Disclaimer: This is not about photography.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you – my new CrapPhone!
I’ve read a few different articles of late that discuss the problems associated with information overload. What happens when you live in a world when everything is constantly vying for your attention and sending you notifications? One such quality long read that Medium put out is here.
It was a topical read as I was in-between phones. iPhones specifically.
Well, calling the iPhone a “phone” is being much too generous to the phone. The iPhone is a computer with the internet that is with you all day long. In your pocket. Most of what I am saying is not ground breaking. But when you stop having the computer in your pocket, you think about this more.
So I thought I should leave it. And I did. I purchased the terribly un-user friendly LG Expression 2. Some notes about the phone and the plan:
- Unlimited Text Messages
- No Email. No Internet
- No Instagram (just driving the earlier point home)
- I get to make phone calls.
- A keyboard with little keys
- If it had internet, I could connect with AT&T’s cloud based address book. But it doesn’t. So my address book has three phone numbers in it.
- $20 per month
- Amazing battery life. Like a week.
What’s incredible is how slow this thing is. To capitalize a letter, I have to push the “alt” button and then the key. Well, it takes about half of a second for the phone to register the alt key so typing has to be slower lest you cause a typo. I guess this is what happens when you don’t have a proper CPU behind your operating system.
The software also has an utter lack of regard for user experience. The best example I have is with text-messaging. Lets say I am in a “text conversation”. Everytime the other party texts me, a pop up exclaims “You have a new Text Message. Hit OK”. And then I have to hit the “OK” button and then respond. This is less a conversation than it is like using slightly faster snailmail. I have tried turning off this notification in the settings but no dice. At first, the unlimited text messages amenity sounded great, but now, I just don’t even want to text.
It won’t even render emojis. Just black squares. Not sure what protocol texts run on, but apparently winky yellow faces require HTTP.
Wowzers, is LG just terrible or is Apple just that great? I suppose all phones were this bad way back when (its almost been 10 years since Apple released the iPhone).
But, for now, I like it. No really, its true. I like the fact that it is shitty and recognize that I don’t want to use it. I simply don’t want to use my phone for anything. Except (god forbid) making calls.
I now read a book on the train. I don’t read the news when I go to the bathroom (too much information?). I have to look up the location of a place beforehand and make sure to have the proper directions because I’m now sans-Google-maps. I’ve noticed the wife looks way to much at her iPhone during dinner (maybe I need to step up my conversation game then?).
So, in the end, there are two benefits to not having an iPhone. First, I only pay $20 per month. Not to brag but I was fine with $120 per month paid to Verizon earlier as it wasn’t a huge portion of my disposable income. The second benefit is much more valuable – I am now less attention deficit. And this is not just hyperbolic luddism used to justify some new-age psychology. It’s like being addicted to smoking and really recognizing your addiction. I guess the long battery life is a benefit. But it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy because I just don’t want to use it.
Thank you, LG, for such a terribly shitty phone that I don’t want to use. It’s helping bring back what sanity may be left.