This is the phone in my pocket. A $40, no-contract flip phone. It’s terrible.
A few months ago, I broke my iPhone 5. I dropped it repeatedly (four times!) until the screen finally gave up and wouldn’t show me anything but what looked like a screensaver for The Matrix.
'Going flip phone' was another small attempt to investigate what it's like to be smart phone-less. I did something similar about a year ago.
Like I said earlier — this phone is the worst. Having no phone is preferred to trying to use this in any capacity. The lovely AT&T Z222 lacks many, many modern amenities. Vibrate, for one.
Doing this little experiment over again, I learned three things. The first being that the iPhone is one of the most well-considered products ever made (duh!), and feature phones are a wasteland of poor design. It’s an obvious point, but use a cheap flip phone for a week and you’ll gaze upon everyone with an iPhone as some mysterious rich person from the future.
The other observation being my ability to get “lost in the Internet” simply transfers itself from the phone to the laptop. What I don’t do standing in line for coffee, I’ll find time for when I sit down to work. Owning a shitty phone isn’t a salve for my Internet addled ADD. More restraint and discipline on my part are the only way to prevent hour-long Wikipedia k-holes.
The last bit is that texting can be a loaded social interaction. There’s effort that goes into messaging a friend. Let’s say your friend texts you to let you know she’ll be 15 minutes late. “No worries, no rush” you text back, letting her know you’re not in a hurry, all is forgiven. With a shitty flip phone, you just text back “ok” (which still takes a minute to type and send) and come off like an angry, butt-hurt caveman.
Not having to communicate well or kindly over typed messages — all day long — was a nice thing to experience.
Still, this experiment is torture. I’m buying an iPhone next week.
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