I’m bad at many things and answering my phone has always been one of them.
Many frustrated friends of mine will attest to this.
If I go for a walk around the block, standard practice dictates I will forget to take my phone with me. When I’m home, it’s usually in the other room and I don’t hear it ringing. Sometimes it can take me a whole day to realise the battery has died. I may as well confess that if I’m busy or tired or just a bit “over it”, I don’t answer my phone.
To any tech-loving and highly contactable individual, I’m a terrible person.
But let me explain why I haven’t yet reaped the fruits of Apple® technology and why my life remains void of android.
For one, my parents have never been overly bothered with mobile phones. Being physicists, they tend not to purchase unnecessary radiation sources on a regular basis. My Dad once held a high tech microwave detector near my Nokia brick during a call to prove to himself, and anyone who would listen, that it was emitting more radiation than is considered “safe” at the start and end of the call. (Note: this is a recipe for minimal radiation exposure, but maximum embarrassment.)
Interestingly, my parents did eventually invest in mobiles. I guess they realised that it would be much easier to find one another in shopping centres by phoning instead of via announcements over the loudspeaker… (Again, maximum embarrassment. Ah parents.)
Parents aside, these days I often wage my own war against mobiles because they use up a lot of energy. I’m not talking about the electrical energy they use; I’m talking about the personal energy they steal from you, day after day, week in, week out. Have you noticed how dependent people are on phones these days? I’ve heard at least five close friends tell me that if they leave their smart phone at home by accident, they “feel naked”. Nearly everyone loves discussing virtual lives and online presence with me when we catch up in person.
(Bear in mind that catching up with anyone at all is usually the result of weeks of messaging each other to the tune of “Yes, we should def catch up! Miss ur face! xoxo. Lolz. Laterzzzz.”)
I remember listening to a radio segment on TodayFM about Candy Crush Saga. One particular caller had spent over $500 on specialised “candies” in order to level up on the game. This doesn’t surprise me. One of my relatives often passes up quality prime time TV or outings with the family so that they can improve their Candy Crush record. I don’t know what’s worse – losing family members a to virtual world, or the fact that Candy Crush Saga is mainstream enough that “Saga” is now an optional descriptor.
In my opinion, smartphones aren’t all that smart. Though smartphones are independently capable of planning your entire day, of remembering things that you don’t, and of providing countless hours of entertainment in the form of Candy Crush Saga, they won’t tell you the important stuff. Smartphones don’t know who you really are. They certainly don’t know what makes you truly happy. Only you can know that.
For these reasons, and probably many more, I refuse to go through life holding hands with a smartphone.
(Ed’s note – Sarah’s not-so-guilty secret is that since the writing of this article, she has come to the dark side and is now the owner of a smart phone…and might just write a follow-up article about it…stay tuned…)