Recent news that people are swapping their ever evolving and all consuming smartphone in favour of rare artefacts of a bygone age have really captured my imagination. It would seem that more and more are yearning for app-free bulkier handsets like Nokia 3210s for their simplicity, batteries that last a week and their indestructibility in comparison to the fragile wafer thin modern mobiles. The demand for these old-school phones is so high that some models are now selling for up to £810! I may be a dedicated member of Team Android but I decided to start my summer off on the wild side and swap my HTC model for my Nokia 3210 for one day to see whether life really does revolve around my phone.
In my sleepy state I pick up my phone to do the usual routine of emails, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep updated with news and friends. It takes a few moments for my caffeine-starved brain to realise I won’t be looking at photos of what my friends ate for dinner last night or seeing relationship updates from an irrelevant couple. When the realisation finally hits me, I decide there is no point staying in bed staring at a tiny green illuminated screen and go downstairs to watch the news with my Dad. I’m already sent crashing back to the 90s.
I decided to go shopping for the day so I took the bus into town. After reaching my tolerance for Snake, I glanced at the adverts on the bus above my head and became captivated by a disturbing advert for childhood obesity which provoked thoughts for the rest of the journey. After arriving on the high street, I found myself browsing the faces around me which was essentially Tinder (“Like Real Life… But Better”) in reality. Unfortunately I found myself struggling to find a match as the majority of the twenty something males in my sight were only visible by the tops of their heads, consumed by their smartphones. It was at this point that I felt a need for mine; I wanted to Snapchat a friend but my thoughts didn’t feel significant enough to put in a text.
I soon began to feel phantom vibrations in my jean pocket and took my phone out again during my shop whilst waiting in line at a dressing room. I started to feel isolated from everyone and had an impression that I was missing out on something immensely important. I ended up spending the next twenty minutes with the dressing room attendee, deliberating on clothing choices and outfit accessories.
To my dismay when I got home and on my laptop, there were no life changing emails and I had not missed out on any ground breaking events from the absence of Facebook. It was a refreshing yet an uncomfortable experience. I could not help but feel anxious that I was at a huge disadvantage without my vast array of apps. But I learnt that the world doesn’t stop if you don’t have a phone in your hand every waking moment and it is physically possible to walk without checking twitter or watching a video of a skateboarding dog.
I’m not jumping to any drastic conclusions to try and rid our lives of our smartphones; there is no denying that advanced technology has many benefits that make like easier and communication better. However, too much dependence on them can have dangerous repercussions. We spend too much time on social media apps when really there is nothing more social than a face to face conversation and we have become so fixated on posting about an event that we don’t know how to enjoy it. So I challenge others to go back to a time of England B.C. as in ‘before cell phones’ and look at the bigger picture rather than at a screen.