Why I Don’t Own a Smart Phone

Snapshot_20160505_1I swear, if you told me that I am considered a millennial, I must have missed the memo.  If this post appears to be a shameless act of self aggrandizement, as I brag about my lack of dependence on the latest and greatest in technology and not being one of the “sheeple”, then, that’s exactly what it is.  The thing I’m holding in the picture is the phone I have used since I think 2006.  Happy tenth anniversary, phone!  You’ve served me well and, provided I don’t throw you to the ground in a fit of rage or accidentally drop you in water, you’ll probably be my partner in crime for God knows how long.

You’re not an easy fellow to operate — nah, I’m not going to talk directly to my phone, but I will continue talking about my phone.  First of all, it’s not the most convenient thing in the world.  For one, it only stores one hundred text messages at a time, so I’m forced to empty out the inbox every other week.  As a result, if I get into a lengthy conversation, which could then be used as evidence in a court case or something like that, I’m kinda screwed.  Not only that, but, if you couldn’t already guess, the way I type my text messages isn’t exactly convenient.  I have to sift through the menu on each numeric key one letter at a time.  When I’m driving and texting like all the assholes I complain about, and I want to type a word which utilizes two letters that are part of the same numeric key, I have to pause for roughly a second before typing the next letter.  In other words, if I’m texting someone the message, “My favorite band is Abba”, I type “A”, which is on the “2” key, then say “one-one-thousand” in my head before hitting “2” again to type the “b.”

A number of people have told me how much easier texting would be if I upgraded to a smart phone.  But, why does that matter?  Why do I need texting to be easier?  So I can text all day?  Isn’t that the behavior of fools?  My phone doesn’t have the internet either, and it really doesn’t bother me.  On one hand, it would be nice to have a portable device on my person that has access to all of the facts in the world, so in case it’s April 20th and I want to celebrate a birthday other than Hitler’s, I can easily Google “April 20th birthdays.”  But I can easily just find that out before I leave the house; Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater and Carmen Electra, in case you’re wondering.

And because I don’t have internet on my phone, I don’t have access to social media when I’m out and about.  Now, I’m NOT against social media.  In fact, I LOVE social media.  You can easily find me on Facebook and Twitter, and I’m usually active in the evening time; Facebooking and Tweeting away, gaining and losing friends, writing contrarian responses to liberal posts and posting a mix of social commentary and troll posts.  However, as much as I have an internet presence, I don’t need to be reminding people what I’m doing every minute of the day.  Nor do I want to be reminded of what others are doing every minute of the day.  I think it takes a real fool to want to always be informing people of your whereabouts and, above all else, it can be a liability.  The exception to this is of course if a super hot girl, who my friends have never met, posts how she’s having an awesome time with me.  I didn’t actually do anything, but I gain instant props.

But, surely, you’re thinking that, just because a smartphone can access the internet, doesn’t mean I necessarily have to use it.  I do have self control (well, sorta) and can use the smart phone for other, more practical purposes, right?  Shouldn’t I be sick of printing out mapquest directions?  The phone does have GPS, so I’ll save paper and can brag to some hippie chick that I’m being environmentally friendly.  So, why don’t I bother getting a smart phone?  I have three reasons for this.

The first one is the most obvious.  I’m just plain lazy.  My phone meets all of my practical needs, so why upgrade?  Also, from what I hear, smart phones scarf up juice like a mofo, forcing a person to place his or her phone on a charger on a daily basis.  I charge my phone ever few days if that.

The second one should also be pretty obvious.  I’m just not a very tech savvy person.  You’re probably thinking, “how is that possible?  You maintain a blog, don’t you?”  Let’s put it this way: even though WordPress gives you the do-dads and knick-knacks, there was still a major learning curve.  Hell, I paid Matt Forney $10 to advise me on how to make my site more navigable.  I still didn’t remove the Love Thrill Murders movie poster from the background like he told me to, which would make it easier to see some of the text, but I just don’t have the heart to part with it.

This is why I’m confused as to why I’m lumped in with millennials.  When we were growing up, the internet was still very much a novelty.  We accessed the internet through the phone line, so when we wanted to go online, we had to make sure nobody was on the phone, and, as everyone knows, 56k internet was painfully slow.  When I did go online, I only barely participated in chat room discussions or any of that; I mainly just used it to look up tour dates and new releases for all the bands I was into.  And I attempted to snag any free porn that was available.  It’s not like now where you can google “titty cum shot” and get galleries and films of the stuff to keep you entertained for hours.  Back then, you just had to rely on the the scraps they threw out; that is, if you didn’t want to pay some exorbitant subscription fee.  Plus we had print magazines and brick and mortar video stores for all that stuff.  Actually, to be honest, I rarely looked at hard porn.  I mainly just whacked it to Victoria Secret mags and Skinemax.  Not really a fan of the hardcore stuff that much, in  case you were wondering.

When I went to college, I used the computer a lot for school work, but I didn’t know about any of this new internet nonsense that came about in the last ten to twelve years.  A buddy of mine showed me 4Chan once.  It just seemed like a place where weirdos tried to gross each other out by posting photographs and videos of people being castrated or burned alive.  Why would I want to participate in that?  I had drinking and fucking to do!  I did have a Myspace account, but that was about it.  I honestly only recently learned about all this new crap you kids have; your reddit and your tumblr, where a bunch of depressing, narcissistic young people are given a platform to post about how they’re animals from other dimensions, only to have other people act as a support network for them.  And you want to lump me in with THOSE people?!

But, indeed, I’m quite the Luddite.  My buddy Erick would make fun of me when we worked together, asking, “are you going to bring your Eight Tracks to work today?”  I still listen to and buy CDs, and bring a bag full of them to work with me every single day.  I did eventually get into MP3’s, so I’m up to date on that.  I would mention how I own a turntable, but you’d probably expect that of me, since all the cool, hip kids own one these days.

And the third and final reason I don’t own a cell phone should still be somewhat obvious.  As I alluded to earlier, I just don’t want to participate in the zombified, consumerist culture surrounding these stupid devices.  As cliche as it sounds, it drives me fuckin’ nuts when the car in front of me has a delayed reaction at the light because some dumb, blonde bimbo is checking to see what her ex Todd said about her on her friend Jane’s FB thread, or checking how many “likes” she received for her Spring break photos, that she took on the trip where she did heroin for the first time before sucking off all of the lifeguards at the beach resort she was staying at in Acapulco.  I honestly think it’s one of the rudest things in the world when I’m on a date with a girl and she has her smart phone facing upwards, as if she can’t wait until after the date to text the guy she’s currently fucking, sheesh!

I honestly have no idea what an Android is.  And all I know about iPhones is that U2 illegally installed their latest, shitty album onto every single one in the U.S.  Other than that, I remain painfully ignorant to the ways in which the major phone companies are brainwashing people into emptying their coffers and willfully becoming slaves to their technology.

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