Photographer: Events, Weddings, Portraits – Austin, Texas

Letting Go of Technology: What Annoys Me About Smart Phones

It seems like everywhere you turn these days people are talking about how great technology is and what smart phone that they are using. What wireless service do you have? Is it a 3G or 4G network? Did you check out those new apps for your wireless device? Well friends, I’m not going to do those things. However, I’ve decided to make my own declaration: I’m going to say good bye to technology and hello to freedom and solitude.

But why? Why give up the amazing gadgets that are hitting the markets right now, like the Android, the iPhone, the iPad and so many other new wireless devices that supposedly make our lives more fun and easy?

Because I don’t need them – that’s why!

The other day I overheard some friends discussing some the latest technology for their smart phones – a phone application that helps you select what clothes you are going to wear. I believe the app is called “Cool Guy”, and it’s for the iPhone. I couldn’t help but laugh.

Bride at Wedding Being Photographed with Cell Phone Camera

Now some of my readers are probably saying, “oh, wow!” “Where can I get this app?”

And if that’s the case for you, then that’s ok I suppose. Just click on the link above. But, I’ve decided that downloading and looking for new apps is not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I like new technology and I’ve been down the smart phone road already. In fact, I’m quite amazed by the iPad and the latest iPhone (for the most part). But my situation is not necessarily one that fits into the young, single, tech-savvy model of American smart phone/device user. I’m married with a 2-year-old boy, I work about 50-60 hours/week, and I stay busy on most days with not much down time to tinker with new tech toys. Much of the time I’m near a computer, which means I’m accessible via email during the day, thus all but negating my need for a wireless device with email capability. And I’m still searching for the smart phone app that I just could not live without.

Another thing I did was to visit my bank and inquire about my checking account balance. The bank teller assured me that I don’t have thousands of dollars just lying around, which means I probably don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to purchase a new smart phone or iPad, and conversely, I won’t be required to purchase a special rate plan with my cell phone carrier that includes a “data package”, which in my opinion is expensive. Phew!! Thank goodness!

Instead, I cut the cord (or cut the wireless “cord”, if you will). I called my cell phone carrier company and told them that I wanted the cheapest cell phone plan that was available. While speaking with the cell carrier representative, I swear I heard a “thud” in the background which I assume was the cell carrier representative falling off of her chair. Ok, so that probably didn’t happen, but the woman on the other end of the phone line definitely seemed bewildered by my request, which made me feel all the more confident that I was doing the right thing.

So what’s your beef with smart phones?

As an aside, I have a few “beefs” with smart phones. I realize that technology is changing fast and what was slow or was poorly made yesterday is not the same today. But as a photographer, I get so tired of seeing these cloudy, murky, fuzzy pictures that are snapped on peoples smart phones. It always irks me when I see people depend so heavily on their cell phone camera to capture moments in time that can never be repeated, only to have an image that is all but worthless in the end. It just seems heartbreaking to me, especially when you are photographing friends and family.

My other beef with new phones is their delicacy. I’ve witnessed so many people with cracked or damaged smart phones. To their credit, the phones continue to work in many cases. But why do they have to be so delicate? Something that is meant to be taken with you and used in a mobile state should also be somewhat rugged and tough.

So to finish my story, I also visited my cell phone carrier store and let them know what I wanted to do (dump the smart phone, get a cheap cell plan). They attempted to talk me out of giving up my smart phone. The service representative reminded me of the great value that I was getting with my unlimited data package attached to my smart phone. But I didn’t give in and proceeded to select a simple, non-smart phone which I could utilize with my basic coverage package and which would cost nothing. The catch was that I had to sign a new contract with my carrier. But what I pay now monthly is a fraction of what I was paying before with my smart phone.

I no longer get emails on my phone which makes me feel more peaceful during the day. It  gives me the power to check email on my computer at my convenience. Sure, I can still be contacted by phone at any time, but these days it seems that no one likes to use their phone unless they are texting and emailing, which is ironic!

But I think the bigger question that we should be asking ourselves is why? Why do I need to make myself available 24 hours a day by phone? And why can’t I live without all these apps and better yet, all this technology? Personally, it is my opinion that too much technology and too much phone means that it is less possible for you to have some peace in your life. We should all be able to just turn things off at the end of the day and just rest in peace (but not in a morbid sense). I mean, do you really need to let all your Facebook friends know what you are doing every hour or to tweet every 20 minutes? (I think the answer should be emphatically, “no”.)

Have an opinion about this blog? Feel free to share your experience or opinion by posting a comment below!

2 responses

  1. Pingback: How To Get a Free AT&T Phone Charger (and a free backup battery) « Austin Americana Studio

  2. Cdawg

    I love this. I am currently grounded for having not so good grades. Grounded from Facebook, my phone, pretty much all technology. My grades have improved and I’ve become more in touch with the real things around me.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm

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