I don't remember the exact cause of my desire to throw the boy in the lake, but I remember the aftermath well. He did something that inspired me to rip off my shirt, empty my pockets and rush after him to give him a good solid dunking in the cold Montana water. It was obvious he deserved it and there was lots of laughs afterward that proved it was a good idea on my part. Shortly after getting dressed and refilling my pockets, I walked to my car to grab something out of the back. As I pulled my keys out to unlock it with the remote, I realized my keys were wet. This made me double-check the contents of my pockets and realize my iPhone was wet too. Apparently, when I emptied my pockets, all I'd removed was my wallet. The date was July 2nd, 2011.
It took me a couple days to confirm my iPhone was hosed. It was an iPhone 4 that I got on the day it was released, on the night before I left for my Montana Summer Vacation last year. It was also the night I met the lovely Trish McGinity. Since I knew the iPhone 5 was coming out in the next couple of months, I decided that if Apple wouldn't replace it, I'd go without a phone until the new iPhone came out. When I arrived back in Denver, I took it to the Apple Store and they confirmed it had "liquid damage." They said they'd replace it for $200. This was $200 less than I expected, but I decided to stay firm with my no-phone plan.
On that same trip in Montana, I decided to leave my car at The Cabin since I ride my bike to work everyday.
So I spent the last 2 months without a phone and without a car. I know, it's definitely a First World Problem. Poor me, I had to live without my Cadillac and iPhone for a whole 60 days. Regardless, I believe it was an interesting experiment and one that many technologists like myself might enjoy (or find it impossible to do).
It was interesting reverting to "old times" (the 90s) where you had to setup meeting times/places with friends and hope everyone met up on time. It was awesome that no one could contact me immediately and I could go about my day with little interruption. I found I had a lot more time because I wasn't constantly checking my Twitter or Facebook for updates. I found I had less stress because I never felt the urge to check for new emails.
Other than that, my life didn't change a whole lot. I rode my bike a lot more because of the no-car situation, logging 251 miles in July (with 2 weeks off for vacation) and 461 miles in August. I used Gmail to make phone calls, and checked my voice mail once a week to see if I was missing anything. I was able to plug in my water-logged phone and retrieve text messages every week or two (it'd stay on for about 30 seconds before dying again).
My parents arrived from Montana with my truck last night and I re-activated my iPhone 3G before driving to meet them in the mountains. I'm thankful for having my luxury items back, but I also realize that I shouldn't check my phone as much as I used to.
It wasn't until after I started this experiment that I discovered The Digital Diet and connected with the idea that Technology Is The New Smoking. I hope to stop being that guy that brings out his phone and checks for updates at family gatherings, when talking to my kids or when having lunch with friends. If you're addicted to your smart phone, I encourage you to try The Digital Diet. It's not that hard and there seems to be far more benefits than consequences.