I am always telling my kids to look for value when they are purchasing goods, services, (cars, drugs, small counties). I am not really sure how well they absorb the lessons, but that’s no the important part. What’s important is that I give the lessons. If they don’t listen, well, their problem, not mine.
Anyway, back to value. Recently the company I work for decided to discourage employees from working at home – as in “No working from home anymore”. Now I am totally okay with this edict It’s way better than “No working anymore, form home or else where.” And since they still plan on depositing currency into my bank account on a regular basis, then I guess I’m okay with going to work.
The side effect of this new “go to the office to work plan” is that I have to spend seventy minutes or more each day in traffic before my morning meetings. Since I work with some engineers in Ireland, I need to get to my desk pretty early in the morning. (I’m getting to the self-social experiment. Really. Just giving the back ground.) So instead of looking over the nights emails on my Blackberry, I’m shaving, and flossing and caffeinating and checking the traffic reports. In other words, doing the same thing as millions of other gainfully employed people do every morning. Sucks to be me, eh.
Anyway, back to the morning routine. I stopped doing work email on my Blackberry in the mornings. After my work is complete, the Irish are (usually) not working. At 5pm here it’s 1am in Shannon. So there is no work email exchange then.
I own a WiFi enabled tablet, complete with a Kindle Reader App (not a Kindle Fire), and a WiFi enabled ultra-book (which I am using to compose right now). And almost every place I go has a WiFi hotspot – hockey rinks, Safeway, ski-resorts, hotels in Ireland, restaurants, my house. Even my folks, who live in the wilds of Nova Scotia – well, six miles past the wilds of Nova Scotia – have high-speed wireless Internet in their house (beautiful home, lovey property with a river from which the occasional trout dinner comes),
So, after thinking things through, I have decided to switch to a non-smart phone for the first time in decades, and kill my data plan with AT&T. There is just no more value in paying for another data pipe to the internet. So I am getting rid of the smart phone. The cost per month is not that much. Forty bucks US for two gigabytes, which I have never exceeded (in no small part because my smart phone switched to WiFI every chance it could). But the value is gone. It just does not make sense to spend money to check on the WBS Pens games on twitter, and check Facebook.
For those occasions when I might really want to access the internet on a smart phone, I am usually with my wife and she has a pretty damned smart phone. And we share well.
So, the social experiment is a test on how much I have become addicted to having the internet literally in my pocket, and when I will break down and turn my Blackberry back on. I have an old Samsung that accepts and receives text messages – no QWERTY keypad though, and still places and accepts phone calls. So we will see how long I last.
My family is running a pool. My daughter says I last six days, which puts me into next weekend. My wife, who is very supporting, gives me a month. I have already beat the first time guess by my eleven year old son. He has revised his estimate to a week. For my part, I plan on not going back unless i) my company changes its work from hoe policy or ii) I get an engineering team west of me or iii) I just plain miss being able to read CNN headlines while stopped at a red light on the way home.
Time will tell.