Friday, August 14, 2009

It was just a phone

While I was in Canada, to save money we decided not to buy the rather expensive Canadian data roaming plan for my iPhone. So, for the entire trip, a time during which I was not on vacation but keeping current on work and doing writer and fan things, I could not check my email on my phone--nor stock prices, nor the weather, nor the news. In fact, all I could do with the damn thing was make phone calls.

I have to tell you, it was mighty strange and definitely unsatisfactory. I'm all for going offline on vacation, and I try to do that as much as possible, but during normal business I like to stay connected. I've come to depend heavily on my iPhone for connectivity when I'm away from my notebook. I was in a restaurant, for example, and wanted to look up the meaning of a French word on the menu. I pulled out my iPhone for a quick check and--I put it away again.

All the people I know rely to greater or lesser degrees on their notebooks and phones and Internet access as a way to augment their readily available data. Losing that support in a place you've come to count on it really does feel like losing a mental appendage. I'm not at all comfortable with that statement, but it's definitely true.

Next time I'm in Canada, I'm going to think harder about that stupidly expensive data roaming plan.

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