from smartphone to flip-phone. on purpose.

The shift was from left to right. King Kong to baby monkey.

Fat Man, Little Boy
Fat Man, Little Boy

One thing I notice is that I feel smugly superior to all the students (I work on a college campus) I see walking around staring at their phones. Ha! I say. I’ve won! I don’t need a screen while I’m walking! Nevermind I have no idea if they’re reading their mother’s final heart-wrending text or a beautiful letter from a civil war soldier to his comrade in arms that inspired the student to study history. Or what their friend thought of the Breaking Bad finale (don’t tell me, I’m still on S1). Of course they’re probably Facebooking or texting or Instagramming.

I’m not getting rid of my smartphone anytime soon, because if I do I’ll just want whatever phone I see and then I’ll have to buy it, whereas now it’s the best of both worlds – I have my fliphone and do not suffer from Phone OverFascination (P.O.F.) but I can scamper back and lug around the miniature tablet sized phone (phablet, or pha-bu-let) that was my previous smartphone if I feel the need to get phantom buzzes in my thighs again.

I go back and forth on this but right now I’m feeling I just don’t want to be that connected. I don’t have a reason to. I’m doing that rational, sane thing where I actually start from what I need (to make calls and text every once and a while) and get technology accordingly. It’s a weird feeling. I’m not quite sure about it. It’s definitely not my regular M.O. – usually I want whatever is the best and what critics say is the best, which is basically impossible in the mobile world because picking a phone is apparently akin to choosing a religion, except maybe more important and expensive. And on that front I can safely say I’ve use Windows 8, iOS 7, and whatever version of candy Android is on, and they’re all pretty neato, and they just watch what the other does and then fold that into their system. It always amazes me that iPhone does advertising at all. All they need sound the invisible sonar when a review of a rival phone comes out  and the iPhone Army attacks and spells out what’s wrong with that phone and gives a nifty synopsis of whatever psychosis the reviewer is suffering to so clearly miss the facts. Everyone who doesn’t agree with your phone choice has a psychosis – a mental problem, that’s what they have, because they made a different consumer choice.

In my own way this is kind of a media fast. I don’t need the bells and whistles right now. If I do in the future, I’m not opposed to getting them. If you need a bell, by all means, get a bell. Get a whistle. I just don’t, and as infuriatingly practical as it may seem, to me probably more than anyone else, it’ll be fine. My weird thoughts will be louder than usual, and I can deal with that.

I’m not a Luddite – I still have a laptop, and I carry around an iPad (work-provided, which rocks). I work on a fast PC all day. I’m not technology bereft, I’m just not as keen as I used to be on making sure I had the sharpest knife in the shop. It takes too much energy. I’m sure that’ll change at some point.

What I’m noticing – there is less of a mental weight. I don’t care if I have my phone with me and I don’t need to Take Care Of It. I don’t check my phone in line for things, because it’s a pretty lame phone, so there’s nothing to see. So I stare at the people in front of me or the walls or…think. Which is also weird. I’m back to a paper to-do list, which so far has been ok effective, but that never lasts. I’ll probably get lost more often, or less often, because I can’t just start driving wherever I’m going and then look up the address on the way there and feed it into the map application. Which is just so bizarre, when you think about it. And I can’t send humorous pictures with clever anecdotes to my wife because we’re on a sub-company’s plan that rents towers from a big player, and you have to put in MMS settings by hand and you have to mess with them for a while to get them right and I don’t really WANT data on this stupid little phone and my wife will probably deck me if I spend too long looking technical on her smart phone.

Anyway I’ll keep you posted.

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