Monday, September 12, 2016

Life Without a Smart Phone

On Saturday I proudly proclaimed my indifference to the pull of the internet. I told you how living without it makes me holier than all the internet-addicted suckers out there. But now for the truth. I miss my Smart Phone. A lot.I have been sorely tempted to just go buy a glossy, flat new phone. It would fit so perfectly in my hand. Stroke the screen and tiny app nuggets appear like fairies. Touch one and it jiggles cheerily. Colours and animation burst from the screen. I am enchanted.

I want a device that combines my email, my telephone, my calculator, my encyclopaedia, my books, my compass, my maps, my EVERYTHING into one perfect slab of plastic. I remember the first ad for an iPhone I ever saw.

A chic Asian girl stands holding her iPhone. She is breezy and fashionable. Next to her is a nerdy-looking white man who is weighed down by an odd contraption which appears to be a mishmash of obsolete devices all strung together. He has a barometer, some whistles and horns, a huge camera and a grandfather clock.

The message is obvious: iPhones are sleek and intelligent. Not having one makes you have to work so much harder to keep up. Plus you look like a doofus.

That is how I feel sometimes. I don't want you guys to think that I not having internet is easy. I also don't want you to think that I don't miss it terribly.

But I keep going over the cost/benefit quotient and coming up feeling strongly that I don't want to go back. Every day after class I trundle down the steps of Blanchard Hall with several dozen other students. Each one has their head down and focused on their phone. They keep an eye on the steps so they don't trip, but they cannot be torn away from the tiny screens. I am the only one not looking at my phone.

I sit in chapel three days a week. From my seat I don't have a great view of other students. I can see about fifty of them. Last Friday I counted thirteen people on their phones.

I don't want to go back to that. I don't want to return to a state in which I cannot go two hours without needing to check updates on my phone. I don't want to block out the rest of the world because my eyes are glued to the things that are happening on my phone.

I admit it. Often the things on my phone are more beautiful and more captivating than the real world. They are compact and winsome. Instagram is full of tiny images of perfection. Apps glimmer and attract with their symetrical-ness and simplicity. SmartPhone life is a good life. But it is not the life I want.

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