Friday, May 18, 2012

My Cell Phone Is Dumb, And Dumb It Shall Remain ...

Last fall, I wrote a post about my Fisher-Price phone.

I still have it. The hamster that powers it hasn't yet died, so it remains my phone, such as it is.

Oh, sure, I flirt with the idea of a smartphone. Well, not just any smartphone. An iPhone. I am a Mac girl. Period. If I were to go down the smartphone path, the spirit of Steve Jobs would be beside me.

But more and more, I realize that I don't want one.

I never was a cool kid, and smartphones have been around for so long already that owning one will bring me no cool-kid cred. And everywhere I look, most everyone's gaze is fixed to a phone. It's unsettling.

A few days ago, Mark Sisson posted this: "Why We're Missing Out on Real Life." And reading it called to mind too many instances of bad smartphone behavior.

Like the friend I hadn't seen in a year who, over the course of our conversation that lasted maybe two minutes, turned his attention to his phone twice to text or tweet or something. Really, pal? You can't go two minutes without ignoring the person in front of you? Twice?

And like the guy I dated who brought his phone to bed every night. Um, really? You're not a doctor, dude. There will be no middle-of-the-night calls for you to race to the ER and save someone's life. Do you really need to know if someone updates their Facebook status at 2 a.m.?

Also, smartphones remove any chance at plausible deniability. It's pretty hard to find an excuse for not being in touch with someone when you carry a phone-cum-computer in your pocket. Then again, such access does lay bare the truth about a relationship: If someone has 24/7 access to communicating with you and chooses not to, that says a lot, doesn't it?

I spend too much time on my laptop as it is. It's wireless, but I don't tote it with me everywhere I go. Sometimes, even when I'm home, I make myself not check email for an hour or two.

Of course, someday, work may demand that I have such connectivity. And then, I'd relent. But as a civilian, I'm happy with my dumb phone. It's lovable in its decrepitude. And the hamster needs the gig.


Blogger Marc said...

Two things to consider:
1. Although we call them smartphones, it's probably better to think of them as what they really are - small form factor general purpose computing devices that happen to have telecommunication capability.

2. I never used to bring a phone to bed (well, night stand, actually) and was content to leave it on its charger by the computer. Now I cannot go to sleep without the phone near by. It has something to do with waking up at 1:30am and noticing 50' high flames consuming the back of our neighbor's house about 35' away a couple of Septembers ago.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Yup, Marc, and I don't need that much access to a computer.

Understandable why you'd be inclined to take your phone to bed with you. But most people don't have such a reason.

8:20 PM  

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