My cell phone died yesterday on the way to my granddaughter’s softball game. I’ve known for some time it was time to replace it. The poor thing is almost six years old and a friend told me recently that the model I have is being phased out.
My first thought was to stop at the phone store after the game and get a new one. Instead, we opted for Mexican with our daughter and her family. Having dinner with family, especially my grandkids, will always take precedence over shopping for a new cell phone.
Before going to the phone store, I am doing a bit of research online to prevent being talked into a pricey phone that doesn’t fit my current needs.
My dead phone is an iPhone, so I start there. The latest iPhones with all the bells and whistles are listed at the top of the page. Comparison shopping begins to raise some pertinent questions.
At this point in my life, my needs have changed. I am no longer employed. Tom and I chose to downsize two years ago and are enjoying living a more simple life these days. Checking my emails and social media are not things I want, or need, to do while out and about. I really don’t think people will mind, or even notice if I don’t immediately reply to an email or a message on Facebook. Choosing when I go online offers more freedom in my life.
Our life is uncomplicated and we are intentionally working to keep it that way. We seldom go anywhere where directions are required. If we do, I have time to check MapQuest or Google before leaving home. When out in the car and a need for directions arises, I can retrieve the functioning GPS in the glove box.
Simplicity is the name of our game. My phone should fit that lifestyle. A simple phone is what I need. One that allows me to call and be called by the important people in my life, to send and receive a few texts from time to time, to snap an occasional photo, and to make emergency calls if needed.
We still retain a landline phone as it is a necessity to buzz folks into our building. I like using it. It’s convenient; three out of five rooms in our apartment have a phone. It is simple convenience.
I am seriously considering the newest version of the flip phone. It answers all my needs and comes in hot pink, a color that appeals to this older version of me.
I’m preparing for the laughter and negative responses such as, “Wow, didn’t know they still made those things.” My decision is not everyone’s choice. I’m okay with that. Everyone has the right to choose a phone that fits their personal needs.
Consider our transitions from native Americans smoke signals, to letters, to telegrams, to chunky home phones, to pay phones, to mobile phones, and now to slim cell phones with countless apps that can manage lives. Technology is amazing but nowadays moves a little too fast for me.
The technology of a smartphone is a set of tools you can use when or if you choose to. Access to maps, traffic alerts, and weather reports can be especially useful and helpful when traveling or commuting to and from work. You can easily turn off all your notifications and only check email when you want to. It’s only intrusive or additive if you allow it to become so.
For me, the advantages of going back to a dumb phone are not paying for functions I will never use or need. Leaving behind the never-ending charging anxiety, and an expensive price tag. Going back to basics feels a bit like retreating back to vinyl records. The only computer I want is in my home office. I really don’t need to carry a smaller, hard to read version in my pocket.
Marketers have somehow convinced us that smartphones can whisk us away to a better, more stimulating place. It certainly is more immediate, but I am happiest in the space where I actually live. I want to enjoy what is going on around me, such as real, honest-to-goodness conversations with others. Without an attachment, words on a screen don’t show smiles and certainly don’t give hugs.
Ending on a Positive Note: I have come to rely on my cell phone and I’m not sure if this departure from technology will last. However, it feels right at this stage of my life.