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I Don’t Text. Ever

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.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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