Monday, 31 October 2011

Not really life with a dumbphone

One of the worst things on the Internet is attempting to outgeek geeks. Only one thing is worse, and that is trying to out-hipster hipsters.

For the uninitiated, I'll try to define "hipster" (in its Internet sense) a little more concisely than Wikipedia and UrbanDictionary.
A hipster is someone who actively rejects the mainstream, and a large part of the reasoning is that the idea of a "mainstream" seems to run counter to their need to stand out from the teeming, unwashed masses who have seemingly been brainwashed into their 'preferences'.
I (try to) pass no value judgement on hipsters, as sometimes I can come across similarly (being a Bieber-hater, for e.g., although I try to convince myself that it's because he's shite.)

And yet, when I try to draw on other people's experiences in a life with a dumbphone, I come across examples that are either not really dumbphone enough (GPS? Music? Podcasts? WTF?), or way too smartphone-hating.

The problem with the first linked post is that the blogger's reaction is a little extreme. He tries out a Moto Cliq tied to T-Mobile, and after a terrible first experience, continues to do the exact same thing! He then moves on to a Huawei Comet (again with T-Mobile), and has an even worse experience, promptly pronounces renunciation of smartphones, and goes for an LG "feature"-phone. Which can still do GPS, music and podcasts.

So it's not really "life with a dumphone", but more like "life with a non-shitty phone and service provider, but let's start small". He's basically gone hipster without knowing it.

My issue with the second linked post (in two parts, One and Two) is that it is phenomenally hipster, in that it denounces the typical smartphone user as being a socially inept person in real life, who dumps all over real-world relationships, based on a survey done by a phone systems company ("81 percent of survey participants said they would prefer being single and keeping their smartphones!", "on average, an adult spent nine hours a day playing with a smartphone and only about 27 minutes per day talking with their significant others!") Except that the study it cites was an April Fool's gag, as confirmed by the company in question on their blog. There's an important lesson in there about getting your data from the right sources, as well.

After having to forcibly live with a "proper" dumbphone, it is a little strange that there is such little chronicling of such experiences. Ah well, if the mountain will not come to Muhammad...

5 comments:

Devika said...

Just noticed the URL. Nice! But where is Fiona's corresponding page? Has she shifted? :)

Shrikant Narasimhan said...

Go to original, and you'll see.

Didn't want to be sexist technosnob and co-opt choice of subdomain, so it stays same as original until she decides otherwise :D

Devika said...

So the Wordpress-Blogspot divide exists in your family as well. :D

Shrikant said...

Um.. nope. Where do you see Wordpress?

mac leasing said...

The distinction between smartphones and feature phones can be vague and there is no official definition for what constitutes the difference between them. Different model have emerge through the beginning of this century.