I don't need a cell/smart phone.
I know it is unthinkable to most people today, but I simply have zero need for a "smart" phone. I hardly see why most people would need or want one.
Before Apple got involved, such devices were boring business tools. A long time ago, important people who had to respond instantly to life and death emergencies carried pagers around. Then the fancy business executives carried around their Personal Digital Assistants filled with their schedule of 100,000 appointments. Combine all that with a cell phone that can also browse the web and get e-mail on-the-go, and sure, you have a tool that some people might find useful.
But it still hardly seems like something EVERYONE should be expected to have.
First of all, I'm not an on-the-go type person. I spend most of my time at my desk, in front of a big computer doing real work. Reading and processing e-mail or browsing the web is much more efficient for me using a real computer. I have no need or desire to constantly check things while I am out driving, shopping, or while I am on the can. If I were a high paid doctor, or something, responding to emergencies, that would be another story and I'd be happy to do that.
My "landline" telephone gives me superior sound quality and reliability. When someone else calls me from a real telephone, they don't sound like a robot trying to rape my ear. Anyone remember the old advertising slogan "So clear you can hear a pin drop?" I've still got that!
My "landline" telephone does not flake out or drop calls when an airplane flies over. Which happens all the time here.
It also does not need constant re-charging, and I don't have to worry about replacing it every couple of years. Heck, this thing is from somewhere around 1990. Unlike other people, I haven't generated piles of "e-waste" cell phones. I'm good for the planet!
There are zero security issues! There is nothing at all for a bad guy to "hack". It is basically just a microphone and speaker, plus a real honest to goodness bell. It does have one chip for a memory-dial feature, but I don't even use that.
Aside from the occasional telespammer, there is zero advertising!
With my "landline" telephone, I also don't have to worry about software updates that change the entire thing around and having to constantly re-learn basic things.
For some bizarre reason, lots of idiots seem to think that I must constantly get bad connections because "everything" is connected by copper. It hasn't been like that since around the early 90s. These days it is only copper to the CO a few blocks down, and then fiber out to the rest of the world. It is incredibly reliable these days.
Of COURSE you can buy new "landlines". I believe they are usually marketed as home/business phones. Usually they will run fiber or VDSL to your house and connect to a box that doubles as an internet service bridge. You can connect a standard phone, fax, or even computer modem to it. (Off hand, I don't know if they still offer new copper POTS connections, not that it makes much difference.)
I have absolutely no need or desire to be instantly reachable every second of the day. The exact opposite - leave me the hell alone. I can't even fathom the reasons why people would want that. Unless you are getting paid big $$$ to do so.
Some people will just blab on their phone for hours and hours and hours on end about every stupid little thing. I'm sorry, if I have nothing specific that needs saying, I'm not going to say anything.
Similarly, some people insist on the ability to access "social media" constantly. Check for updates, check for update, check for updates, post what you just had for lunch, read about the size of a dump your friend just took, and so on. I just don't care. I'm too busy doing real work.
I have no need to "text" everyone as if I were a damn teenage girl. Professionals use e-mail. I refuse to be interrupted for every trite little thing. If something is very important, call me up and talk to me.
I don't need or want constant "alerts". Send me an e-mail and I'll process it whenever I get a chance. "Don't forget to download our FREE news/weather app/malware and get our weather alerts! You MUST have our weather alerts! You MUST! Youcantbetoosafethinkofthechildren! Get our alerts (and advertising) NOW! NOW! NOW!". Morons.
"Texting" is a horribly flawed method of communication because it can only (mostly) be done via a smart/cell phone. E-mail, on the other hand, can be accessed from all kinds of devices from a Smart TV to an IBM PCJr.
Use it for WHAT?
So what SHOULD I want/need a smart phone for anyway?
Maps? Meh. I always plan out where I am going in advance. If I have to take my eyes off the road to look at any kind of map then I have done something wrong. In most places using a cell phone while driving is illegal - I don't know why people would even think of doing that anyway. "Turn left off of cliff".
Shopping lists? Some people genuinely think think there is no other way to do it than to use a smart phone. I use a nice piece of paper and pencil. I suppose if you are shopping for an army and have to keep a large spreadsheet, that might be a different story.
Schedules, like a PDA? Well, if I had 100,000 appointments, sure. Right now, I could count my appointments on... no fingers.
Games? I haven't played games in many, many years.
Watching movies? That's what TVs are for. If there were anything worth watching.
Photographs? I have a digital camera for that - with replaceable batteries.
Voice assistant? Not sure these are as popular now, but for a while smart phone makers were pushing speech recognition on smart phones. I recall a few people trying to use these in public and getting odd looks - from others besides me. Not like speech recognition is new. We had both speech recognition and touch screens in the 1980s and nobody thought those were good ideas.
Business use? A number of years back, I was implementing an inventory system where our users were to collect certain kinds of data from around the state. I was looking at devices like the Intermec bar code scanners you might see in supermarkets. Our consultant wanted them to use a bulky Microsoft Windows tablet. These days a "smart" phone could probably do all of that nicely, although it would have to store some of that locally as these were frequently in locations such as tunnels or out in the boonies that would have no cell signal.
Electronic payments? I am all for additional payment methods existing where possible, but big companies want to lock everyone in to electronic payments, and that is wrong. I see cell phone payment methods as having too many security attack vectors. I prefer my money to be available in forms that do not need recharging, can't be hacked that easily, doesn't let some big company lock me out, and give me a little bit of privacy in what I purchase.
Identification? Uh, no. Not a chance. That's just stupid. If you want to steal my ID cards, you are going to have to reach in to my pants and hope you grab my wallet instead of my shlong. I don't need to put sensitive information somewhere where someone can access it from Russia.
