Tag Archives: smartphone

Unsmart: Not an early adopter, not yet a luddite

I don’t have a smartphone.

At least, technically I do, but I don’t use it smartly. I have a little Samsung that has smartphone capability but I don’t have a data plan so unless I’m at home or somewhere with free wireless, it’s not smart. And even then, I don’t bother. I tried to set up Facebook and Twitter when I got it, but on the rare occassion that I try away from home, they don’t seem to work .

When we were on vacation last week, others were amazed that neither of us have iPhones. As far as they’re concerned, an iPhone is a constant requirement, much like food or oxygen. How could you survive without one, we were asked? But we’re both usually within spitting distance of a laptop, so why would we court arthritic thumbs just for the joy of doing it all on a smaller screen for a hefty monthly fee?

However. There comes a point when you’re actually falling behind on the technology curve. What starts out as a somewhat smug and superior, money-saving “I don’t need that fancy newfangled thing” can turn into a much less desirable “The idea is actually a little scary now, because everyone knows how to use it and I don’t.”

But I’ve felt like this before. I felt like this when I was 20 and some of my friends at college were playing around on the tiny Apple Macs on the third floor of the library and I had no idea what they were doing. I felt this way in about 1995 when I didn’t yet have a mobile phone but most people did. Both times, I got with the program a little while later. I’m just not an early adopter: that’s okay.

I don’t see myself getting an iPhone any time soon, simply because I hardly ever use my phone even as a phone. It sits in my bag and runs out of batteries for a couple of days before I’ve noticed. Unless I start spending a lot more time out of the house, I’m more likely to get an iPad first, probably; but the technology’s much the same, so that would work out equal, right? And even at that, just now the idea of an iPad mostly makes me think of an annoying keyboard and another thing for the kids to demand to play games on more than anything I’d regularly want to use myself.

Finally, I spend a lot of my day online. If leaving the house provides me with my offline time, I’m wary of getting an appliance that takes that away. Then I’d have to practice some sort of self-control, and that’s just not my bag, baby.

How about you? Could you live without your iPhone? Do you think someone who doesn’t have one by now is beyond all hope for survival in the modern world?