Flipping out

Smartphones overrated, cause more harm than good

I’ve heard a lot of people complain about their smartphones, even though they have spent $700+ on them. They say the case is ugly, or the screen is cracked. Some grumble that their screens are too small, so they can’t see their friend’s social media posts. Others say their games take too long to load.

You whiners have nothing on me! My phone really is something to complain about. It has a 3¾” by 1¾” screen, with a diagonal of 4½”. It doesn’t connect to the internet. I don’t have any fancy apps or games. All I can do is text or, if I’m feeling especially brave, call my friends and family. I have to click each button several times to type the letter or number I want. 

Have you heard of this archaic piece of technology that uses T9 texting? I have a *whispers* flip phone. And I love it!

I didn’t have a phone at all until this summer. My older sister graduated high school, and she got a smartphone. I inherited her old flip phone. Many people, from my fellow students to my teachers, expect that every high schooler has a smartphone. Not this one! 

If one of my teachers plays a game of Kahoot, I have to pull out my school laptop. I can’t text people during class without people noticing because the buttons click when I press them. It’s not a feature that I can turn off. 

Okay, I haven’t been entirely honest. There are different settings for the keyboard, so if I wanted, the phone would autocomplete the words. I just don’t like it; it’s too often wrong. Also, it was not my choice to have a flip phone; that was my parents’ decision. If it were entirely up to me, I would probably have a smartphone. But I don’t have a smartphone. Surprisingly, I rather enjoy it. 

As far as I know, the crazy people who actually want smartphones have them for reasons such as wanting to have social media, games, and the internet, wanting to be cool, and caving to peer pressure. 

I can understand wanting access to the internet. That is one of the main reasons I want a smartphone. It would be nice to be able to look things up anytime and anywhere. Then I might not have to rely on my mom to look up how to pronounce some words! However, I don’t understand the other reasons why people want smartphones.

I don’t want to have social media. It involves putting your best side out there for all to see while hiding any imperfections. I don’t want to deal with the pressure of always posting picture-perfect activities on social media. I’m really boring, and the activities I enjoy wouldn’t look good in pictures. Who would want to see a billion pictures of a girl doing homework? Or reading when I’ve finally finished all of that homework?

Having a smartphone would be distracting. I already hate having almost all of my homework involve the internet. When I’m on my school computer, I get distracted more easily, so I can’t imagine how much more distracting having a smartphone would be! It would be so easy to pull it out and waste hours at a time. I procrastinate enough without having a smartphone to distract me! 

Since all I can do on my flip phone is text people, it’s not very distracting. If I’m bored and have nothing else to do, sure, I might pull it out. Even if I’m on my flip phone, I only spend more time talking to my family. Only having the limited options of a flip phone reminds me to talk to my family more.

I’m also really bad with technology. It takes me a while to figure out a new gadgety thingy. The good thing about a flip phone is that it is really easy to use. Since the only things I can do on my phone are text and call, I only have two functions I have to figure out. Even my poor technology skills (or lack thereof) can handle that!

Another benefit of having a flip phone is that they are entirely thief-proof. Actually, they’re not, because I don’t have a password on the phone. But anyway, no thief in their right mind would want to take a flip phone. I mean, I want a flip phone, but I never claimed to be normal. Also, if I leave my phone at an activity, everyone automatically knows whose phone it is.

Another reason I’m happy with my flip phone is that it makes it harder for me to get into trouble. Any time I hear people talking about TikTok, I am glad that I don’t have that app. While I could control which apps I put on my hypothetical smartphone, I couldn’t completely avoid all bad influences. All the negativity in news articles would be too much for me. 

Flip phones are also good for privacy. I’m an introvert, so I like having an excuse not to have to communicate with everyone via phones. In-person communication is stressful enough! When communicating through technology, it is so hard to convey the right emotion. Sometimes I have to try very hard to make sure whatever I’m saying doesn’t make me sound angry. Since I only have a flip phone, I can use that as an excuse if people are asking why I’m not on social media. 

 Finally, flip phones are much cheaper than smartphones. I am fairly responsible, but accidents still happen. I would be so stressed if I had to carry around a $700-ish device. I still try to be careful with my flip phone, but at least if I drop it, it would only cost about $100 to replace. I have more perspective on how valuable phones are because I have to survive with only a flip phone.

The only true negative, other than the lack of internet access, about having a flip phone is that everyone expects me to have a smartphone. Usually, I’m okay without it at school because of my school computer. However, it’s hard for me to take pictures or videos to turn in assignments or to use as proof that I did a required activity without a smartphone. The school computer’s camera is not very good, and it’s not in a convenient location on my laptop, so it’s hard to see what I’m taking a picture of. Also, people expect me to be able to communicate with them through social media (GroupMe, Snapchat, Instagram, church apps).

I don’t think I convinced anyone that flip phones are better than smartphones. But I hope I did give a glimpse into what it is like to live without a smartphone. There are some downsides to having a flip phone, including limited access to the internet and being expected to have a smartphone. But there are also many benefits, including talking more with my family, having fewer distractions, and not having bad influences.