I don’t have a smartphone.
My free upgrade has been waiting for eight years.
In fact, when my husband got his first smartphone, I actually downgraded to his old flip phone because the battery life puts much fancier phones to shame. Moreover, my flip phone blocks text messaging, on purpose. I told my cell phone company I do not want to receive a text. Ever. People can send them to me, but I’ll never know. I like to picture the text dissipating in cyber ether.
I have gotten used to getting strange looks from new friends and colleagues when they see my phone. I am more than capable of using the latest technology. The flip phone is a conscious decision. Because I don’t want to rely on a device to keep my life running. I only use my cell phone to make calls and actually talk to people. One time, I lost my phone and the only thing I needed to do was enter important phone numbers into the new flip phone, and then my life was back to usual.
I cannot answer email on my phone, so my work day pretty much stops when I leave the office. And I avoid miscommunication via typo or misread tone because people need to actually talk to me on the phone to communicate with me.
Of course, there are drawbacks. If my mom-of-twins brain fails me or I forget to write it down, I don’t have an easy way to look it up. Luckily, someone nearby always seems to have a smartphone and I’ve also been known to “phone a friend” to get the info I need.
Over the years, I have become immune to the gasps and disbelief from others who feel like they will have a panic attack if something tragic happens to their phone, like a dead battery, a cracked screen, or running out of data. I do not worry about these things and it’s liberating.
But lately, I’ve been seeing a shift in response. Instead of people admonishing my choice to stay in the dark ages, my flip-phone revelation is often met with “good for you” or “I wish I could do that.” It’s as if my choice has morphed into something retro and cool—rather than purely stodgy and out-of-touch.
Is this shift a sign of the apocalypse, or has our society reached a point where people actually see the value of choosing a less plugged-in life? Let me know what you think—just, you know, not via text.