The Luddite Chronicles Part 3: 7 reasons smart phones are dumb

Are smart phones dumb?  Are dumb phones smart?  (Asking the big questions here.)

This is the 3rd of a series of Luddite Chronicles.  The Luddites were opposed to innovation, and true confession, I’m a bit of a Luddite.  Here are the two previous Luddite posts:

1) Intro (learn about the Luddites here)
2) Newspapers vs. on-line news (New Orleans will soon be the largest US city without a daily newspaper.  Read more here.)

Today’s topic is smart phones.

When we lived in England my wife wanted to buy me a “mobile phone” (that’s what cell phones are called across the pond).  I wasn’t interested.  Why do I want people to be able to call me whenever they want?  I waited as long as possible.  I finally got one, but didn’t use it often except to tell Shannon I’m coming home late.  Even now, I leave my cell phone off for several days at a time.  (Remember, I’m a Luddite.)

I don’t have a smart phone, and I don’t plan to get one anytime soon.  Here are seven reasons I don’t like smart phones:

1) I can’t afford a data plan.  So, I’m cheap.  Tell me something I don’t know.

2) I don’t want to check my email 24/7.  I’m not that important.  People can wait.  Nobody responds to my emails instantly.  (Maybe that’s because they know I don’t have a smart phone, so I must not be very important.  Hmm…I need to think about this more.)

3) It’s good to be unconnected.  There’s a place in Appalachia (13,000 square miles) with no reception of any kind: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7409162n&tag=mncol;lst;1.  Nice.

4) Smart phones over-prioritize the immediate.  The most important thing is not always what has just happened a few seconds ago.

5) Smart phones are obsessive.  People’s lives revolve around them.  (I’m not talking about you, just everybody else.)   They can become idolatrous.  I struggle to make my life revolve around God.  I don’t need another idol.  (Although, I did get that iPad for Christmas…)

6) Abraham, Moses, Deborah, David, Mary and Jesus didn’t have smart phones.  They did OK with them.  Judas probably had a smart phone.  (I had to tie this post into the Bible somehow.)

7) There are an increasing number of free wi-fi hot spots I can use my iPad.

Smart phones are dumb.  Call me a Luddite.

In what ways are you a Luddite? 

Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone

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6 comments

  1. Ach! You got me! I am a smart phone user and I have seen it bring a few curses into my life. But then again, if I lose my phone, I just go online to look up where it is thanks to this handy dandy app………. ok, I digress

    Truth is that I find it much harder to turn off email in life thanks to the phone. I have had to do things like silence the phone, turn off all notifications, charge it outside the bedroom, and vow to turn it off on retreats and vacations. Don’t get me wrong, I love the benefits of GPS and handy information, but sometimes wonder if its worth it.

  2. Technology is a blessing and a curse. The key is realizing it when it’s a curse. I still haven’t found my cell phone, so I just had to re-activate the old one.

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