Monday, February 20, 2017

Are you asking for a CHALLENGE?!

No, not this kind of challenge.
I'm most likely to reconsider my conscious choice not to own a smartphone when I'm traveling. When I'm at home, my daily habits are set up so that I don't really notice not having a cell phone. Travel is another matter. If I'm sitting next to my gate and wondering how much time I have left before boarding, I have to go in search of a public clock or subtly peek at the iPhone of the stranger seated beside me. If I'm stuck in a strange city with a two-hour layover, I can't call Captain Midnight and tell him that I already miss him. (Pay phone? It is to laugh. If you can find a specimen of this endangered species, it will charge you an arm and a leg for a call.) If I intend to use public transportation, I have to plan ahead and print out a map and schedule before I leave home. I have a fairly good sense of direction, but if I'm in an unfamiliar city I tend to be very careful so as not to get lost. Should I become curious about something new I see or experience on my travels, I just have to put that curiosity on hold -- no looking it up on the spot. And if I ever feel a bit bored while on public transit or in flight, I'd better have remembered to pack a good book or a knitting project in my carry-on, because retreating into an electronic pacifier is not an option.

With that said, I think I notice many more details -- all the little finches flying around the Long Beach terminal gates, for instance, or the conversations the flight attendants were having in the back of the plane, or the unusual view of the Wasatch Front from the FrontRunner tracks (especially the slightly creepy up-close remnants of the Geneva Steel plant, since the rail line ran right past it) -- than I would if I were to spend the whole trip glued to a smartphone. And I know I would do just that, based on the way I'm consistently glued to my computer at home.

All this is coming up again, of course, because my sister Julie and I got into a playful sparring match on social media about my advanced case of Phonus Lackus, and her continued unwillingness to read any of the Harry Potter series. And I posed her a challenge I might later regret: that if she would read all seven Harry Potter books (no, I'm not insisting on Fantastic Beasts or Quidditch Through the Ages or The Tales of Beedle the Bard or even Cursed Child), I'd get a cell phone.

Well, she says she's downloaded book #1 onto her tablet. So I'm doing some initial research into phone plans. (If she'll go through with it, then so will I.) What I really want is a dumbphone that can handle talk and text equally well. I don't need a billion apps or Internet access or even a camera -- just talk and text. That's it.

So, my 3.5 readers, got any suggestions for a dumbphone with a good QWERTY keyboard?


Cailean said...

My parents don't have smartphones either but have a basic phone from T-Mobile that's bare bones and gets the job done. I don't know the model but your basic cheaper-phone-from-T-Mobile will probably do. Having a phone is peace of mind for emergencies as well, you just never know. It's a necessary evil these days. I agree smartphones distract from life in some ways, but it just takes self discipline as do most things!

Soozcat said...

Yes, it does. But I also know what kind of person I am... and if I had a smartphone distraction in my pocket, I wouldn't get much done. A dumbphone, aka a feature phone, is more than enough for my needs -- it makes me reachable everywhere (MAJOR BLEAH) and allows me to receive calls and texts, as well as send them.

Cailean said...

Yes, the "reachable anywhere/everywhere/anytime" is a feature I don't love :) What I really like about smartphones is the practicality of having GPS/maps :)