: at the office; and not let the constant flow of information run through my mind. Downtime is a good thing. I now find that when I'm traveling in my car, I'm relaxing and thinking clearer; rather than checking my email, reading it, and trying to reply to something that could really wait.

I did purchase a phone that acts as modem so I can still dial-out through my Tablet PC when I'm on the road and don't want to pay those wi-fi fees.

Maybe what this all points to is a weakness on my part of not being able to control technology. There are probably a lot of other people that this is not a problem for. That's ok. I think I've just found a better way to work and live for myself. That said, I don't think I'm the only one out there....
You're definitely not the only one out there. I applaud your decision and hope it goes well. My girlfriend and I got rid of our cell phones, along with my PDA, about 6 months ago for similar reasons. There seemed to always be this mental "weight" upon us so long as we had our cell phones with us. That expectation of others and ourselves to be connected with one another. Having lived without them since, we both feel like we've taken back a small part of our sanity and independance from the rest of the world. I've recently spent the last week eliminating other random gadgets I own, as well as purging my "virtual presence" of email addresses, online profiles, etc. and I couldn't feel more relieved.
I have written about this phenomenon on my site- it is a real concern and there are professionals who are literally burning out because of the expectations that go with "always on" connectivity. Good for you, Rob. Maybe you should warn Marc Orchant. :)
No need. I'm well aware of the dnager. Fortunately, reading e-mail on a PDA is such an uncomfortable experience that I haven't found myself doing it too much. And I hate cell phones so I'm not inclined to be one of those people you see yammering while they should be doing other things... like driving.

I'm "on" so much of the time that I feel little need to clutter up my "off" time reading e-mail... or even RSS feeds. I just got tired of lugging a PDA and cell phone around and thought I'd give the converged unit a try.

But I appreciate James looking out for his co-host so well. ;^)
I don't agree. You said the 'easiest' solution was to sell the phone. Why not try and change your behavior? Just because something is available all the time doesn't mean you have to use it all the time. I do understand that it can be hard to change, or control one's urges, but maybe you should have given it a shot? I know other people who hate cell phones because they feel obligated to use them. I take a different position, instead of weighing me down it frees me (to an extent). It's important to set boundaries with these things. I do not answer calls when I don't want to, I don't care who it is. Likewise when I am with friends or doing something fun, I don't check my email. Anyway, I don't mean to be too critical, just my two cents.

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