I got a little Polaroid Cube HD action camera for Christmas. I was pleased, because I needed a portable camera I can keep it in a purse, coat pocket or car if I need to snap some pictures or short videos on the go. When I tell people about this, I get the inevitable “why don’t you use your phone camera?” to which I answer “my flip phone camera sucks.”
Then, the next question in the natural progression: “Why don’t you get a smartphone?” to which I answer “I don’t want one.”
What follows is a good 15-minute commercial by the other party for the smartphone of choice, often followed by demonstrations and the desperate promise I would “Love, Love, LOVE,” a smart phone if I had one. Not to mention “don’t those little Polaroids need a smartphone as a viewer to work best?” Am I putting off the inevitable? Maybe so, but for now I have my reasons for avoiding smart phones, even in 2017.
I’m Already “Connected” To Too Much Tech
I write and edit for a living, and as a hobby. I work on computer all day, and even have a second monitor set up at my desk like a bargain basement Bat Cave. We own an iPad, which does plenty. I get Spotify, Netflix, iTunes and Amazon Prime. I have Sirius XM in my car. Of course, as with anyone who works on the computer, the distraction level is seriously high. I’m multi-tasking in the useless information world even as I write this post, by checking NHL scores and reading reviews for Sherlock Season 4… when I should be working. I want a little freedom from that when I leave the house.
Selfies Annoy Me
I don’t have problems with people using their phone to take photos of friends and family at events or cool places. This is, admittedly, a convenient way to gather memories. Selfies, however, all tend to look alike. You could be a the Grandma’s house or Stonehenge, and all you’ll see is a bunch of heads smushed together at arm’s length from the camera. I also find it sad that a whole future generation will only have photos of their ancestors attempting to look seductive in front of bathroom mirrors holding up little black rectangles. Classy.
I Have A Paranoia About the Physical Implications
I have weird worries about the possible effects of being scrunched over a little 4″ x 6″ screen several hours a day. There’s something called repetitive strain injury, sometimes called De Quervain syndrome or “texting thumb” on the rise. Also the idea of poor vision from constant squinting, plus shoulder and back problems from hunching over these little devices has me spooked. Irrationally, perhaps, but spooked nonetheless.
It Has Become An Acceptable Way to be an A-Hole
We go to a restaurant, and everyone is looking at their phones. We visit friends, and everyone sits around and looks at their phones. We have a conversation, and that person on the other end of the line is more important, regardless of who they are. Even in 2015, groups like the Pew Research Center found 59 percent of reporting smartphone owners using the apps on their phones at least several times a day and 27 percent on them “continuously.” Our kids and spouses are more familiar with the top of our heads than our eyes. I just don’t want any part of that. Now, before I come off as your son’s vegan girlfriend lecturing you for eating at In-N-Out Burger, know this:
I Would Be As Addicted As Everyone Else
Yes, smug smart phone owner, I would be checking my phone constantly. Looking at in instead of a book, and using it as a constant security blanket of information and entertainment. It’s like a little electronic open bag of Doritos. I don’t really like them, but you can’t stop eating them. Everyone who has a smart phone tells me if I ever got one I would use it all the time.
Yes, everyone who tells me this is probably right. I would love it; and I would use it, way, way too much more than I should. Except for the selfies. I hate those things.