Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm Surprised They Let Me In

Recently, I traveled to a conference and went through four airports along the way -- my home airport, Philadephia, Las Vegas, and Phoenix, then back to my home airport.

Throughout my travels, everyone -- I mean everyone -- had some sort of smart phone and was fiddling with it to check email and use various applications.

They would hold it up in front of them and walk along, bumping into pillars, posts, and other people. They would be so engrossed in their devices that they didn't hear announcements for when the flight was loading. Some used it to hold up some type of bar code image at the gate -- sorta like an electronic boarding pass. Some refused to turn it off when instructed by airline attendants before takeoff.

Honestly, I am surprised that they let me into an airport without one. Even as I went through Security, a TSA Guy asked me, "where's your smartphone?" as if not having one was a crime.

I truly feel as if I am the last remaining man who works in a professional position (and could afford one) who does not have one of those devices.

I recognize that these devices provide convenience, and can offer quick access to information-on-demand. I used to have a Blackberry when I was required to have one by a former employer. I know what these devices can do.

Why don't I have one?

Two major reasons and a minor one:

1. I learned that my time "off-the-net" or what I call "disconnected time" is critical for my mental health. I need "down time" without distractions. Such "time off" allows me to concentrate on what is important -- driving a 5,000-pound death machine (a vehicle); my partner, family, and friends to whom I give undivided attention when I am with them; and my sanity. I really don't need to know the news as it happens. I can find out when it is convenient to me, not the other way around.

2. "Only a dollar a day" for the cost of a monthly data package doesn't wash with me. With taxes, fees, and related expenses, I can put that US$400 per year to much better use. Okay, call me cheap. I prefer to be called frugal. Further, if these kids who are participating in all the "occupy"-this-and-that location are so against "corporate greed," then they should live by the words they preach, and not make rich companies richer by paying the monthly ransom for the data packages on these devices.

3. The minor reason that I don't have a smartphone is that I am not that important. I do not work in a job that requires continued connectivity back to the office or from emergency alerts. At the times in my life when I was required to have a smart phone, it was because I had micromanagers as bosses who demanded almost instantaneous responses wherever I was. I am extremely thankful that my current boss, the owner of my company, is not a micromanager. When he wants to reach me, he sends an email and waits for my reply, or if it is more urgent, he calls me on the phone. Wow -- a phone call. Who woulda thunk?

Oh well, such is life of a Dinosaur who remains on a first-name basis with Julius Caesar.

Life is short: enjoy peace and cost-savings.


Shane said...

You're not alone in this. I have had a smart phone for years and I recently gave it up to my 15-year-old in exchange for his "dumb phone". Problem is, with the smart phone I don't get anything done. If I am not tooling orders they arnt going out the door on time. I am MUCH happier without 47 ways to communicate! I take it one step further and don't even answer my email every single day!

Booted Harleydude said...

I am glad to see my friend Shane of Eastern Oregon Leather again as a guest on this blog. Some may note that if you click on his name in his comment, it links you to his company's website.

I am permitting this link to a commercial website because I have some of the products that he makes, and I think they are exceptional. That's why Eastern Oregon Leather is included on my website's links page.

I am also delighted that Shane shares my same feelings, so I do not feel as alone. :-)