Guest author Tim McCormick is a product developer & writer in Palo Alto, CA interested in publishing, learning technology, and urban innovation.
the full article came out today in ReadWrite (formerly ReadWriteWeb), a top-20 global blog/site focused on the Internet as participatory technology and media, syndicated to The New York Times and many other outlets. My original essay, part 2 of which is due to come out tomorrow on ReadWrite, was entitled “From Smartphone to Mindphone: cheaper, smarter, not always-on.” Cooler minds at RW changed it to title you see, an excellent value-proposition, service journalism angle which seems to be getting good numbers online.
Over the last six months, I’ve made an experiment of giving up my $90/month cellular + data plan, and exploring alternative ways to use my smartphone (iPhone) costing as little as $5/mo. The key point is that you don’t need a contract or a subscription to use a smartphone, contrary to just about everything you ever hear.
RFR IPhone Next, concept by Fabio Merzari / RFR Designers, Italy
I’ve come to think that it is not only often possible to largely cut out phone costs via these methods, but they actually provide a helpful path to other goals such as better prioritizing your time and attention, lowering stress and disruption, improving online reading patterns, and making you more connected to place and local community.
This isn’t about dropping smartphones or nostalgically longing for a pre-cellphone era or an uncontaminated, unplugged, “In Real Life.” It’s about using smartphones in smarter ways, exploring their amazing potential while limiting their cost, intrusiveness, addictiveness, and other problems. It’s about making our tools serve our goals, rather than accepting, as Marshall McLuhan said, that “First we build the tools, then they build us.”
[...] read full article at ReadWrite.