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Do you miss your non-smartphone?

, July 31, 2017, 0 Comments

non-smartphone-marketexpress-inYesterday, at the doctor’s, across me, sat an impeccably dressed woman probably in her seventies or eighties. Dressed in a summer frock with big yellow flowers and wearing a yellow watch to match, she was making notes of some sort in a notebook (right size for a six year old to scribble in).  I was watching this woman from the corner of my eye while flipping through a gossip magazine.

Then suddenly the old lady began voraciously fossicking around in her handbag. After a few minutes of digging, she found what she wanted and wait for it…she pulled out an LG FLIP PHONE (do you remember one of those?). She flipped open her phone and wrote into her pad while often consulting her trusted source. Perhaps she was noting phone numbers or making a list of medicines. I don’t know.

But what I noticed was that, ONLY the old lady possessed a phone that looked different from the others in the waiting room. In a room full of iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones, there was a proud LG helping its owner. I suddenly started missing my old Nokia phone. 

I then took a trip down memory lane. I was about twenty and I remember my group of friends standing around showing off our new acquisitions… Nokia, LG, Ericsson, Motorola and many more varieties. These were non-smartphones compared to an iOS or Android device (smartphones) we possess today.

Let’s compare lifestyles with phones in the past and today in 2017. There are many features but I have picked five

1. The handset/instrument/phone
My first mobile phone was the Nokia. For others who were part of the Nokia club you would remember how sturdy the phone was. I must have dropped it often but I never panicked because all I had to do was pick it up and life went on. Today, my heart beats so fast when I land up dropping my iPhone especially when it falls face forward. My inner voice says “Please remain intact; hope the glass is not shattered” [1]

2. Use
Our phones were just phones back then – to call up our friends and family and nothing much more. Today, our phones seem to be our lifeline with just about everything in it. It has become an extension of us. Our smartphones are little computers now. We store, access information in different formats and even access the web. And the camera can be both a boon and a curse. For legitimate purposes a camera on hand is useful to capture a memory in time but there can be dark uses of the camera as stories tell us in popular media. [2]

3. Security issues
We have a big problem with privacy with our phones nowadays. For starters we have a lot of personal information on it like credit card details and then what about issues with Near Field Communications (NFC).NFC is great for customers especially with transfers for payments. NFC is a new type of wireless communication used mostly by smartphones for data transfers. Two NFC enabled devices can connect with each other in close range but hackers have proved that range needn’t be close always.[3]

Passwords and finger scans can be broken by hackers when the right tools including ‘bio hacking’ are used [4]. While some companies have built phones which are hyper secure thinking about security is not always on our mind [5]. The advice is to update softwares and apps and not give your phone to anyone who can compromise it.

Before the advent of the smartphones people seemed to be more social, using the phone to set up dates,family gatherings and parties but today we have social media at our fingertips. We lead our social life between Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. While Facebook and Twitter have helped during political unrest [6] using them have serious psychological effects [7]. A fine balance needs to be established.

Again, before GPS and Google maps we stopped and asked for directions. This ‘asking’ sometimes got us more information like nearest restaurant or other location details, we are now slaves to the ‘voice’ directing us.

Almost all of us have our email accounts configured on our phones. This makes us available to read and respond to work emails almost immediately as we see it come in. And once we establish our availability we create an expectation especially with our colleagues and in conclusion we feel we are always working, exploited and busy.

My personal view
I believe the smartphone has a positive impact on our lives. For example, my iPhone supports me personally and professionally. I can see how it can be a distraction but I work on it. I certainly welcome the innovation. But, I don’t seem to like the ‘sameness… for example all iPhone users carry the same looking phone. Apart from this there any many security and privacy issues so being safe rather than sorry has become my mantra with my phone.

Now back to the old lady
The old lady. left the waiting room holding on tightly to her bag…which housed her non-smartphone…

Do you like your current life with the smartphone or do you miss the old life with an non-smartphone?