Monday January 20 2014

LIVING AND LOVING IT: Why I have not yet let go of my not so smartphone


By Carol Beyanga

The pressure for me to let go of my three-year-old old phone is mounting by the day. Workmates are tired of replying my text messages because they cannot Whatsapp me.
Relatives are weary of having to send me emails with photos they could easily Whatsapp. Friends are embarrassed when on fun days out, everyone whips out their android or smartphone to take down someone’s number and I am getting out my worn out, battered, almost falling apart Nokia 2330.

Hubby is stressed by it. It has fallen so many times that the part meant to hold the sim card is now loose. As such, there are moments the sim card gets slightly out of place such that the phone cannot register it. So I cannot receive calls or messages. Unfortunately, I only tend to realise this, about an hour later and when I rectify the situation, I discover someone has been trying to get in touch with me for so long.

Still, I love my old phone and here is why. When I go out with friends or the hubby, say to a restaurant, I want to engage in a fun conversation and my phone allows me to do that. Text messages or calls are the only things that will make the phone beep.

Smartphones on the other hand can beep for a million reasons, a call, a text message, a whatsapp message, or email, an app reminding you to do this or that and so much more. It is quite distracting when you are meant to have a two-hour conversation over dinner. So my Nokia ensures I pay attention to whoever I am with.

The simple person that I claim to be, all I need a phone to do is call and send messages. My phone does that perfectly.
If I need to check out a favourite website, I shall do so during the day when I have a spare minute at work. If I need to send an email out urgently over the weekend, I shall get the modem out (and pray I still have airtime on it) and send the email. If I feel the need to tweet, my not-so-smartphone actually allows me to go on the Internet and do so. If you ask me, it is doing everything I need it to, pretty well.

I also feel that if I get a smartphone, I shall underuse it. I am not on facebook. I do not intend to get onto Whatsapp until our daughter gets a phone – which if we can manage, is some light years away. I do not live on the Internet. I love the things it offers, but I usually prefer to bury my head in a magazine or book than on a website.

But perhaps one of the reasons I love my phone so much right now is that no one is bothered to steal it. I have left it in a taxi, in a restaurant and a couple of other places and I have always found it intact. In fact, sometimes, the conductor comes running after me to give it back. It is just not worth stealing because they know they will get peanuts for it, if any, should they try to sell.

Funny thing is, this is a phone that was bought to replace one that was stolen (and that I still miss), as we waited to get some money to buy a nice and fancy one. I guess I got too attached to it and I’m not willing to let go.