My phone kicked the bucket when I was in Michigan and I got an old-fashioned loaner phone to get me through my travels. I have a fear of commitment and didn't want to sign another cell contract so I was considering just living the flip-phone life, but the past two weeks have convinced me otherwise. Being without a smartphone for that time was a not-surprising affirmation of my addiction to my handheld information box (and instagram). I apologize to those of you who have been left in the dark as to how many vanity plates I've come across on the road and in parking lots, what interesting things I have been finding at Ikes, and what I have been drinking. It looks like I will be back online soon.
What was surprising to me was how the world of non-smartphone information has changed.
For instance, the other night I was driving around looking for trouble in East Memphis and really wanted to see a movie but had no way to check the times or locations of the theaters. So I thought to call 411. I was stoked when the guy on the line asked me if I would like him to read the movie times. So we went through the list and times together. He must have been on the other side of the world because he would start each movie time with "showings at 1pm, 4:40.." and it was already 7pm in Memphis. I should have asked him for his recommendations. I'd like to start my own movie hotline where people can give me a call on my non-smartphone and we can just go over movie times and reviews from the local paper. I'd consider a TV Guide version of the service as well.
I did like having only dedicated access to my emails instead of having them fired at me at all times. For a while I imagined a time where I would just have this simple cell phone life, a thing that can "only" call and text. I would have to start carrying more reading material. Paperbacks or thin magazines like Newsweek. I would also have to probably carry around a flare, a digital camera, and a note pad and paper. Maybe a walkman. And an atlas. Thomas Guide? Definitely my library card in case I had to stop and get online somewhere.
Even though, thanks to large purses, I carry a lot of those things on me anyway, I opted to replace the crappy phone if only because being without my smart phone has made me realize that everyone around me gets nose-down in their phones in between activities, after eating, while waiting around for a third party... it really is like the new smoking habit. And I have succumbed to peer pressure.
See ya on instagram: theskl