The other night my wife and I were having a discussion about scraping the bottom of the barrel on vapid social media content. I’ve mentioned it before, but we like to quote Aziz Ansari and call it being “on page a million of the worst book ever”. At one point my wife asked me, “What would you do without a phone?”

It’s interesting to think about. My wife and I started dating in 2007 around the release of the first iPhone. In some ways, my wife has only known me with a smartphone in hand. After we married and moved to Austin, I convinced her to ditch her Nokia and get an iPhone. She joined my insomniac cult of backlit screens.

My wife knows I’m a busy person. I have a restless leg1. And I’d rather be doing something than nothing. My mom is the same way. My wife however is fully content to stare at a wall. It’s admirable.

Bringing it back, when she asked me “What would you do without a phone?”, I honestly don’t know the answer. If I timejump back to 2006, I was living in a commune-of-sorts, unemployed but occasionally running a soundboard for a college, following my wife’s band around, and running a Moveable Type multiblog instance with a PHP forum on the side.

My guess is that I’d play more video games, read more books, spend more time playing with my kids. But for someone as restless as me, I wonder if that would suffice.

Utlimately, I think I’d maybe need a smart phone for work. Getting Slack and tweets on my phone are probably too valuable for me. Is there a smartphone that turns into a dumbphone on the weekend? Can everything have a smart-mode and dumb-mode?

  1. FUN FACT: In Japan, having a restless leg is often associated with being poor. At least that’s what my coworkers told me.