Chalk me up as the proverbial last of the tech Mohicans.
I still own a flip phone.
And it’s only the second cell phone I’ve ever owned in my fifty-plus years on Earth. The first was one of those shoebox-sized monstrosities that required a truss and fit inside nothing resembling a normal purse, unless your purse was made by Samsonite.
I’m fine with my phone. It makes calls, takes calls, sends and receives and emails and texts (though I don’t do either), it can get news and weather, build a contact list, change ring tones and graphics. And offhand, I cannot think of much else I’d want. I don’t want to read off the screen, other than an incoming phone number. I know people who read novels on their smartphones. They are mostly young people with keen eyesight, and they will not have that keen eyesight for long if they continue to view tiny words. And as for taking pictures, why would I do that with a phone? That’s why I have a digital camera. I don’t want to flash my phone in a restaurant or cultural event, photograph it and annoy a list of my nearest and dearest with a grainy, blurry photo of what I am doing at that moment. I prefer to download a nice photo and really annoy them with it later. Texting? I admit, it holds no appeal for me. Maybe it’s the limitation on letters; as a writer, I want to express as I see fit. Starting off with a literary lid on it puts a damper on my thoughts.
Yes, I am aware of apps, and how wonderful, extraordinary and useful they are. My friend (the one I am training with for the half-marathon) has a running app on his smartphone. Problem is, it’s not doing him much good, since he really hasn’t started training yet. Two of my office mates have downloaded an app for our new office phone system. Problem is, every time a call comes into the office, it rings their smartphones, and there’s apparently no way to get the app to understand that such an event should only occur if they are out of the office, not sitting there at their desk, able to answer their office phone. I thinks apps are fine – if the human on the working end is ready for them.
I get funny looks when I whip out my flip phone, but not a lot of funny looks. Mainly because I don’t use my phone in public places where my conversation might actually bother someone, or be overheard by someone. Using a flip phone is not a point of pride or a means for bragging rights. You don’t tend to take it out on public transit, in a restroom, at an art show opening, on a mountaintop or other place where it – and you – could be noticed and admired for your choice of technology. Then again, that kind of caution means you are less likely to do the dumb things that people with smartphones do, like drop it on the floor, in a toilet, a trashcan or over the side of a rocky cliff.
Of course, I plan to give up my flip phone one of these days, and make a decision on which smartphone to buy. As soon as the Smithsonian has a prime spot available to display my sweet little Samsung, I’ll be happy to relinquish my hold upon it.
- You Don’t Own Your Smartphone (wealthwire.com)
- Smartphone sales will finally surpass flip phone sales in 2013 (digitaltrends.com)
- 20 of the world’s top selling phones (zdnet.com)
- Cell phone buying guide (reviews.cnet.com)