The Dumbphone and the Downgrade

Today I traded in my smart iPhone 4 for a dumbphone with only talk and text and zilch for a data plan. To be honest I really liked my iPhone. Its user interface is excellent, easy and fast to get around on texting, tracking recent calls, the whole gambit. Its syncing ability with my all Mac platforms at work and laptop were also nice. Its ability to pull down emails, news, my iMatch songs, to launch me into Facebook and Twitter on the fly, and the games. I liked my iPhone.

But I love my family more than I like my iPhone. My iPhone was a distraction away from them many times. It was a revelatory tool of my lack of proper energy and priority being given to them. It was also insidious in its lure to check out from real life and to check in to the virtual world, too often. It had become an icon for my wife of my lack of pursuit. In its unfettered state with open internet access it was too much for me to self-manage (a problem in and of itself, self-management that is instead of Christ-managed). And so, today I got myself a dumbphone. It is clunky and very user unfriendly compared to the Jobsian engineering of the iPhone, requiring 4 clicks for things that should require one, having audio that is a bit suspect, and no interfacing Google calendar so I am not cross platform synced. BUT it is beautiful if it allows me growth and recovery with my wife and kids. I’ll take its cumbersome navigation in exchange for communion with those I love most.

Will I ever be able to have an iPhone again? Perhaps, or maybe not. Only with the wife’s blessing.  If so,  from day one I’ll have several things in place that I didn’t initially have on the current phone until later (and if you have an iPhone and struggle with any addiction related to pornography or internet usage–gambling or whatever–you might consider this if you aren’t dumbing down):

  1. I’d have boundaries on the times and time limits I could use it, agreed upon by my wife. If it became a problem, she’d have the right to tell an accountability partner who could confiscate it for a period or some other arrangement.
  2. I’d have that accountability partner lock-out safari and the ability to download apps once the initial set needed was loaded. The only way I would want access the internet in browser mode is through the Covenant Eyes mobile browser.
  3. I’d give him the iCloud login for Find My Phone where he could see where I was on a Google map at any time.

I actually did the last two, but it took too much and too long to get me to that point. I needed to more quickly admit my flesh was weak.

I’d rather have my family back than a phone. For now and as long as needs be, the dumbphone it is. Hey, it doesn’t hurt that the sky high bill for the data plan just got kicked down a notch or two, as things are tight these days. So if I don’t text you back as quickly, don’t fret, I’m probably still trying to figure out where the send button is. Man, I think my pet rock was smarter than this phone, but I am smarter than a pet rock–some days that is.

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