I don’t know about you, but I miss my old LG flip phone. Those were the days. Don’t get me wrong, I am addicted to my iPhone. But that’s the problem. See, when I was growing up, in my late teens and twenties, we had beepers. They were awesome! They came in different colors (and yes, I had them all), they were cheap, only about $8-$10 a month, and best of all, when someone ‘beeped’ you, you didn’t feel the obligation as you do now with SMS, to get back to them right away. The ol’ standby was to say you weren’t near a phone to call them back. Easy peasy. People would get creative with numbers also. Before texting, you were able to write words through numbers. With beepers, if the number you left at the tone was “143” that somehow meant “I love you.” Or you can be at the other end of that spectrum as I frequently was with my girlfriend and receive the lovely numbers “3704556” which, if you turned upside down, spelled “asshole.”
Then came mobile phones! Cute little flip phones that could fit in the palm of your hand. I loved them. You could make phone calls and even text, though it took a little longer to do so. Back then, texts were short. One word, one sentence. Two sentences if you had the patience. But good enough. They cost just a little bit more than pager service. Back in the days of flip phones, you didn’t see everyone walking the streets oblivious to everyone around them, staring at their phones and looking ridiculous. We didn’t need to be on the internet 24/7. We weren’t obsessed with selfies. We were content and happy.
Now I feel overloaded and overwhelmed with technology. Our desktops became laptops. Our cell phones became smartphones. We were paying for internet in our homes AND now on our smartphones. Our phones took pictures. Now we have cameras on almost every tech equipment we own! Who needs it?? All our photos and music are now scattered on our laptops, cell phones and iPods. Our phones run out of storage space so we have to spend more money on phones with even more just to include apps we don’t even use!
Call me a pessimist, but what is it that is so important that we have to be glued to our cellphones all day long? What is the importance? We survived in this world by using our phones in the house and having an answering machine. Businesses thrived. People read newspapers or chatted with each other while taking the train. We weren’t consumed with ourselves and what everyone is doing. People walked with their heads up. To me, the downside of overwhelming us all with tech that quickly gets outdated and the falsehood that we need to have all these devices to make our lives easier has made our lives worse. Drivers are more distracted than ever. Adults/parents are the worst role models in this area. How will we be able to trust our children to drive safely if we ourselves can’t drive safely? The cost of Internet and data and overages is insane. Our bills are redundant. We pay for the cost of internet twice, we pay for cable AND Netflix and, personally, we can’t even have dinner with our loved ones without checking our phone. We have become an addicted, self-absorbed society who feel the need to post our status updates…and take selfies…and check our texts and messages constantly. We feel anxiety when we leave the house or go anywhere without our phones. If it was up to me, I’d gladly trade mine in for my old LG EnV.
Who’s with me?