OK, maybe not cool, but they are intellectual.
My ancient Morola Razr may not have many bells and whistles, the battery has increasingly shorter life time, and texting is a pain, but I will only give it up under duress.
These guys are sans Smartphone, all for pretty much the same reason: they don't trust themselves with it around. These chirpy devices make it so easy to tune other human beings out, to ignore to-do lists, to let personal discipline take a hit for the worst.
Smartphones are especially pernicious because they “increase the ease of access to the Internet far beyond anything we’ve had with laptops,” Mr. Carr said in an interview over his land line (he also owns a dumbphone, as do the other family members). “You see a similar type of compulsive behavior” to computer-assisted Web surfing, “but it can go on continuously from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep.
If anyone questions a personal decision to go technologically dinosaur, feel free to sniff condescendingly using the insights of Jonathan Safran Foer.
Jonathan Safran Foer, who jettisoned his smartphone after reading “The Shallows” and “finding myself checking my phone while giving my kids a bath . . . It can be nice to stay in touch, but smartphones necessarily redefine ‘being in touch’ to mean something that has almost no value. (What was I checking for? Tossed-off e-mails from people I barely know.)”
Has Mr. Foer noticed a change in his attentiveness when writing? “Without a doubt and dramatically,” he wrote.
And would he allow those children he bathes, if they were of smartphone-owning age, to have one? A resounding no.
Take doctors, for instance. They are not immune from the tantalizing distraction that smartphones provide. A tad frightening, I would think.
Moreover, in a field often entailing meetings with patients and families about serious illness or end-of-life issues, Dr. Epstein has observed how smartphones can endanger bedside manner. “I’ve occasionally seen younger doctors surreptitiously checking their smartphones, hopefully for work purposes, during those meetings,” he said.
I would want my doctor's full attention!
Jim Harig, 24 . . . bought his waterproof and shockproof Casio flip phone four years ago . . . Like Dr. Epstein, he holds particular scorn for Angry Birds, which he played once on his fiancée’s phone. “I felt like I lost a half-hour of my life,” Mr. Harig said. “I said, ‘Never again, just take this away from me.’ ” And he also appreciates maintaining the distinct spheres of office and home. “It’s nice to disconnect myself once I shut my computer down at the end of the week,” he said.
I least I can say that my trend of avoiding apps was written up in the fashion section.