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My quarter life crisis: Life without a smartphone   1 comment

Posted at May 23, 2013 @ 4:06pm gadgets and gizmos,social media,Story Time at TurnKey

bigsttockI am the one percent.

No, I don’t have the 99% Movement outside my office, protesting here at TurnKey, but in a way, I am the One Percent. That is, the one percent of the office—and maybe of all IT offices in the country—that does not have an iPhone, Droid, Blackberry or any sort of smartphone device. Yes, I do hear it every day, people. I have been stuck with my Samsung Intensity II for the past 2 years, and the only thing intense about this phone is the scrutiny I get for it from my friends, co-workers, and loved ones.

Every day is like showing up to move-in day at college and bringing my desktop computer, while everyone else is running through the hallways with their iPads playing Angry Birds and Temple Run.

Imagine that it is 1997, and you are walking through a park, jamming out to Jewel’s new single “You Were Meant for Me.” All of the sudden, you see a guy with an 80’s boom box on his shoulder, pretending he’s “got game by the pound”, belting out Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” Well, that guy would be me. And while I may have better taste in music than you, I certainly would be jealous that you could take a stroll and listen to your music privately with that classic Walkman.

There may be a problem, however—one that has persisted straight through years of technological developments to smartphones. These days, it seems easier to disconnect from human interaction and to hide behind a four-inch screen. I see it all the time. A few of my friends will get together on a Friday night and, at some point, I guarantee I’ll look around and find all of them silently Tweeting, texting, Instagraming, Facebooking, etc. It’s a problem that my 23-year-old self and most people 50 and up can relate to… We are not a part of the Smartphone Club.

I’ll admit that, even without a smartphone, I do this from time to time. I’ll be walking through the mall, and, although I’d love for someone to massage my hands with lotion, I am not willing to spend $50 on it and then have to do it myself every time after that. That is when I quickly grab my phone and pretend to check my text messages, avoiding any and all human interaction and blatantly ignoring the people waving products in my face. It is a habit—without a doubt, a bad one—but one that is shared by most of the people I know.

These issues are long-coming, and continue to rise as new technology does. It is inevitable that all of us without a smartphone will have to accept them. We will eventually have no option but to buy a smartphone, and will ultimately be a part of this culture someday.

But of course, these devices aren’t all bad, right? It is reported that nearly half of all Americans own a smartphone. So for what reasons may I soon jump to the maybe-not-so-dark side of the mobile telephone?

The first reason is that smartphones have basically eliminated the use of a GPS system, a map, or however you prefer to navigate. I can’t count how many times I got lost when living in New York City, and again after moving to Albany. Albany is one thing, now that I have my car and my GPS, but being lost in The Big City is a whole different ball game. Forget the danger of being alone and lost at night in the city (I leave my safety in the hands of Batman), the frustration of trying to get from one place to another, or simply being able to find a location, was enough for me to almost crack and get a smartphone.

Music is another reason that I became envious of smartphone owners. With applications like Spotify, a smartphone can eliminate the need for an MP3 player. A few months ago I left my iPod at my friend’s apartment in NYC and I still haven’t gotten it back. At this point, I don’t really need it since almost every song on that iPod is on Spotify. I can access Spotify with my computer, but I can only imagine how much I would use it if it was with me everywhere I go. It’s amazing to think about how much music I could consume in one day—while on a walk, driving in my car, grocery shopping, working out, etc. Smartphones open up a whole new outlet to discover, stream, and share music.

The last reason—for now—is what I feel my life, and millions of other people’s lives revolve around lately: the Internet.

I know this kind of encompasses the reasons I mentioned before, but it just goes to show how many benefits there are to a smartphone. To be able to Google a restaurant, find the time a movie is playing, Instagram a photo, Tweet a message to someone, or whatever else you are trying to do—having a computer in the palm of your hand, I imagine, makes some things in life a little easier. Being able to keep a schedule of what you need to do and where you need to be, to write notes and answer emails, to use the thousands of helpful apps available—a smartphone is becoming almost the staple of being a professional adult…or maybe even a functional member of society.

Here is where I need your help: Which smartphone do you prefer?

When I finally man up, grow a mustache, and get a smartphone, I’m sure Emily Wegener will keep you posted on the progress here at TurnKey Internet via our Instagram.

 

 

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Written by Dylan on May 23rd, 2013

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