Thursday, March 04, 2010

iPhones – Friend or Foe?

I am an old fashioned girl. In some respects, at least. My current cell phone has 3 basic functions: 1) to take/receive phone calls; 2) (clumsily) send/receive texts and 3) to make me look like a social pariah when using it in public cause I don’t have internet, email, video, apps, gps, etc.

I am on the fence about these new fangled fancy phones with their apps that give you directions, count your calories, pick a restaurant for you, do your calculus homework for you, and a whole host of other things that take the work out of living. On one hand, it would be nice to have directions at your fingertips -when K and I explore a new area of LA, we have that ultra cumbersome task of having to print off mapquest directions. Yes, people still do that. Taking the decision out of our hands for where to eat tonight might save hours of argument. Hell, I bet there’s an app for doing a recipe search and it automatically generates a shopping list for you and locates the grocery store that offers the best price on those items. I would love that.

On the other hand, are all these helpful apps really just making our life easier, or in actuality taking away our ability to put effort into something? Like, if we become accustomed to having all the answers at our fingertips, never having to really think about the where, why and how to get these answers, are we really doing ourselves a favor? Will we lose the ability to problem solve? To make our own decisions? Have the ability to read a map? Understand how to calculate a 30% off sale price? I know I sound like a curmudgeonly old bitch here, but I have always thought that sometimes the effort you put into something is just as important as the final result.

Of course, I realize I am totally generalizing – I’m sure the 90% of the people who own these kind of phones do know how to read a map, deduct 30% from the price of an item, can decide for themselves that they want to Sushi versus Italian for dinner, or look up a phone number in a phone book. I’m not advocating against technology here. I just believe that the easiest way is not always the best way.

Ok, off the soapbox for today.

At least I didn’t get into how annoying it is to have to hear people bitch and moan about being broke all the time, when they have a $100 month cell phone bill cause they NEED access to twitter, Facebook, gmail every second of the day.


  1. Ha, ha! That last paragraph is awesome! I'm with you. The internet is so widely available that I don't feel the need to access it on my phone. I check my email enough everywhere else. I don't want an annoying notification when I'm out with friends and family. Stopping by from SITS.

  2. I used to think my darling husband was the smartest guy on the planet until one day the Internet went out and I found out he could barely tie his shoes. Shane draws 90% of his intellect from Google. I think his iPhone allows him to function as a human in public.

  3. I kind of agree with you. I'm very happy with my un-smart phone!

  4. I agree with you - I've got a relatively unsmart phone on a pay as you go plan... It does have a keyboard to make texting and surfing the web a little easier... but no apps for that... I'm not really interested in jumping into the whole $100 a month or more fray - I pay $15 a month now and it does more than i need...