I recently fell victim to the siren call of the smart phone. More specifically, a friend
recently upgraded to an iPhone 4 and gave me her old phone.
I recognized pretty quickly that having an iPhone was changing my behavior in small but
noticeable ways. My laptop (which is so old it's practically a desktop) gets turned on a
lot less frequently. My e-mail responses--those that are sent from my phone, anyway-
-are a lot more terse (though not always, as it will take more than a radical shift in
technology to curtail my verbosity).
And while having this phone means I'm checking Twitter and Facebook and my e-mail a
lot more frequently than I used to, in some ways I feel less immersed in (some kinds of)
information. I'm still not crazy about reading anything of significant length on the small
screen, so I find myself either not reading (or marking as to read later) links that I would
likely have clicked on if I was checking from a regular computer.
But traveling this week is when I really noticed the change the phone had made in how
I approach things. I am a very type A personality traveler. Before I go somewhere new
I have all my flight and hotel information printed out, a plan for getting between airport,
hotel, and other spots I'm going to (including, but not limited to, maps, addresses, public
transit info, and turn-by-turn walking directions), and a print out of my schedule if I'm
going to a conference.
This time, I have none of that.
What I have, instead, are apps. A conference schedule app, along with my personal
calendar for other events and details. A San Diego map app, as well as a conference
map saved to my home screen. A few other pages of info I'll need are saved there as
well. Everything else I'm planning (hoping) to access through my email.
This is very, very unlike me. And while I kind of like not having to carry and organize a
sheaf of papers, the fact that I don't have all those papers is kind of making me nervous.
I'm not ready to make any generalizations about my future behavior ('cause it's likely
one of the reasons I feel so unprepared for this trip is the non-packing, non-trip prep
work I had to do before I left), let alone anyone else's, based on this one experience.
And while I do have a lot of info for this trip on my phone, it is nowhere near well-
organized. But it is interesting to see yourself making such a significant change about
how you do something in such a short period of time.