Sooner than I thought

I recently made a goal (and posted about it) to phase out my smartphone within the next year. Well, after a sudden Tower moment, “next year” has been sped up to “next week”.

It started when I decided to switch wireless carriers from Mint to Visible (both MVNOs). I had been happy with Mint — it was great to pay for a full year in advance and get a lower rate, rather than pay more over the long run by making a monthly payment.

However, I discovered that Mint’s “unlimited data” plan was false advertising. The limit is actually 35 GB per month, which might be okay if it’s your secondary internet access. But for me, I didn’t have internet access at home — nor did I want it. I thought this plan would be a great alternative.

Until I hit the 35 GB limit well before the month ended, and experienced the phenomenon known as “throttling” — when carriers reduce speeds to 128 kbps, aka dialup speeds. Maddening.

At first, I dealt with it. Then, I asked Mint if I could buy more data — they said it wasn’t an option for this plan.

Finally, 7 months into my plan, I’d had enough. I looked into other wireless carriers, specifically those who did not practice throttling.

I found Visible.

They practice a thing called “deprioritization” instead, which I haven’t experienced yet, so I can’t tell you if it’s worse, but it doesn’t sound worse. Basically, when the network is heavily congested, you will experience slower speeds — but not as slow as dialup.

Even though Mint refused to give me my money back for the rest of the year that I would not be using (approx $180), since it’s in their non-negotiable terms of service, I decided it would still be worth it to leave and not have to deal with dial-up speeds ever again.

So I signed up for Visible and ported my number over.

And, the Tower moment: my phone would not accept Visible’s SIM card. When I contacted customer service, they said my phone was locked (even though it isn’t). After another attempt with another agent, they still couldn’t get it right.

Then, when I was pulling the SIM card out of my phone, it flew out and fell through a tiny crevice into the abyss of my car, irretrievably. What are the odds?

So now I have no phone service and am forced to face my dependence on it head on.

Ugh. It’s incredible how my brain was been rewired by this thing. I hardly know what to do without it in some ways.

But in other ways, it’s kind of liberating. It was the push I needed.

Anyway, it looks like I will be moving to a new situation where there will be home internet service, so that will suffice for a while, until I can decide what to do next.

I don’t really want to go back to a “dumb phone”, because there are still a few features about a smartphone that I prefer, including the touchscreen keyboard. (Though, maybe I could use a sliding keyboard like I had ten years ago?!)

And at least I can use Offline maps!

I’m off on an adventure. 🙂

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