Is mobile data usage a productivity deterrent?

Or is it just that productivity is a mobile data usage deterrent?

The following graph shows my mobile data usage by month over the last year…

mobile data usage

I’ve never been a data hog, but recently I made a change – I dumped my Blackberry for an old Nokia flip phone. It was a simple decision. RIM has had more than a year to update their drivers for 64-bit OS X, and when I made the switch recently I found the Blackberry would no longer sync. And there were no drivers available. It seems RIM is too busy fiddling with their half-fast attempt at a tablet computer (and walking out of interviews), because, you know, there is no need to pay attention to existing customers when you have a new product flop coming down the pike.

Nevertheless, when I dumped the Blackberry I also dumped my data plan (yep, the carrier loses too). But before I did, I checked to see how much data I was actually using – a little due diligence just to be sure I was making the right decision. Interestingly, I found that the more work I had on the plate, the less data I used. I’m almost in over my head – in a few more weeks I’ll be drowning – and [would have been] using virtually no data at all.

Funny thing is…none of my colleagues are complaining about any lack of communication either.


MG signing off (wondering when I’ll feel like I need a mobile data plan again)


Greg says:

I probably use the data hungry services on my Blackberry more when I am bored rather than in order to increase productivity. If I’m sitting idle, I’ll check Facebook or Twitter. If I’m slammed, I don’t. I wonder if your data decline corresponds to your decision to abandon social networking sites? Maybe, too, August ’10 was a good month for fishing?

Interesting. I never used the mobile much for FB/Twit (although I am sure I’m an outlier) but I would pull RSS feeds and such when I was taking a break. My August was quite full, but with a lot of visitors and out-of-town jaunts (some fishing related, of course).

Now we have two correlating data points on -> productive = less data use. I guess we can count fishing as productivity (I don’t carry a phone on the water).

The Professor says:

I’m with Greg. I can attribute my data usage to playing games while waiting for an airplane not sending and receiving emails…… which I wonder at what point I began to depend on it when for a good portion of my working life I was able to survive without it. My saving grace is that work is paying for me to be available ….. A pox on apple for making their phone so addictive

Kyle says:

You’re going to be living in a hut on South Andros while delivering your SD cards via bicycle before you’re an old man. You saw my high-speed cell charger, right? Yeah, you know, just in case shit goes down.