Which reminds me, there is a very, VERY, disturbing trend that increasingly idiots are equating Two Factor Authentication with using a cell phone. Many 2FA systems refuse to do anything other than "text" an authentication code. This is wrong and evil because there is no other way to use the system than to own a cell phone. One of the better 2FA system I have seen actually places an automated voice call that recites the authentication code. That works for me. But, why should a stupid smart phone be considered magically authoritative somehow? Why should there no be other forms of authentication mechanisms? Right, because the flashy advertising on the TV says so. Fortunately, I don't yet absolutely require cell phone-only 2FA for anything.
If I actually needed a smart phone, and it was worth the cost and effort, I would happily buy one.
I don't want to have to replace a cell phone every couple of years. Irreplaceable batteries WTF? That is stupid. Many years back I had seriously considered buying a tablet device to act as a "living room" computer. But since then I would have only gotten a few dozen uses out of it and would have had to replace it 5 or 6 times just to keep it connected.
I do real work. Files, folders, manipulating large sets of data with GUIs or command line tools. Power hungry programs that would make a cell phone melt, if it even fit in its memory at all. No, there isn't a fucking "app for that".
Even just data entry is more efficient on a real computer. The iPhone happened to launch right at the same time as touch screens became accurate enough to support typing. Well, not typing really, more like pecking out letters for tiny abbreviated messages. Doing real work requires a desktop computers and tactile touch typing.
But thanks to these touch screen idiots, everyone insists on copying stupid tactile-less garbage - such as "smart" thermostats, or even buttons on air purifiers.
Privacy - I value my privacy. And as a computer guy, I fully understand how every tiny little bit of information can be collected, stored, aggregated, and used against me. Modern cell phone are optimized to take your privacy away and sell it to the highest bidder.
I also don't like being constrained. I learned in the 8-bit world where I had control over every last one and zero - and more often than not, it was my responsibility to write something to fill those ones and zeros with something useful.
Pfff. When I grew up we didn't have cell phones or computers. I had a set of encyclopedias and a pair of parents with rocks for brains. When I wanted to figure something out, I had to figure it out for myself. Uphill both ways in the snow. Bah, get off my lawn. :P
Just a simple fact that I know no one wants to hear: Smart phones are effeminate devices. They are heavily marketed towards females. Their functions are optimized around shopping, social media, and viewing hypnotic shiny stuff. The form is designed to match dresses, fit in purses, and shiny screens double as mirrors.
If you want that, fine. Don't expect everyone else to be the same.
Again, for what use? I recall some news story from a few years back, I think somebody got shot as usual, where this fat cow was blathering about how her husband was buying her this multi-thousand dollar iPhone, wrapped up fancy as a gift... and why? "It has the latest Shiiiriiii!!" What? [Facepalm]. Consumertards.
Nobody seems to rob banks any more. It's always cell phone stores these days. Thieves break in to a car and they won't even touch cash - no, they only look for cell phones! Someone gets shot, and it's over a stupid toy cell phone. Stupid, drooling, addicted, consumertards.
Umbrellas that require a smart phone??!!?
People are just so desperate to justify their "need" for a smart phone, they try to make every tiny ridiculous little thing require a smart phone.
I've already mentioned this Covid-19 test that REQUIRES a smart phone. Why? There is no reason for any test like that to require any kind of external device. But... you know... smartphones!
More recently I read about a ridiculous "Umbrella sharing" service being launched in japan:
"To unlock an umbrella, a customer must use a smartphone to scan a QR code on the handle. When the code is scanned, the user is also prompted to rate the previous borrower by answering whether the umbrella was left in good condition. If users accumulate too many negative reviews, they are suspended."
For... an umbrella? That's stupid. The article went on complaining about how many plastic umbrellas are thrown away constantly, and how this would reduce waste.
I dunno... here is a novel though... how about buying umbrellas that LAST LONGER! I have had the same umbrella for at least 10 years now and it is still in good condition. I went to a lot of trouble finding a good one, and I don't plan on throwing it away any time soon. Sure, they break occasionally. My last one fell apart, but if it had been made a hair better I might still be using that one instead. I don't know about anyone else, but I produce much more waste than the occasional umbrella (glances at all the food containers that aren't officially recyclable because they are "kitchen garbage".)
I recall a while back there had been some scooter rental service ("e-scooters" was the fancy term they were using) that worked sort of like that around here. From what I heard, those also required smart phones to operate. At least scooters are more expensive devices, so not as ridiculous other than their smart phone requirement, and the frequent idiots getting hurt or killed on these things. Although given everything that has happened the last couple years, if you want to get around downtown Atlanta now, you might consider renting a TANK instead.
Then there are ride sharing services such as Lyft and Uber that mostly require a smart phone. In the old days, if you needed a taxi, you would just call some number and give them your address. Somehow making everyone buy a smart phone and downloading an "app" is easier? No. The ONLY reason these services even exist at all is that a distributed service model, treating drivers as contractors, enabled these companies to skirt around laws used to regulate taxi services.
Uber eats? I don't even know why anyone would trust food delivered by someone who is not an employee of the restaurant. I guess it does enable delivery from places that don't deliver. And delivery services have always been a good way to separate money from the rich. But why require a smart phone just for that? That's dumb. Of course, the handful of times I have gone to a restaurant, I either eat there or bring food back my damn self.
Oh dear. This page is going to piss a lot of people off. I've discovered over the years that even indirectly implying anything even vaguely negative about someone's oh-so-precious cell phone will insult and anger them more than if you had just kicked their DOG! You might want to ask yourself who REALLY has a problem here. Hint: It's not me.
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