Thursday, January 20, 2011

Smart Phoneless

I am a throwback to the dinosaur age, I guess.  I have steadfastly refused to pay the through-the-nose charges the providers demand for a data package which would enable features on a smart phone to receive email, text messages, and surf the web.

Why is it that I am so resistant to adopting this technology?  I mean, it's not like I don't know what they are.  I had a Blackberry for a few years in my past job, and I realize that these devices can be convenient.

I am resistant for three reasons:
  • The cost -- I strongly resent how much providers charge for data packages. At over US$60/month (least-cost plan fees & taxes included), it's not worth it to me. In my opinion, paying those fees makes rich companies richer, and I can do without sending my hard-earned dollars to make these companies more wealthy. And while I love the county where I live, I resent that they impose among the highest taxes on wireless technology in the U.S. (but since this IS Snoburbia, I know the county is deriving a killing from these taxes, because everyone and her brother has two or more of these devices, each!)
  • The "tethered" results -- while I like to think that my job is important, I am not.  I don't have to read and respond to email instantly.  It can wait.  I feel so sorry for all those people I see who are constantly pecking away on their smart phones, reading and responding to email, everywhere they go (including at restaurants, at their own dinner table, at the movies, in grocery stores, and while driving. Come on, you're NOT that important, either!)
  • The annoyance factor -- face it, if you have one of those things, you're very tempted to let it drag you into dealing with it (answering a text or email, for example) and most people admit that they can't turn it off. In fact, a recent Press Release from CareerBuilder indicated that 71% of job applicants answered a cell phone call or sent a text during a job interview. Sheesh! No wonder kids these days are having trouble finding a job -- they can't put their toys down!
I also acknowledge that I have a computer available to me at home, at work, and when I travel. So when I need to check messages, I can do that. I do not need a device that enables internet-wherever-you-are because I am truly not that mobile.  Further, I truly believe in managing technology, and not letting technology manage you.

By the way, while my profession has something to do with emergency response, my day-to-day job does not require me to run when the bell rings. Therefore, I have no need to have a device to provide immediate alerts nor be used "in the field" during a response. I'll let the younger guys do the responding, and for that, they earn my ongoing, deep respect.

"You have blocked texting on your cell phone, too?" ... is a frequent question I am asked with great incredulity.  Yes, that's true.  I don't send or receive text messages.  I have no one to do that with, anyway, as my partner does not have a cell phone at all.  And I don't understand what this texting business is all about, anyway.  I survive just fine with plain old ordinary email.

I am observing that about 10% of the visitors to my website come in via various smart phone devices.  That's quite a jump in recent months.  I know that they are ways to make a website more "smart phone friendly," but I haven't a clue how to do that, and since I do not have one, I do not have a way to check it.  Oh well, one of these days, I'll consider if website changes are necessary.

Meanwhile, I live in the quietude of being "smart phoneless."  Let me tell 'ya, the peacefulness of not being tethered to some tech-toy and not having to shell out a huge amount of money each month far outweighs the convenience of having one.

A note to SJ: Yes, I am revealing another one of my prejudices -- or as I call it, one of my choices. :-)

Life is short:  enjoy being unplugged and the quiet.

1 comment:

Allen said...

Hey, man.

Amen to your post. I don't own a cell phone or ANY must-have gadget devices!