What are some bad things about owning a smart phone?

The other day I found myself with no phone or wallet late and had to use a pay phone (yes they still exist) to reach the person who had I assumed had my stuff. The problem? I didn't remember anyone's number, not one person's. 15 minutes later after some in-the-zone deep thinking I managed to correctly remember (after a few tries) an old friends number and called it and went from there. For this hassle I blame my smart phone (which I successfully got back) for doing all these little things for me and making me dumber by the day.

8 years ago by aj0690 with 15 comments

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  • drunkenninja

    Can't see to get away from it, feels like I am constantly getting interrupted by emails, skype messages, text messages, app notifications, etc. Sometimes when I get away for a few days and my phone has no signal I get to rest from all of that, which is nice.

    • IridescentOak

      That reminds me of when I got my first phone from my parents. After a few months with it, I just gave up and told my mom she could have the phone back, because I was constantly getting rung. (I did come to regret this decision, though not until a few years later; I was the quiet kid who always had their nose stuck in a book.)

    • SuperCyan

      I have a girlfriend that likes to talk 24/7, and it constantly reminds me of that desire to get away from it all.

      I'm the type of person that can lie around and literally do nothing for hours; I love doing it. Sometimes, I just want to sit around and think without interruption. However, if I do, I get a thousand "Hello?", "Are you ignoring me?", messages if I get away from my phone for an hour.

  • spaceghoti

    I don't have enough money to buy the latest toys. :'(

  • septimine

    The downsides

    1. It's literally a tracking device for anyone who knows your phone. There's an article that talks about women in abusive situations, and the phone makes it easy for their abusers to track them wherever they go. Most shelters take them away for just that reason. Apps like find my phone are great so long as you have no one to hide from. Given the ability of law enforcement, it's even better for them than a gps monitor. Seriously, had you told someone in 1960 that Americans would pay to carry a device that would track them no matter where they went or what they were doing, they'd think we were crazy.

    2. It contains everything about you, making things like identity theft easy. If I have your phone, I have your family's names, I have pictures of everything you value, I have your Facebook, Twitter, etc. I also have your credit card. I have everything I need to steal your credit, drain your bank accounts (especially if you're nice enough to download the helpful app from the bank).

    3. It puts you always in contact with everyone. I grew up in the 80s and 90s, and you weren't expected to be available all the time. If you went out to dinner with your boyfriend, your family, friends, boss, and so on just had to wait their turn. If you wanted some VHS and chill time, you turned off the ringer on your land line, and you had the whole night to yourselves. It gave you downtime away from work where you weren't asked to answer work problems at home, once you left, you could be unreadable. It ,means social time is just that. One on one, not one vs everyone else no constant interruptions from other people demanding part of your time.

  • sgfc

    I feel like I am cut off from the world if I forget it or run out of juice. And yes, I do not know anyone's number except for my Moms.

  • willyb321 (edited 8 years ago)

    um i forget to charge it -sometimes- all the time

  • jenjen1352

    I'm forever leaving it in a room I'm not in and consequently don't hear the text alert. Then I get moaned at.

  • sauce

    They can track you. NSA is scary shit.

  • zerozechs

    Technology is not the answer to everything.

    I don't agree with him completely; smartphones are one of the most democratizing forces ever unleashed on the planet, and empowers the average person leaps and bounds past anything feverishly imagined a mere 20 years ago. However, people can and will become over-reliant on anything. No doubt similar arguments were made about the tractor and accurate weather forecasting making farming too easy and thus farmers were losing their connection to nature. The reality is that human societies are always predicated on the systems and technologies we employ to make our lives easier working consistently. When these break down, yes, people will not always be able to cope. However, people will always be people and will thus be able to work things out, by and by.

    I think an argument could successfully be made that a smartphone is by nature a compromised piece of technology, and will never perform any of its sub-tasks (camera, video recorder, PC etc.) as optimally as a modern device designed for that single task. That has some merit and for professionals or enthusiasts in those fields makes sense. Still, for the average end user, these aren't the real concerns. There are better arguments for not using a smartphone; privacy concerns, unit cost, cost of service, poor battery life etc. The privacy concerns are the real issue, and in many ways are insurmountable if you wish to use the multitude of location based functionality that a smartphone provides.

    I think the real virtue of a smartphone is that you now have ultimate reachability. You will receive phone calls, text messages, emails, chats, instant messages etc. in real time, regardless of where you are provided you have service. How important (or even desirable) that is is dependent on your outlook on this reachability. I can foresee circumstances where a person, not wanting to be that accessible, goes back to a basic phone that only a select few people can reach at any given time, provided they are willing to give up all the functionality that a smartphone provides. I've considered doing this myself, as all I really need is a camera for emergency pictures (like car accidents) and some form of mp3 playback (almost universal now). The cost of breaking my contract with Verizon is all that is keeping me from attempting this experiment.

  • darvinhg

    If you lose it you're out $300-900

  • SuperCyan

    Other people using them.

    I've always been the person in a group that's on their phone the least, and it's annoying. I've had friends pull out their phone and start doing something mid conversation - and fail to really pay full attention to what anyone is saying. It's like, you can play on that thing all day, and you wait until I, or another friend, who you have a limited time with, open our mouths before you decide to check Clash of Clans?

    Then there's the fuckheads at work that never do anything besides sit on their phone, which is a different ballgame.

  • Appaloosa

    Walking into a truck while googling, strolling over a cliff while streaming, driving head on into another car in the middle of your OMG.

  • Grassgrows

    Being one of those robot-like people on the subway, each staring into their own little screen. Bit apocalyptic if you ask me...(I do it too, though)