Constant amusement for my co-workers is that I use pre-paid phone with no data. So you cannot reach me with e-mail when I am not anywhere with Wi-Fi. I cannot be reached with WhatsApp (or at least not that fast).
Yes, I work in digital agency.
Originally this started because I was not quite sure how long I would be in Singapore. Now that it has gone well over two years, it might just be procrastination. When asked my odd mobile behavior, I will always tell these three reasons:
1. Only way to protest is through consumption
All of the telecom operators offer only 2-year plans, which I oppose in principle. I believe that you should be able to make profitable business without forcing the customer lock-in. Forced customer lock-in is total opposite of what great brand should do. It is a cheap move and there are smarter ways to do that lock-in as well (see: Apple)
If someone would come with more flexible plan, I would probably sign a proper deal. Until that, I am minimizing my phone costs and paying to any Telco by having the pre-paid. And they are already screwing me up with my home internet plan, so they are getting them nevertheless.
2. Connectivity can be good: constant interruption is not
Being connected to Internet is a great thing and I damn the lack of data every single time I cannot get a cab. There is a superb app for that in here. If I would be constantly connected, I would also be constantly interrupted with different alerts (from mail, social media, other apps). That makes you stupid and it is a fact.
I counted that I have read over 100 novels, while I have been here. I mostly do my reading while commuting. With data, I would have probably read 100 novel worth of inane status updates or have a Nobel laureate in Candy Crush Saga.
3. Limitations set boundaries
My co-workers know that I do not have data and I generally do not read mails after leaving office. After a while they also respect that and also know where they can contact me if there is something urgent. As Internet and digital is so much of what I do at my work, I rather spend my spare time with analog activities. Which does not mean that it is a good thing, I just prefer vinyl records to music streaming services. Different strokes for different folks.
Am I a Luddite?
I don´t think so. I genuinely believe in the possibilities of digital. I think that digital detox is bullshit. Mobile Internet is constantly making our lives better. I am not a better person compared to antisocial commuters with their mobiles. I am antisocial with my book. What works for me, does not necessarily work for you. And vice versa.
I am also super excited about new technological possibilities. Yesterday I was totally amped up when testing new virtual helmet. I am probably abandoning my pre-paid days to fully experience Apple iWatch (as I believe in the potential of wearables). I constantly test new apps and services (I am even on Ello, which is probably the most overhyped new service ever). I usually test them for a while and find out what makes people tick. Why they are using them? Then I usually abandon them.
You don´t have to be a digital native to be able to do successful digital marketing. You have to be curious and always open to new things. And you better understand that none of your peculiar old-school habits reflect any other people. Then you will be just fine.