I woke up today expecting the earth to have stopped rotating on its axis or to have stopped revolving around the sun. It looks like neither happened and she was already past midway between her daily routine when I woke up in the morning today. I was always under the impression everything would come to a standstill if I don't have mobile connectivity. Yesterday I did not turn on my cell phone but for setting my wakeup alarm and it has been mostly switched off till now, almost 48 hrs later.
I never had a cell phone while at college, neither during my undergraduate years in India nor during my graduate years in the US. I got my first phone after I got my job and has been hooked to it every since. I don't think I have ever gone this long (almost 48 hrs) disconnected from the almost addictive connection with the cell phone.
Back when I had my regular job I rarely received calls during office hours, but since I had started my own business (Zyxware) that changed completely. Looking at my phone statistics I have spent around 1000 hrs on the phone ever since I have started my business. That is around 1hr per day on the phone. If you take an average phone conversation to be around 3 minutes that would be 20 calls per day.
Imagine that - 20 times during a day you interrupt your work and walk out of the room to talk on the phone, i.e. almost once every 20 minutes. If you are a software developer you will really understand how frustrating that can be. It is always very difficult to maintain tempo in your work if you keep getting distracted intermittently. And it has really affected my work.
Of late I had moved to a late shift to make my interactions with US clients a bit easier and also to get slightly longer stretches of undisturbed work time. Since then, I had realized that the people who were calling me to get things done, moved to calling my office to get things done. And things were getting done like normal. So I didn't really have to get those calls in the first place. And those who really needed to reach me were still reaching me via email. That was what prompted me to run this experiment for 2 days and the results came out fine. I did not receive any calls and I had a very productive 2 days of work.
10 years back if you had asked me I would have said that the cell phone was a luxury, 5 years back I would have said that it was a necessity, 2 years back I would have said that it was indispensable, today I am telling that being without one is a luxury. I am not saying that I am going to keep my phone turned off from now on but I am just going to take control over my accessibility in the best interest of humanity :-)