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Life With a Dumbphone—Part 1

Smartphones are quickly becoming the hottest commodity in technology, market deliveries expected to increase by 55 percent at the year's end. But sometimes the new thing ain't that shiny.

I swear by LG phones. They hardly break and not once have I had to go in for a repair or replacement. In fact, my previous one lasted me nearly four years, even with dropping it daily on hardwood floors. So naturally, I went the LG route again in 2009 (it’s still here, of course). 
But pretty soon after my flip-phone upgrade arrived, so did Smartphones. 

I didn't think it would be widespread so soon. Heck, everyone was making iPad jokes on Twitter last spring, but by the end of the year nearly 15 million were sold. 

Last year Smartphones outsold PCs, according to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report.

Perhaps it’s that those with Smartphones are like Apple users: the “innovators” of their generation, driven to converting nonusers to the 'smart' side, though it’s mainly through shame. Nonusers were quick to forget that they, too, were T9 texting as little as a year ago. 

Sure, life seems pretty shiny and streamlined with a Smartphone, from what I can tell, but I’m not sure the grass is that green. 

Consider the recent Apple scare in April when it was discovered that the phones were storing years of information on the user’s locations, bringing a whole new meaning to freedom of information, even to nonjailbirds. 

I see enough screens as it is, using my laptop for much of my entertainment and socializing. In fact, my bosses won’t be worrying that I’m Facebooking on my phone when I should be typing data reports or paying attention to customers. 

If I lose a phone, I’m not worrying that the thief could hack my bank account or credit card information, because it’s not on my dinosaur phone. I’m still smarter than my Dumbphone, which is a small relief. 

There’s a lot more time in the day to devote to more useful things than downloading apps for the in Manassas or Hangtime—an iPhone app measuring how high you can chuck the phone. 

What’s funny is that most of the Smartphone users I know are the hardest to reach. Sure, they’re swiping soundlessly as they catch up over coffee with you (and of course, as soon as you get home, there’s a Facebook notification that you were “tagged” with them at the coffee shop). 

They’ll 'like' a new profile photo 15 seconds after you upload, but try to have a conversation on the phone with them? Forget it. 

You know and I know (and of course, they know) they have their mini-computers on them nearly 24 hours a day, but it’s often rare that I receive an actual call back. Face-to-face interaction is quickly become fingertip-to-fingertip. 

I thought the point of a Smartphone is to have the world at your fingertips, but I'm discovering the real issue is the world now has users at its fingertips. 

What do you think? Do the benefits outweigh the potential negatives? Comment with your Smartphone and Dumbphone experiences. 

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