Why My Smartphone Makes Me Feel Stupid

Young Woman Using Mobile Phones Model Released
Image credit: The Daily Mail

I got my first smartphone four months ago, and I’ve already fallen out of love with it.

There’s nothing wrong with the phone itself. It’s got a big flashy screen, functions fine, works quickly.

But it interferes with my soul.

I don’t like how it’s always demanding that I update apps I didn’t even know I had. I don’t like how it monitors my every move and knows where I am.

I don’t like how people sit on the train and stare into their hands instead of looking out the window, reading a book, or (God forbid) talking to each other. (Though I realize they may very well be reading books on their phones.)

I enjoy technology when it connects me to other people and ideas. I dislike it when it puts me on edge and makes me feel separated. My smartphone falls into the latter category.

Also, it makes me feel kinda dumb. I’ll often struggle to do something that should be intuitive and simple, like post a photo to Facebook. Or I’ll try to change a setting and it takes me ten minutes to identify how.

There are times when my smartphone is useful. When I go visit my parents, I can check email on my phone instead of borrowing their computers. If I’m driving with a friend and we get lost, my phone could probably guide us home.

But it sets my teeth on edge. I don’t need to be “alerted” when a new person follows me on Twitter. Even if I mess with the settings to reduce these alerts, and to make them silent rather than buzzy, I feel like I’m being spied on by a not-quite-benevolent robot in my pocket. Not to mention the NSA (hi guys!).

So once my contract ends, I’m downgrading to a simpler phone–one on which I can talk and text easily, and that’s it. Those phones are still out there.

I want one.

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4 thoughts on “Why My Smartphone Makes Me Feel Stupid

  1. I agree. I have a talk/text phone and use an iPad mini as my portable Internet device (formerly an iPod Touch). I also keep location services off unless I have a need for them, which is rare.

  2. That’s smart. I should turn off location services on my phone. But then I’m scared I won’t be able to turn them back on if I need them!

    At least I have it password-protected now, which is one less source of phone stress.

  3. How long is your contract? I got a new dumbphone a year or two ago and was slightly horrified that it was one of only two dumbphone options available. I wonder if dumbphones will become extinct…

    • It’s a two-year contract! And it’s not cheap either. Debating trying to get out on the early side, but I doubt they’ll let me…

      My previous phone was only semi-smart, in that you could go online with it, but it didn’t have a million apps etc. Might try to get a similar model next time.

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