When the wave of smart phones began, I was among the many who wanted the chance to have a touch screen. It was cool. But it was EXPENSIVE. I went on with my life, since my phone worked just fine. The first time I upgraded my phone, I was jazzed because it had a color screen. It could actually take pictures.
My family upgraded to the 21st century this summer. We traded in our dumb phones for smart ones. I wish I’d take a picture of the sales guy’s face when he saw our outdated account and looked at our phones. I’m pretty sure he used the word “antique.”
I had said for years that I didn’t need a smart phone, since I was connected enough. I am almost always on my laptop at home. I’m on Facebook at least half of my down time.
Due to a mistake that I’ve yet to go back and correct at the store, my smart phone cannot connect to the internet except through wireless networks. This means I can’t Google something at the drop of a hat or pull up directions as easily as the rest of the world.
Partially due to this issue, and partially in an attempt to keep my phone out of my hands except when I need it, I did not install Facebook or Messenger on my phone. I tried Snapchat last Christmas when I got a tablet (and discovered how often I was on it due to Facebook), but never really got into it like everyone else.
Six months later, I am still surviving with my smart phone. I don’t check Facebook unless I’m at the house. I do have Messenger on my tablet, so I am somewhat connected with those who have to get up with me. Amazingly enough, I am still living a fulfilled life. I am not one of those people who scroll through my phone at every free moment, checking out the latest updates of everyone else’s life.
Will I get the internet issue fixed? Yes. But I don’t see myself installing the Facebook app. Because I’m already connected enough, I choose to stay unplugged there. I know myself, and I fear I will stay addicted to my itty bitty computer unless I make an effort to keep it out of my hands.
I’ve recently run into people who got snippy with me when I didn’t respond to a Facebook message right away. Someone happened to to contact me on a day I was out of town all day, and was away from my computer. I had to explain that I didn’t even see the message until the next day.
I get that most of us are pretty connected. It is a major convenience to be able to contact those we need to at any given time. But we’ve also become convinced that the phone must stay in our hands most of the time.
I took this picture years ago, with my dumb phone that I probably had for eight years. I saw this couple at the next table, clearly on a date. It saddened me. They were so connected to others, they weren’t even looking at each other.
That was years ago, and the problem has only gotten worse. I plan to stay somewhat unplugged, even with my ultra powerful phone that can play a variety of games and can give me directions to anywhere. I may be in a losing fight with technology, but this is how I plan to wage war. I plan to let electronics enhance my life, but not control it. For me right now, this means keeping Facebook off my phone.
It may not be a popular stance, but it’s mine.