Below is one woman’s story of breaking up with her cell phone. Enjoy!
By Bakhita D. Robinson
I went hesitantly into the cell phone relationship in the ’90’s with my tech-intoxicated friends chiding me on. I remained flip phone committed until around 2012 when I hesitantly switched to a smart phone – which I always feared would make me dumber.It’s been a love/hate relationship with the thing, knowing it was a tool of entrapment that meant humanity nothing good, fostered dependency, and killed creative thought and critical thinking skills in a most crippling way. I’ve always been awake about it all yet slightly dozing until around 2019, just before Novid happened and something (God? Spirit?) slapped me awake. I woke fully (and literally from a nap) and started a campaign of killing the technology around me like a crazed woman smashing an invasion of cockroaches with her shoe. it didn’t happen all in one day but perhaps over a week or so…
I got off Fakebook, removed GooGoo as much as I could from my cell phone, quit Gmail, downloaded all my data from GooGoo then disabled the account. My smart TV went out the door and I got a house phone. When I realized it was voice over internet and came with some gadget attached to my house I squashed that bug too. Still though…hanging on to the smart phone but with more conscientious and limited usage.This pass February I dropped down another gear by getting rid of my cell phone provider and installing Magic Jack at my home. The MJ subscription includes an app by which the service can be used on your cell phone as well, if you can locate a hotspot. I got rid of the smart phone provider so other than the $75 for the installation of the MJ I have no bill for phone usage in my home or the smart phone. Yes, it’s still over the internet but since there’s no monthly bill, I’m no longer paying to be surveilled I get it free! Also I access the internet via Ethernet rather than wi-fi. Since the MJ app to use the smart phone can only be used if I can find a hot spot when I’m out and about, it’s not readily and easily available. This has given me more emotional distance and less dependence on the cell-killing device.
No, I haven’t entirely broken up with the dang thing but good things are happening. Since I don’t have ready access to GPS around town, I’ve actually relearned how to think about how to get around. Go figure! I keep maps in my car when traveling over the road on trips, print directions before leaving home and I have a Garmin I use occasionally. Additionally I’ve reacquired old school tech devices with functions that have all been gradually sucked into the smart phone. I have a digital clock and an analog one by my bedside, the latter I use as an alarm. I keep a thermometer in my window to gauge the outside temperature and I have the old fashioned weather phone number on speed dial. Of course, I have a pocket flashlight and I’m making the transformation to taking my EBAY pictures with my Nikon instead of the thing. My objective is to need to consult the military weapon as little as possible until I can do away with it.
As one who has been playing around the edges of canning this toxic union for sometime, I can tell you it gets frustrating when I’m dealing with an issue that takes time and mental effort that I know could be handled in 30secs with that little square piece of crap in my hands. But I can also tell you there are moments of lightness and feelings of freedom that are so worth it.