Why Owning A Smartphone Doesn’t Make Me Stupid

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of flak about my smartphone, or as it’s sometimes called, my umbilical cord to the internet.

A common joke (made at my expense by someone without a smartphone) is “My phone may be stupid, but at least I’m not!”

There are lots of reasons why I wanted a smartphone. Really, I didn’t need one. Nobody’s going to die or lose millions of dollars if they can’t get hold of me every second of every day. Even if they were, they’d still be in trouble because I put the thing in airplane mode when I’m trying to sleep.

I’ll freely admit to being something of a technically impaired technophile. I like shiny gadgets as much as the next person, and like many laypeople, I don’t usually understand how they work and what their limitations are nearly well enough to take advantage of all the features, and get as much out of them as I possibly can. The majority of my time staring at my phone screen is spent feeding imaginary fish, yes, but those fun little apps are somewhat tangential.

I love having a teeny-tiny computer in my purse. There isn’t much that I do on a regular basis that I can’t do on my phone rather than on my computer and several things, for instance tracking my walking (and lately running) routes, and figuring out where the heck I am, that my computer wouldn’t be much good for. I can even draft my blog posts while I’m waiting for a bus. It’s also a pretty decent camera. I take lots of pictures with it, and a few of them have found their way onto this site.

The biggest reason for having a smartphone that jumps to mind, though, is the extension of the predecessors of this handy little piece of kit: the “stupid phone”, landline, and telegraph. Being able to communicate with people who aren’t within shouting distance. When you’re far away from friends and family, particularly when you’re on a 9-to-14-hour time difference depending on the friends or family, it’s really nice to not feel a compulsion to stay glued to the computer at home, work, or in an internet cafe, hoping for somebody to log on to skype or facebook, because by golly it’s a reasonable time to be on the internet there, isn’t it? It’s 7 pm here, so it’s…. oh wait, 6 am there. Whoops.

With this new-fangled technology in my pocket, feeling lonely and wanting desperately to talk to somebody on the other side of the world doesn’t stop me from doing whatever else I might be doing. While I was studying in England, the possibility of a skype date kept me from going out for dinner with friends or colleagues, or even going to the library, more than once. Since I got my shiny new phone (with unlimited data for less than the companies back home would have charged me for a piddly 100mb per month) I don’t have to sit around by the computer in the hopes that someone will be around to talk to me.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Why Owning A Smartphone Doesn’t Make Me Stupid”
  1. Uncle Jim says:

    Can you Skype on your smartphone?

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