This mini diary on my Luddite introduction with a Smartphone is in honor of the upcoming National Day of Unplugging (first Friday in March).
July 13, 2019 – Contemplating Compatibility
At the drum circle a friend inquires, “How did you like your Smartphone?”
“Not much. I could barely use it in Scotland. I’m back with the Trac.”
A phone “gabber” I’m not unless someone is too long distance to meet in person. For me, a phone, any phone is a practical tool to make plans for getting together. Exchange smiles. Or tears. Or hugs. Communicate human to human. I’ll get along without a Smartphone. So I think.
August-September 2019 – Unavailability
More often than not, the Tracfone indicates “NO SERVICE” even for local calls — hardly helpful in an emergency (my only local need or desire for a non-landline phone).
September 15, 2019 – There’s nothing like a piece of paper…
“Sorry I couldn’t make the drum circle yesterday,” a fellow drummer says. “I was on my way [to a new location] when my phone battery died…I didn’t have the address or a way to call you so I turned around and went home.”
A 94 mile trek for nothing. Glad I don’t rely on a phone.
Quite frankly, I love pen and paper. Always have. Always will. Like a loyal dog and best friend it’s always there, never intrusive, comes when I call it.
The young couple denting someone’s car in the parking lot had no paper or pen to leave a note. Hit and runs — whether in parking lots or worse yet, as pedestrian fatalities, are rising. I wonder how much is attributed to Smartphone use and/or a lack of paper…
November 6, 2019 – A New Blind Date
Emptying out my deceased brother’s apartment, I inherit his Samsung Smartphone. His helpful business partner clears it and helps transfer the 429 minutes I rarely use on my flip phone. Maybe, just maybe this will work.
December 7, 2019 – Roving Eyes
My Canon PowerShot camera conks out. The few photos I take on the Samsung are meh. Now what to do? Tracfone doesn’t offer international coverage, and I’m not going back to Mobal. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are over. Do I pay several hundred dollars for a camera fix or replacement, and still have to lug it with a phone…in the limited space of a carry-on? My cost-consciousness wrestles with tech’s marketing message that says I want convenience.
December 9-29, 2019 – Background Checks
Large purchases call in my research skills. Admiring a fellow blogger’s exquisite photos, he tells me many are with a Google Pixel 3XL Smartphone.
I waffle with indecision over the expense. Do I really need this? Do I really want a monthly bill? I do want quality photos.
I further inquire about Smartphones. “Oh yes, I love my phone,” friends say. The Verizon rep touts the new Google Pixel 4XL and a hefty monthly charge. Best Buy confirms the phone I’ve told myself I want is already outdated. I’ve got one foot on the carousel and already it’s whirling too fast.
My flight date closes in. Finally taking the plunge, I order the Pixel 3XL to arrive in time. After all, we need to get acquainted before traveling together.
January 13, 2020 – Dead End Date
Taking a deep breath, I open the box. There are strange looking cords. A diagram with no wording. What does all this mean? The hefty booklet that I hope will be instructions is legal disclaimer. Groan. I turn on the Smartphone anyway to set it up. It stops and won’t proceed. Off and on. Off and on. It’s frozen. We’re not starting off well.
January 14, 2020 – It’s one thing to be a Luddite, but now a grandmother too?
The Geek Squad guy tells me, “Don’t worry. I had to do this for my grandmother too.” Groan. An hour later I walk out thinking I’m all set. And then I get home and pull out my scribbled notes…
January 15, 2020 – Stalked!
I turn on the phone. What? Photos I took on the Mobal phone in Scotland now appear on this phone. Including my recently deceased dog. Not what I hoped to see. How did this happen? Suddenly, I remember fooling around with Google’s Picasso years ago when it grabbed my financial documents with photos and placed them on the Internet. I was horrified! Not again!
Original feature photo by Jason Tharsiman on Unsplash