Like most millennials, I’m absolutely obsessed with my phone. Not a minute goes by that I don’t pick it up and use it, either to send a WhatsApp message, catch up with the latest trends, or check my work emails. Recently I’ve realised just how much of the day I spend staring at screens. It’s crazy! So for one week I turned my handset off, and replaced it with a big knife. This is what happened.
People react differently to you if you don’t have a smartphone. I met an old friend in the street and I agreed to check out her fitness Tumblr - but when I pulled out my big knife to take down the URL, she ran a mile. Damn, I suppose it must really shock people when they find out someone doesn’t own a smartphone. What does that say about the world we live in? I think it’s unhealthy.
One of the best things about having a smartphone is that you’re never behind when it comes to the latest fads and trends. But can you do the same thing if you’re carrying a big old knife instead of a Samsung Galaxy S7? Judging by today, no. I read an article on my laptop computer this evening about a man approaching people in Soho Square with a weapon.
Damn - I was in Soho only earlier today. If I had my phone, I would have seen this story and avoided the area. It makes you think.
Here’s another thing about having a smartphone. When you’re at a train station waiting for a friend, you’re never bored. You can whip it out and lose yourself in Words With Friends, or idly reach out to potential sexual partners on Tinder. With a big enormous knife? Not so much. No sooner had I sat down and instinctively pulled out my steely blade, I was shouted at by a security guard and chased from the premises. What’s the opposite of a luddite? Because I think I found one!
It’s so depressing when you see a couple in a restaurant silently squandering their love by staring into screens instead of, I don’t know, talking to each other??? The cool thing about replacing your phone with a gleaming cutlass is that that just isn’t possible. Sure, my date didn’t go too well, but at least we realised right away that we weren’t right for each other, unlike many other couples. As for me, I’ll just have to find a girl who is a little more career focused, and a little less confused about my decision to jettison my smartphone for a glistening shiv.
One thing you have to hand to the humble smartphone is that it makes it easy for people to reach you in case of an emergency. A sleek and handsome scimitar just can’t compete in this regard. I found out when I got to work that my mother had been trying to reach me this morning to address some rumours. Well, mum, I’ll give you a call - just as soon as I’ve figured out how to use the keypad on this glimmering shank!
One thing I certainly don’t miss about my smartphone is the shabby battery life. Even if you charged the thing overnight, you could guarantee it’d be running out of juice after a few rounds of Candy Crush and a Guardian Long Read. Not so with a huge, twinkling cleaver. You can use that badboy five or six times in quick succession and each blow is just as effective as the last. Can you say that about an iPhone 6 Plus? I have my doubts.
Well, I’ve come to the end of a very interesting week without my smartphone. I’ve certainly gained some new perspective as a result of my decision to junk that device in favour of a large, lustrous sidearm. Technology is wonderful, and it’s important to participate in the modern world, but we should never forget that there’s a world beyond our smartphone screens. In an age in which governments and corporations are taking an increasing interest in our private digital interactions, it can be a good idea to get off grid once in a while. So long!