Proud of My Dumb Phone

A week or so ago while I was on my break at work one of my friends that also works in the MU came and talked with me for a bit while I ate my lunch. At some point in the conversation I must have answered a text or checked the time on my phone because a few minutes after she left I received a message from her saying “props for not having a smart phone btw”. When I received the message I was a bit confused at first as to why she cared that I didn’t have an iPhone or phone of its caliber so I asked her to clarify. She simply answered “everyone has an iPhone but you don’t, and I think that’s something to be proud of”.

After I thought about it for a while I realized that not having an iPhone really was something to be proud of. A few months back I dropped my phone in a swimming pool and went down to the Verizon store to look at new ones and almost talked myself into purchasing a brand new iPhone 4S until I realized that I didn’t need one in the slightest. iPhones and other smart phones are wonderful and powerful machines that can do thousands of beautiful things right from the palm of your hand and in that respect should be admired and appreciated. However throughout the course of the day during the school week I have somewhere between 1-2 hours of time not spent biking, walking, working, listening to a lecture or doing homework. My point is that most of my time is spent doing semi=productive things and being able to check my Facebook or upload photos to Instagram at any moment would become way to distracting for me to get anything done, not to mention the sheer price tag that an iPhone carries or the money you have to pay for a service plan on top of that. Plus, before the school year even started I bought myself a MacBook which a) has all the capabilities of an iPhone and b) I carry around everywhere anyway, leaving an iPhone next to useless to me. Even beyond those points, does anyone really need to be connected to the internet at all times of the day? There’s something to be said for being able to function without checking for notifications every five minutes. 

My phone may not be the most glamorous looking thing in the world but it does what I need it to do, and I fill in the rest of the blanks with the rest of what I have. I sit here with my dumb thirty dollar phone that can only send texts and receive calls, and I’m proud. 

Do you really need your iPhone? How would life be functioning without it for a week? A month? Does it do you more favors than it does harm? Let me hear your thoughts!

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Is That Text Worth Death?

What has changed in your world in the past ten years? Likely, everything about your life has completely changed. Similarly, the technology world has changed immensely in the past ten years. TV’s have grown about 20 inches, computers have shrunk about 10 inches, and cell phones have evolved from cordless bricks to handheld lifelines that control our every move. Further, today’s cell phones give us the ability to send instant messages, send emails, update Facebook statuses, take pictures, use GPS, and a whole plethora of other applications. Many of these phones are more complex than your basic desktop computer! And while it may seem remarkable that we have limitless access at our fingertips, the extended capabilities of cell phones may be more detrimental than useful. One issue that may arise from this limitless access is texting and driving.

Since 2010, texting and driving has increased almost 50% (AT&T It Can Wait Campaign). The specific reason for this increase in texting and driving is unknown, but it has been found that texting and driving is even more dangerous than it once was (if that’s at all possible). Prior to touch screen phones, people were able to text without looking at their phones because they could feel the buttons. Today’s phones, however, require that we look at them because there are no buttons. Each time we look at our phones, we spend almost five seconds with our eyes off of the road (AT&T It Can Wait Campaign). Five seconds is enough time to travel across the length of a soccer field! And obviously, five seconds is also more than enough time to get into an accident. One report says that “texting and driving results in longer response times than even drunk driving!” A drunk driver only needs an additional four feet to start braking, while a driver who’s texting needs an additional 70 feet to begin braking (Cell Phone and Texting Accident Statistics).

So why do we continue to text and drive? Further, why are we still allowed to text and drive? Only fourteen states and the District of Colombia have banned texting and driving. Even more surprising is that only six states and the District of Colombia have prohibited driving and talking on the phone (Cell Phone and Texting Accident Statistics). With approximately 3,092 distraction-related deaths in 2010, you’d think lawmakers would crack down on this issue. Some argue, though, that it’s not the government’s responsibility. Do you think the government should put restrictions on what we’re allowed to do while driving? Or should we take it upon ourselves and just stop driving distracted?

For those who think we should take it upon ourselves to stop distracted driving: there’s an app for that. Recently, AT&T developed an app called “Drive Mode”.  Drive Mode is an app that once activated, disables incoming calls and text while you are driving. All calls go straight to voicemail and all texts and emails get autoreplies (if you choose).  Drive Mode also has an “allow list” of people that you’re allowed to receive calls from and make calls to while the app is running. Further, 911 is always accessible whether the app is running or not. If you choose to download this app, you are choosing to take the pledge to stop texting and driving. I already took the pledge. Will you?

If you are interested, take the pledge now! Do not text and drive. Someone needs you.