Saturday, October 23, 2010

Putting Down the Crack

When you start a blog post with "It's probably not the smartest thing I've ever done...", you're usually right.

A year ago, I wrote about becoming a Crackberry owner, which for anyone who doesn't know, is slang for the Blackberry smartphone.  Users often become "addicted" to it, hence the Crackberry.  I had a rather tumultuous relationship with the device for almost the entire time I used it.  It didn't take long for me to see the spinning hourglass of death at the slightest provocation.  I had but a few apps for it, as many of them didn't quite work or were slow, or invited appearances from the aforementioned hourglass.  In the end, I really only used the Gmail app to check my second account (the "main" one was what I checked through the Blackberry mail system), and occasionally Facebook, Stitcher, or Pandora.   All day, every day, it seemed all I did was compulsively check it to see if I had a new message (or tweet, as I had Twitter for awhile too).  I became a slave to my phone, and for what?  Showing off and letting people see "Sent from my Verizon Wireless Blackberry" at the bottom of my messages?  It wasn't worth it, and I knew I should just let it go.

What's more is that I am in the midst of imposing some of my own austerity measures.  (Greece? France, anyone?)  I've calculated that between letting my Disneyland Annual Passport expire and no longer making that monthly payment, and taking a hiatus from dance lessons through the end of the year, and giving up a $29.99 monthly data plan by downgrading back to my "dumbphone", I am putting well over $100 back into my monthly budget.  In fact, I am even contemplating taking it a step further and going for a new challenge in eating on $5-$7 a day. 

This is all driven by the fact that I need to bolster the savings fund I've been feeding for my trip to Europe next summer, I'm trying to pay down my car faster, and I intend to eventually go on a cash-only system except for one or two recurring bills that I may leave on a credit card.  Maybe if I've done well enough in staying on track in the next month or two, I'll re-evaluate and treat myself to a newer non-smartphone on eBay, like an enV Touch.  Eventually I'm looking to upgrade my classic 30 gig iPod to an iPod Touch, which is darn near an iPhone by now anyway.  (I'll believe the Verizon iPhone story when I actually see the lines wrapped around the block to get it.)

I went online yesterday and activated my old LG enV, dropped the data plan from my account, and went on my merry way.  The Crack withdrawals are present, but manageable.  Eventaully I'll get used to checking my e-mail from a computer again like normal people.  I feel good about my decision--better than I did about deciding to get one in the first place.