It might surprise you to know that Susan Maccarelli is an online maven who publishes fantastic content on her site, Beyond Your Blog – and doesn’t have a smart phone! Listen to an interview with Midlife Boulevard Editor-in-Chief Sharon Greenthal on Beyond Your Blog.
This title might be a little misleading, because my phone DOES have a touch screen and quite possibly could have an IQ higher than mine. It’s one of those phones with prepaid minutes and the touch screen one was the best deal at the time (believe me, I looked for a flip phone or something with buttons!). The point is, I use my phone only for a call or two (or none) per day, and maybe 0-5 texts per week. I don’t know, or care to know any of the other intelligent things it is capable of for several reasons.
1. It keeps me present when I leave the house – Aren’t I mindful? Not really, but I thought I’d start off self-righteous and work my way into funny. Still with me? I may seem disconnected because I don’t have my phone in my hand doing phone things while I’m out and about, but in fact the phone people are more disconnected because their attention is constantly split between real world and phone world.
2. I’m not tempted to check my phone at inappropriate times – I used to have a Blackberry when I was corporate Susan (yes kids, we used to scroll using a wheel in olden times). I checked email frequently when I was out and about and felt very important with my tiny clicking rolling wheel! I know if I took the time to get a smart phone set up to do all of its lovely brilliant things for me, that I would be tempted to pull it out in the drop-off line at school, at the restaurant or in the checkout line. My work buddy once told me about a dude next to him at a urinal who was checking his Blackberry mid-pee. I will NOT stoop to that level (or stand as it were).
3. I like disconnecting – I guess I’m not really THAT disconnected if I have my phone in my purse, but I rarely ever use it, so I’m away from screens when I am out of the house. We go to our family’s cabin from time to time, which is out of cell range, and has no cable or internet. It’s pretty awesome and I love that feeling. Running errands around town without my online connection is a little taste of that disconnection that I enjoy.
4. I have fewer imaginary emergencies than smart phone people – I was at the grocery store when a phone person came up next to me at the deli and asked about their fruit and cheese platters. When told that they had to be pre-ordered, she hit the fruit and cheese platter panic button and started searching and scrolling on her phone in a frenzy. In between frantic texts and searches, she rifled through cheese while nervously mouth-breathing, and finally phoned a friend who talked her down from her havarti confusion ledge. Having no smart phone, my Lord of the Flies-like solution would have been (wait for it…) get some various types of cheese and fruit and chop it up.
5. I’ll have a leg to stand on when my kids beg for phones – When my kids start begging for phones like their friends have in a few years, I can shut them down with a valid argument that ‘I don’t have one and I’m still alive”.
6. I’d have to figure out what these are:
7. I’m not tempted by stupid apps – And I totally would be if I bought into the whole cell phone thing. I’m impressionable. In fact, the only place I am still holding a firm line is this smart phone thing. I’m pretty sure I’d be loaded up with Candy Crush, celebrity trivia, Angry Birds and that one that lets you record where you encountered dog poop in no time.
8. I’ll never be part of the Jetson family dining out – One thing that leaves me wishing for the good old days when remote controls were connected by wires and people ran to the kitchen for snacks during commercials, is seeing a family out to dinner where all 4 people (or more) are sitting around the table using their devices and not interacting. Observing this situation is almost too much for me…for a minute until my meal comes and then I’m usually fine.