Living Without a Smartphone

Emily Wong, A&E Editor

My name is Emily and I’m a teenager without a smartphone.

I never really realized how much of an anomaly it was to not have a smartphone until I hit high school. Although my parents had initially refused to get me one, they have recently come around. Even so, I have purposely decided to not own a smartphone. Gasp.

To be fair, I do own an iTouch, which is essentially an iPhone without the texting and calling capabilities and data. However, I do not carry it around with me as others do with their smartphones. In fact, I barely even use my old, scratched up GoPhone, except for emergencies.

I have always been technologically incompetent but it got to the point where I realized my teachers were more technologically advanced than me. Whenever teachers allowed students to look up information online on their phones, I was always that one student who had to share with a neighbor. I remember being especially embarrassed when one of my teachers dragged me across the room to her dusty desktop to look up the information in front of my dead silent classmates. By the time her desktop had turned on, everybody was already done with the assignment. As much as I love my four year-old prepaid phone, it has been an awkward journey going through high school without a smartphone in such a technologically-dominated era.

Of course, I am not complaining about reaping the benefits of modern-day technology. Nevertheless, not conforming to society’s apparent necessity for smartphones has allowed me to see life from a different perspective.

I enjoy talking face-to-face with people. Judging by the number of families and friends I see at restaurants who are looking down playing with their phones, face-to-face interaction seems to be less and less commonplace. I can even directly attest to this. My friends who have purchased smartphones look at me far less now as they fiddle with their phones during a conversation. Looking at one’s phone in the middle of a conversation with me has become one of my biggest pet peeves. There is something you cannot convey through a text or a Facebook message but you can through eye contact and body language. Therefore, I am fearful that getting a smartphone would make me more antisocial than before.

As smartphones have risen, convenience and immediacy have replaced contemplation and patience. Students have a compulsive need to be on their phones constantly, as if it were a drug. If people are bored in one minute, they pull out their phone to play whatever stupid app to satiate their boredom. Some students have no boundaries, not even in the classroom. Exposing myself to this addiction is something I hope to prolong for as long as I can.

I am not condemning those who have smartphones. They are revolutionary devices that will facilitate life. In fact, I’m sure I will concede to the smartphone bandwagon once I am in college. However, for now, I will just stick to my “socially unacceptable” phone as I attempt to survive the smartphone epidemic.