The Weekly Gripe

Gripes the News
The Soapbox
Gripes in the pipes
*

How we could live a happy, fulfilling life without a smartphone

4 comments  Add a comment

Smartphones.  Weren't they great at first?  Now, the evil soul suckers are literally killing us, tearing society part, destroying mental health and (...gripe will continue after ad...) charging us for the privilege.

People on a train all looking at their smartphone. Step on public transport and don't get your phone out.  Look around, you rebel.  You're literally anti-establishment, you punk.

You know what would be even more punk?  To sell your phone.  To buy a dumb phone, to quit WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and every other service you never had 15 years ago.  To jump off the hamster-wheel of endless scrolling (actually designed, with the help of slot-machine developers, to keep you addicted, so they can force feed your feed with ads for crap you never wanted) and actually get your finite life back.

Has the smartphone and, and by extension social media ever really been 'social', really helped us?  Or has it just stirred up divisions that gave us super-divided politics, cancel culture, sex offenders welcomed in our public libraries (yes, really), conspiracy theories?

Not so fast!  At least an 'influencer' helped us buy a load of rubbish - not realising it was from the trash-end of China - which we couldn't return when it turned out to be built to the quality of a Christmas cracker's toy?

Oh, but those earth-shattering discussions about the blue and black dress and Donna's lost cat and that £3 broken child's toy someone we think we once knew (somewhere) keeps flogging will really be the days to reminisce over, won't they?

"But I need my smartphone for..."  No, darling, you don't.  You never did.

You can get a music player to clip onto your Rockstar jeans, browse the bookshop like you're in a romantic comedy, get your news from the radio, open your favourite paper with your favourite drink, people-watch from the train, you can get a really good camera and David Bailey everyone and everything interesting (sausage legs on the beach do NOT count) with snaps you'll frame and pass down.  A century later a hipster will find them in an antique shop and wonder who that cool rebel was.

You can -- perish the thought -- stick to your plans, meet your friend and spend the whole evening laughing, eating ice cream and watching the stars.  You might even remember it.  You'll be infinitely happier and sleep better, too.  It begins to happen within about a week of selling your smartphone.

Or you could just make Zuckerberg, et al richer.  I hear he needs a new hoodie.

By: Earthling


Leave a comment

Reality

Reality

Before Smart phones, everytime i stepped on public transport people were reading the Metro, or staring out the window, or listening to music. Smart phones have just replaced the things people did to ignore people.
I feel people that don't like modern technology these days, get left behind very quickly. My Mother in law, being one of them, cant do anything without my wife solving her problems online. And shes only 62. My parents are a lot older and are all online smart phone savvy, and never once say the things you've outlined in this blog.
I feel you're one of the ones left behind. Catch up will you... You'll enjoy conversation with people more.
01/09 Reality
0
LancashireLass

LancashireLass

If we woke up tomorrow and technology fell apart overnight and we had no Mobile Phones, Computers or Tablets what would the younger generation do apart from have a melt down? Well for a start the kids today would have no idea on how they would cope and wouldn't have a clue on how to deal with day to day life. However for people of the older generation, yes, it would be a mild inconvenience at first, but we would then adapt back to the old ways where everything would be arranged well in advance and all arrangements kept. As for the youngster I have no doubt their world would end.
15/08 LancashireLass
1
grumpyoldwoman

grumpyoldwoman

Then there's the dreaded NHS app. I wouldn't have it if I had a smartphone. I don't like being tracked everywhere I go.

Another thing that annoys me is that some "apps" (what's wrong with "programme"?) can only be used on a smartphone. Why not make a version for laptops and other ordinary computers? Last year some friends wanted to keep in touch via What's App, no good for me as you can't use it on a laptop. Are people really ditching computers with decent sized screens to peer at something so tiny? What happens when you get old and your eyesight starts to go (like mine and the GOM's)?

I've noticed not so many folk seem to have printers these days either. Need to show some official a document of some sort? No phone signal? A sheet of printed paper doesn't need a signal!
06/08 grumpyoldwoman
3
grumpyoldwoman

grumpyoldwoman

Great gripe! The GOM and I don't have the damn things and don't want them, just ordinary mobiles. I can't even take pictures with mine. I have a nice camera for that.

What really annoys me though is the assumption by companies and the government that everyone has one. In this current situation this has got even worse. Last year we managed to get a holiday in Turkey in September (not this year though!) and had to fill in a passenger locator form within 2 or 3 days of coming home. You then stored it on your phone to show at the airport. Or, like we had to, lug a laptop on holiday, then find someone to let you use their internet so I could fill in the forms, and ask them to print them.

A couple of months ago I got locked out of my Amazon account because of my phone. A long time ago they asked for my mobile number and occasionally would send me a text as added security to sign in. That was fine, but then they assumed it was a smartphone. I tried to sign in to buy something, and got a message telling me to tap a link on my phone. Not on my phone! I had to spend ages on the phone (landline, still have one of them!) to sort it out. Eventually they were able to remove my phone number from my account and told me not to give it to them again!

I must admit now that I am on facebook (hangs head in shame), since about 15 months ago, mostly so we could keep in touch with family when we weren't allowed to see them, and I do find it fairly useful, as long as I ignore all the ads for trash. I just look at it once in the morning, and that's it most days.
06/08 grumpyoldwoman
2

FEATURES

Gripes the News
Gripes in the pipes
The Soapbox
spinner