The Case Against Owning a Smartphone

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Jared Correia doesn’t own a smartphone, but that doesn’t stop him from being a tech guy at the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program. Here’s an excerpt from his argument for why:

There is this prevailing attitude that the modern world is generally untethered, that we’re free, because we’re no longer connected to physical servers (now they’re virtual, in the cloud) or cords (save for charging). The fact is, there’s always a physical device, always a plug, always a grid, lurking somewhere in the background, or at the end — even as we try to trick ourselves into believing that is not the case, and that we are, in large part, unrestricted. Perhaps we’re more restricted than ever.

Correia does, apparently, carry around a Microsoft Surface and an iPad and a portable modem, so I’m not sure he’s all that serious about the whole not-being-available-24/7 thing. For my part, you can pry my smartphone from my frozen-by-carpal-tunnel-syndrome hands. I’d sooner give up my tablet and my laptop.

Edit: Then again, maybe Correia is smarter than the rest of us.

Featured image: “No Smartphone sign icon” from Shutterstock.

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  • Jared

    I like that last part best.

  • I was actually telling Lisa today that I have been without a working smartphone for almost two months, and aside from my immediate family, no one noticed. Since I carry a laptop wherever I go, I just relied on Skype, G+ Hangouts, Messenger and Google Voice.

    The only thing I genuinely missed about having a smartphone for those two months was Google Maps. Otherwise, I genuinely felt less stressed and more in the moment while out at dinner or coffee.

    Now that I have gotten back to the real world with an iPhone 5S, I’ve made the conscious decision to not hook up my email, and I have yet to pass around my number to everyone.

    Basically, my iPhone has now become a real fancy Google Maps device, and my family can now sleep soundly knowing they can bug me whenever.

  • Ken

    I recently decided to go without a smartphone, after being an early adopter and having used one for quite a few years. I did it because the availability of other tech and the increasing size of these portable devices (i.e. the damn phone barely fit in my pockets and sucked power like crazy). Like others, the main thing I miss is the availability of the GPS, but frankly a 2 minute stop at the computer to print a map to places I am not already familiar with solves that quickly. The advantage for me is my phone is more reliably charged, smaller item to carry, and more money in my pocket to buy other cool stuff. Like all tech, it is not one size fits all and sometimes less is more.