Life in airplane mode

I have been traveling internationally this week. While I know it is quite possible to set up my iPhone to work for a reasonable cost while abroad, I have generally avoided doing so. I put my device into airplane mode when I got on the plane, and have had it in airplane mode since. I have my laptop with me, and I got the WiFi working in my hotel room (and the airport and so forth) and so I have had email access. It has just not been constant. I haven’t had the ability to surf the web randomly as a way to pass the time.

On the whole, it has been quite nice. I found myself paying more attention to things, and to conversations. I have read fewer Brangelina divorce stories than I might have, but that is not a bad thing. The infrequent email checking has led to some problems. Among them: I haven’t actually gotten through all my messages. I try to get back to people within 3 days, and right now there are some 9-10 day backlogs. This means I will be responding to many things with “My apologies for the delay…” My fourth grader did not get to do his math homework this week because the log-in credentials for the website came to me, and that message got buried in the heap. But he went into school with a note, and I think it was OK.

Life with a smart phone means it is very, very easy to fill any spot of boredom with a quick check of…anything. Email, social media, headlines. We then complain of feeling like we have no time. But a lot of this is self-inflicted. Life will carry on whether those headlines get checked or not. Living in airplane mode is a good way to recapture some minutes and focus that would otherwise get chopped up.

6 thoughts on “Life in airplane mode

  1. I have debated about getting a basic phone to have with me out and about and using my smart phone only at home. (Since I use it more than my computer for things like email.) Just to see if I truly got behind on anything or if I just thought I needed it. I made it through the 90s andearly 2000s that way!

  2. For the half term holiday at the end of October we are going to a holiday cottage by the sea, miles from the nearest village let alone town, in Kintyre in Scotland. On principle the owners, the Landmark Trust, allow no TVs at any of their properties. There is no DAB digital radio reception in that part of Scotland, only FM and AM and although there is mobile phone reception (and it may even have been upgraded to 3G this time) this is not at the cottage but only if you walk a couple of hundred yards along the beach. This will be the seventh time we have stayed there and we (including our daughters, now 16 and 12 but we first visited when older one was 3 before we had the younger one at all) absolutely love it. We won’t miss all that depressing and ultimately unimportant news and constant connectivity a bit. It is so important to switch off from time to time.

  3. “Life with a smart phone means it is very, very easy to fill any spot of boredom with a quick check of…anything. Email, social media, headlines. We then complain of feeling like we have no time. ”

    YES! Thank you!!

  4. Yes. I was in Europe for 3 weeks (vacation) this summer and though I used my laptop to keep up with key work emails (and friends!) in the evenings, I didn’t have ready access to … anything … on my phone. It was mostly delightful. And we frequently camp in places where access is limited or non-existent, and I try to keep my 3g data usage <100MB/month (which keeps me in the lowest pricing tier on my plan), so even when I'm home, I'm not readily accessible via email nor do I regularly access the web when I'm out-and-about.

    I recommend it.

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