In February of 2014, I bought a first-gen Moto X. Last week, six and a half years later, I retired it. I’m going to miss it.
It’s not as mighty as it once was. One of the volume buttons only works if I press it real hard. The other one doesn’t work at all. Sometimes the GPS doesn’t work, and I need to look around for my cross street and manually enter my starting location. Some apps only work partially or don’t work at all, because its last update was Android 5, and neither its manufacturer nor app developers chose to support it further.
But for the most important things? It’s great. The power button works. Calls work. Texting works. The original battery still lasts a full day on standby.
In fact, the only reason I’m getting rid of it is because too much of it still works. It still runs web browsers, so a mindless distraction is there whenever my subconscious wants it. It still runs messenger apps, so conversations, with great company but foreign contexts, regularly seek my attention.
My mind works best when it has just one thing to direct its attention to, and a smartphone, armed even with only basic apps, eagerly presents second things. All day, every day.
I could, of course, choose to ignore those things. But I’ve come to accept that making that choice requires energy. Energy that comes from the same finite pool from which I draw to work, to interact with loved ones, to focus on things that help me relax.
So here’s its replacement. It has no app store and a tiny screen. It’s nothing I don’t want it to be.
I’m going to miss my Moto X, because it treated me well. I hope it’s the most capable phone I’ll ever want.