Simple life hack


Turn your mobile data to the OFF as a default when out and about.

Why? Read on.

Since about October 2017, I’ve been quite conscious about how my phone connects to the data network via the mobile provider. There was a time I did not bother about it and having the instant connection to the Internet that I love and can’t live without, came at a price. The price of being constantly on and constantly distracted. It was getting to be too much. We see this everywhere.

I had to do something, if anything, for myself. My phone’s mobile data is now set to default OFF when I am out and about.

The advantages are:

  1. You get back your time. You can then enjoy the world around you.
  2. You have control as to when you can be contacted. My family knows that I will turn off the data when I am outside and turn it on only when needed. If there is anything they need to contact me on, they can first SMS (remember that feature?) and then I can turn on the data and do what is needed.
  3. Your mobile data usage is not going to surprise you by being excessive. In face, my average for the last 1 year and a bit of doing this, has been just about 1GB.

Remember, there is nothing so important that you must have your mobile turned on at all times. If you can’t be reached, there are other means if it really matters.

I would be remiss if I don’t also mention that turning off the mobile data as a default is also driven by the fact that there are now plenty of wifi hotspots that one can access. In my morning commute from home to the office which takes about 35 minutes or so by bus, I come across two spots where Wireless@SGx is active. As the bus enters those zones, viola, my phone connects automatically (yes, Wireless@SGx works flawlessly for me on my Android and Fedora systems). If the bus was around these hotspots for long enough, I get messages coming in and I can choose to do what I want. Most times, it is those that are quite superfluous and would have distracted me otherwise.

When I travel, I do not subscribe to the expensive data roaming plans that Singttel offers. They have a stupid way to compute and I do two things: a) use wifi where available and b) get a local SIM (data only if possible, else the usual types). Fortunately, I do not have any need to be reached on my Singapore phone number and if needed, I can be reached by other means first and I can then get on to a voice call using many of the tools out here like Jitsi, or Signal, or Telegram. I have VOIP set up as well via LinPhone on my mobile and laptop, so I am pretty much covered if I really need to do a voice chat.

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