Grand Forks Herald Christopher Bjorke column [Grand Forks Herald]
(Grand Forks Herald (ND) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 22--I don't need a smartphone. I don't want a smartphone. I'm probably going to get a smartphone.
Once I get a smartphone, my friends tell me, my life will be much different.
I'll be able to send email, read articles on the Internet, use social media, Google things, tweet stuff, wherever and whenever I want. Even when I'm out doing things with people, I will be able to do things online with other people who are online. I'll even be able to manage my work email and appointments when I'm out of the office or when I'm on vacation.
Advertisers agree. They tell me how I'll be able to check sports scores all the time, or how I'll be able to watch movies, play games, send photos and video to people all of the time, no matter whatever else I happen to be doing at the time.
Because I don't have a smartphone, I only have Internet access when I'm at home or at work. If I get a smartphone, I will have access to the Internet when I'm not at the two places where I spend 95 percent of my time.
All I have to do is pay twice as much for my phone service.
To me, the devices seem like an expensive solution to a need I don't think I have: filling that small gap in my mostly constant connection to online life.
Smartphones offer unlimited access to everything all the time. They are insurance against being bored, getting lost, dealing with inconvenience or having to go to a restaurant without reading what a dozen Yelp readers say about it.
Smartphone lovers and smartphone makers base the devices' necessity on all sorts of scenarios in which, I'll admit, they would probably be pretty handy. But these scenarios assume a much more constant tweeter, Googler, sharer and Instagrammer than I expect to become.
And while there are occasions when a smartphone would be helpful, they would be less frequent than the due date for my inflated monthly phone bill.
So, call me cheap.
But while I don't expect need or utility to drive me into the cult of the smartphone, a more powerful force probably will: embarrassment.
I recognize my resistance puts me on the side of luddites and grouchy old coots who shake their fists at the progress of technology.
I also want people to stop laughing at my flip phone.
So, I guess I'll give in sooner or later. Goodbye, money. I sure would rather spend you on something else.
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