Magazine topic: 
Science and technology

Why I'm happy without a smartphone

by : 
JenniferO

By today’s standards, my mobile phone is pretty rubbish. It’s a Nokia 1616. If that doesn’t mean much to you (it’s not the kind of phone you see advertised on television), all you need to know is that it’s a small, not very heavy rectangular device with which you can send and receive telephone calls and text messages. It also has a very handy torch on the top for when you can’t find your keys, or when you drop something on the floor in the cinema. Other than that, my phone doesn’t do much. Well, it has an alarm, and it probably has a calculator and things like that, but it’s nothing compared to a smartphone. Why would I want one of those?

I have often been told that the big advantage of having a smartphone is that ‘you can do everything with them!’ But when was the last time you saw someone doing ‘everything’ with a smartphone? Okay, so they may have an endless list of functions, but generally they are used for checking social networking sites, playing games, and receiving and replying to emails. I’m happy just doing all of those things at home on my laptop.

As far as I can tell, the best thing about having a smartphone is that you can be connected to the internet all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet (indeed, I’m communicating via the internet right now), but I just don’t see the point of constantly being online. I can’t remember the last time I received a Facebook update which was so very urgent that I had to read it as soon as it appeared (although, admittedly, I occasionally wish I could have de-tagged photos sooner), and I can’t imagine ever having a job which was so important (I’m talking life-or-death situations) that I would need to read work-related emails immediately. I would think that if someone needed me urgently, they would just ring me rather than send an email. And my trusty Nokia can manage that.

One of the most peculiar effects of the smartphone is, in my opinion, the new-found obsession with maps and navigation systems. Is there anything more boring than knowing exactly where you are all of the time?! How do you get to know an area if you don’t get lost there a few times? And if you are reliant on online maps, what happens to those great places you find just by chance? You can’t exactly find out from google maps the journey from ‘here’ to ‘that hidden cafe with the tasty-looking cakes’, or to ‘that pond next to the church which looks really pretty in the evening sun.’ It is, of course, true that we all occasionally need to be pointed in the right direction, but I find that there are often real life humans you can ask.

There are many benefits of having a very basic mobile phone, like the fact that it cost me about twenty pounds, and that I don’t have to worry too much about it being stolen. But the main benefit has to be the fact that it provides me with the world’s greatest excuse for my bad habits. Whether it’s turning up late to events, or getting lost on a trip, or missing buses or trains, or forgetting about an appointment at work, I’m pretty sure I’m covered with the following explanation: ‘I'm really sorry, I don’t have a smartphone.’

Discussion

Do you have a smartphone? Can you persuade Jennifer to change her mind about them?
Do you ever feel pressurised to be up-to-date with the latest technology?

Comments

LiliyaM's picture
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LiliyaM 12 July, 2012 - 10:01

I don`t have a smartphone,but I want it.Some people think that smartphone is very expensive ,but not all.
Smartphones more comfortable and more functional compared to traditional phones .
Sometimes my friends are buying new expensive phones.Then I want the same!

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JenniferO's picture
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JenniferO 15 July, 2012 - 22:51

Hi LilyaMorska! I know what you mean -- and sometimes when our friends buy things, it can be more persuasive than seeing an advert on TV or on the internet!

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JenniferO's picture
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JenniferO 4 July, 2012 - 23:03

Hi Tweetuntildie,
Don't worry about the mistakes! You're right that Blackberry Messenger is a great (and free!) way of communicating when you're not at home. But only if your friends also have a Blackberry! ;)
And it's a scary thought that the phones are getting 'smarter' than their owners. I wonder if, in the future, they will progress to become 'very-clever-phones', 'super-intelligent-phones' etc. ...?
JOH

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Tweetuntildie's picture
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Tweetuntildie 28 June, 2012 - 21:57

Personally, I'd like having an smartphone, but at the same time I'd not.

A smartphone has some functions that can be usefull for me in a unexpected moment, I also love Blackberry Messenger, you can have a conversation with some people in moments that you can't have a laptop or Pc without paying like they were messages. They have a great capacity for music too! I don't know what can I do without music.

But I think that it also can be a disadvantage because you have to be worried for them because they can be stolen easily, as you said.

And this society is turning to the age of smart phones and the stupid people. We've been enslaved for those little phones!.

P.S.: Sorry if I made a mistake with the text I've written. Lots of love from me (:

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Little Dragon's picture
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Little Dragon 19 June, 2012 - 03:48

You know, I can live without smartphone, but I can't live without my laptop ! :D

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Starlette Lady's picture
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Starlette Lady 20 June, 2012 - 12:28

And I'm afraid I'll die without my mp3 player! Music is just so important for me...

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Starlette Lady's picture
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Starlette Lady 30 July, 2012 - 16:18

thx, that's good to have smb understanding u...
maybe that'll seem a little random, but I feel even closer to you, knowing that we're from the same country!

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Starlette Lady's picture
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Starlette Lady 27 May, 2012 - 18:54

Don't tell me that the way of life was different last century. I know it perfectly well. I just don't understand why is everyone so obsessed with the latest technological inventions. There are much more important things in life...

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JenniferO's picture
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JenniferO 28 May, 2012 - 23:02

Hi Starlette Lady, thanks for your comments. I think a lot of people are attracted to smartphones because they link together all the different alternatives (mobile phone + laptop + audio player + everything-else-ever-invented!). But I agree with you -- who really needs that when they already have all the individual devices?
JOH

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Starlette Lady's picture
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Starlette Lady 29 May, 2012 - 17:19

I think it's just because of offering us an 'all-in-one' device. But actually, life can be quite the same even without it :)

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Starlette Lady's picture
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Starlette Lady 27 May, 2012 - 18:52

I personally don't have a smartphone and I live quite peacefully without it. I just don't see why people are so excited about having such technical device. Some of my friends do have iPhones, and the latter are mostly used for making calls & sending messages (which can be done with a usual mobile phone as well), playing games (which can be done on the computer as well), and listening to music (which I can do with the help of my MP3 player). Everything has its alternative, and smartphones are no exception. People did live without them a hundred years ago, didn't they?

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Blue sea's picture
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Blue sea 25 May, 2012 - 23:41

i don't have smartphone but i wish to buy it soon....i agree with her in some points such as I don’t have to worry too much about it being stolen and sometimes it's kind of boring to keep in touch with technology every single minute and we forgot why cell phone was invented to make communications easier, on the other hand smartphone has great functions and it's kind of treating yourself.

Nice Article !

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Ilda G's picture
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Ilda G 26 January, 2013 - 08:28

I agree with your opinion...
It is not important to have a smartphone,not every person can afford it...

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spongebob's picture
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spongebob 27 June, 2013 - 14:19

Sure this is true
I don`t have a smartphone yet but i`d like to have one
maybe one day i might have a smartphone

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JenniferO's picture
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JenniferO 28 May, 2012 - 22:57

Hi Blue Sea, thanks for your comment. It's true that a smartphone would be like treating yourself, but I tend to treat myself to shoes and clothes rather than technology! Maybe you can let me know your favourite smartphone function when you buy one?
JOH

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