No data roaming = freedom

No data roaming = freedomAs Treab inferred from my Review of the week rambling, I’m on – shock horror – some sort of holiday this week, trading gloomy Glasgow for the sights and sounds of beautiful Barcelona. I have to say, being here and not having to attend Mobile World Congress (as per my last two visits) is quite fantastic.

Indeed, with data roaming set firmly to off, I’m largely wandering around Barca tech-free. It’s great.

Back home, I’m one of those guys that checks their mobile about 400 times per day. Not content to simply leave my phone until hailed by a notification, I’ll routinely peruse my emails, scan the Facebook News Feed, flick through the endless tweets, play a quick game or two of Scramble With Friends… and repeat.

Here, however, under the Barcelona sun, I’ve opted to forgo data roaming, and as such there’s no reason to look at my phone every two minutes.

In fact, I’ve realised it’s more often than not a pointless endeavour. Catching up with two days of Facebook action (via hotel Wi-Fi), I learned that some people got drunk at the weekend, and that some other people were “bored.com”. Amazing.

Similarly, I scanned through what felt like hundreds of tweets in one go, and the big news was that Sunday night’s episode of Breaking Bad was awesome. Which, let’s face it, pretty much goes without saying at this stage.

On the whole, sans data roaming, I’m reminded of simpler times, when the world wasn’t at our fingertips 24/7. If the devil does indeed make work for idle hands, he’s probably largely doing it through mobiles these days; it’s far too easy to pick up your phone and kill 10-15 minutes by doing, well, nothing. Certainly nothing of import.

That said, there are a couple of things I’ve been using my phone for, the first of those being a clock. Yep, neither of us has a watch, and without at least one mobile between us, we wouldn’t have a clue what the time is.

True, we could always ask someone, and there are clocks dotted around here and there, but nothing compares to the convenience of whipping your phone out and checking those digits. Er, except maybe a watch.

Of course, that won’t be such an issue when Apple releases the iWatch later in the year; I’ll be right at the front of the queue for that one. Am I joking? I think so. I hope so…

Moving on! It’s also quite handy taking screenshots of Google Maps. You can instantly show taxi drivers where you want to go (and imply that you know how to get there; no detours please!), and effectively save walking directions for offline viewing.

On a similar note, I’ve found saving a picture of the Barcelona Metro map quite useful on occasion.

Ah, phone. Where would I be without you? Having said that, our parents managed to survive various holidays without mobiles, so I guess I shouldn’t give my phone too much credit.

While I’m rambling on about my phone, it may or may not please you to hear that my iPhone 5 lock button is playing up, sometimes demanding two or three presses before acknowledging my finger. The moral of the story? Buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

And in other Apple news, my MacBook seems to be taking a page out of my iPhone’s book, with the trackpad occasionally demanding several presses before performing its click-based duties. Sonofa…

Right, I’m off to do Barcelona things. Normal service will resume next week, possibly from a Windows 8-rockin’ Lenovo laptop (ahem).

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JanSt / MOD  Aug. 28, 2013 at 13:12

I mentioned it before - I once didn't watch/read/listen to 'news' for 2 years... I hadn't missed a thing. The other day, back in Germany, I noticed the same faces and stories and opinions that ruled 15 years ago, still rule these days. Plus some new cosmetics and name changes.

And visiting Twitter after a 2 day break I wonder if Big Pharma will ever cure Deja Vu?

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