The Kenwood Press
Publishers' Corner: 03/01/2014

My stupid phone

Almost everyone except me has a smart phone. I have a stupid phone Ė nothing but talk and text. Itís a Motorola W385 that flips open, and my ďwallpaperĒ is the donkey wearing a sombrero that came in the phoneís tiny arsenal of pictures seven years ago. That makes it about 100 in cell phone years. For the first year or so, it was cool. Then it became middle-aged and somewhat embarrassing to pull out and use in public. I would try to text with it in my lap so no one would see that it didnít have a keyboard. It still kind of embarrasses me when Iím on an airplane and everyone pulls out their iPhones and Androids to let whoever know that theyíve just landed. But probably no one is looking at me anyway.

The truth is, I donít want a tiny pocket computer. Iím on the computer most of the time at work, and more often than I care to admit at home. Being out and about is the only time when Iím not tethered to the Internet. I like knowing where I am physically in the world without Google maps telling me. I look for landmarks, and where the sun is in the sky. And if I ever get lost, thereís an actual roadmap in the glove compartment. I donít want Google tracking my moves. Iím not into conspiracy theories, but thereís something unsettling about a corporation or the government having so much information on your whereabouts. Hey, I read 1984.

There have been almost no moments when I have been out of the house or the office and wished for a smart phone. Maybe thatís because everyone I know has one and can provide the answer to anything anywhere anyway. Itís like herd immunity. If I stay in the smart phone herd, Iíll never get myself into a situation where I need an answer and canít get one. If a photo op arises, someone is sure to snap it and email the picture, so Iím almost as well-documented as anyone else these days.

But thereís something to be said for observing the world with your own eyes, and figuring things out without consulting the Internet first. Do you need to tell you that weíre having an early spring? Does anyone on Facebook really care what you had for lunch? Shouldnít you finish that crossword puzzle without Googling the answers? Do I really want to snap chat? What is snap chat anyway?

The only real problem I have with my stupid phone is forgetting to turn it on. So if you really need to reach me, just call the office! Ė Ann