Deliverance from a smartphone
July 6th, 2016
So I recently took the plunge that I had been musing about for the last six months - replacing my current smartphone, a comparatively modest Moto E, with a phone that does just two things - call and text. In other words, a return to a dumb-phone. I see this step as another one in a long line of steps which have all been aimed at my eventual goal of wresting back my autonomy, freedom, and sanity from the madhouse that is the modern connected world. This long line has included other steps such as quitting social networks such as Facebook and deactivating digital personal assistants but the overarching emphasis has always been to rely less and less on those modern tools which adversely affect some human qualities which I deem worthy of preserving in myself. I think that people are too connected nowadays, to the extent that it is psychologically damaging. It has become far too easy to compare oneself to a very large social circle and such relentless comparisons decimate any possibility of a human being's independent conception of himself. They also encourage behavior which induces anxiety - seeking acceptance from those who do not matter in one's life, constantly lying in little ways to appear an ideal vision of oneself in the eyes of others. The constant din of notifications appears to reduce the ability to concentrate and has all but relegated to the pages of history, the ability to introspect and reflect. The result is a human being defined completely in relation to the expectations of others, with no power to resist and no desire to think.
I have wanted no part of this degradation and degeneration. My limited capacities mean that I can only be interested in the lives of a very small number of people. My immediate family and maybe 2 more friends. All the rest is noise and needless distraction to me. There is a real world out there which still responds to my pokes, which still crystallizes into beautiful patterns under the tools of my thoughts. It is a little sad that this world is infested with fools who are constantly staring at their phones but there are better aspects to it still. Animals, for instance!