Man without a smartphone

    I am 33 years old, I am a programmer from St. Petersburg and I do not have and never had a smartphone. It’s not that I don’t need it - I need it, even very much: I work in the IT field, all members of my family have them (the child is already the third), I had to manage mobile development, including, I have my own website ( mobile friendly 100%), and I even emigrated to Europe to work. Those. I'm not some kind of hermit, but quite a modern person. I use an ordinary push-button telephone and have always used only such.

    I periodically come across articles like “successful people don’t use smartphones” - this is complete nonsense! Smartphones use everything: successful and not very, poor and rich. I have not yet seen a modern man without a smartphone - it’s like fundamentally not to wear shoes, or not to use a car - you can of course, but why?

    It all started as a protest against mass smartphoneization, and it continues as a challenge for about 10 years - I was wondering how much I can withstand modern trends, and is it even possible. Looking ahead, I’ll say: it is possible, but it does not make sense.

    I admit that many people are thinking about refusing to use a smartphone. I want to talk about my experience here so that those who intend to conduct such an experiment can evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of other people's experience.

    This story certainly has its pros and cons, and they are fairly obvious.

    So, here are the pros that I can identify in order of priority:

    • I do not need to worry about charging. I charge the phone about once every two weeks. The last time I went on vacation, I did not even take a charge with me, because I was sure that the phone would not be discharged during this time - it happened;
    • I do not focus on constant notifications and viewing updates at any given free minute. This is especially true for work - you get less distracted - that means you are more focused on work;
    • I do not spend money on new phones, do not follow updates, and do not feel discomfort when one of my friends has a better phone than mine, or when my phone is better than my friends;
    • I do not annoy acquaintances constantly sticking on the phone (at a party, for example, or just when meeting). But this is more about upbringing and politeness;
    • I don’t have to buy mobile Internet - so-so plus, considering that the prices are quite low;
    • I can surprise people by saying that I don’t use a smartphone and never used it - and the further, the more they are surprised. I must say that I myself would have been surprised if I had met such a person - so far the only one I know in the same position is my grandmother, who is 92 years old.

    The main plus is that I do not depend on the availability of outlets nearby. It is sad to see how people first “stick” to sockets, wherever they are, or tend to take places closer to them. I really don’t want me to have such a dependency, and this is one of the main points in my “resistance list”. When there is only one charging stick left on my phone, this means that I have a couple more days before it sits down.

    About spraying attention is also an important point. It really eats up a lot of power. It might be right to set aside several time slots per day to check all notifications and reply to messages. But, probably, it is easy for me to speak as a person from the outside.

    But the cons, also in priority order:

    • the lack of a camera at hand is a pain. I have already missed a thousand points that should be captured for memory or to share with loved ones. When you need to take a photo of a document, or vice versa to get a photo, the situation is also not uncommon;
    • I can get lost even in my hometown. It is rather a feature of memory, and is easily solved by the presence of a navigator. When I need to go to a new place by car, I use a paper map or remember the route at home on my laptop;
    • there is no way to “distribute” the Internet to a laptop - you have to always look for open Wi-Fi, or ask friends;
    • I’m terribly lacking an interpreter in my pocket if I am abroad, or Wikipedia when it came to learn something new;
    • I’m bored in the queues, on the road, and in any other places where all normal people leaf through tapes, listen to music, play or watch videos;
    • some people look at me with sympathy or as unhealthy when they find out that I don’t have a smartphone. I don’t want to explain to everyone the reasons - I’m already tired;
    • It's hard for me to keep in touch with friends who chat on Whatsapp, for example. I, as befits a programmer, is a little introvert, and I do not like when they call me and I myself do not really like to call. Communication through messages is a great way to keep in touch;
    • Recently, services began to appear that it is simply impossible to use without a smartphone - two-factor authentication via push, for example, all sorts of car sharing, etc. In Russia, as I understand it, they are still trying to support the old ways, but in Europe they no longer bother.

    The main three things that I miss are: a camera, a navigator and the Internet at hand (at least as an access point). Of course, you can live without all this, and I almost do not feel flawed. In everyday life, almost always there is a person with a smartphone nearby, and this saves me in most cases - I use other people's phones in emergency situations.

    If you wanted to try, try, of course, but I believe that there is no need to artificially limit yourself. It’s better to learn how to filter or dose useless information and activity.

    I decided to write this note because I am going to stop the challenge, and soon I will become a full-fledged modern person with a smartphone, instagram and constant need for charging.

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