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:;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? 

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The Luddite Chronicles I

The Luddites were English textile workers who violently opposed mechanization of their industry between 1811-1816.  They liked to smash things, automated looms usually.  The movement was so popular that the British army had to get involved to quash it.

Now a “Luddite” can refer to anyone opposed to innovation, often involving technology or computers.  Which brings me to the point of this blog.  I consider myself a bit of a Luddite.  (It sounds quite flattering actually–“Hey, you big Luddite!”)  I’m not a Luddite in all areas, just a few areas related to technology, so I thought I’d start a series of Luddite Chronicles.

Topics that I plan to discuss are:

1) Newspapers v. news online
2) Dumb phones v. smart phones
3) Real books v. e-books

Just to be clear, my Luddite tendencies are not due to technophobia.  I have a MS degree in engineering and I taught computer science.

What other categories of technology would you like to discuss?

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