What with one thing and another (a wonder of a phrase allowing the avoidance of the conversational minefield that are “the details”) I have found myself back in the telephonic analogue age. Yup. No more iPhone. I’ve regressed to having a phone with Actual Buttons. Retro, baby.
I’ve taken to calling it my analogue phone. That makes it sound like an actual thing. People refer to their iPhones; I refer to my analogue phone. Whilst not strictly correct, a quick Google Image search using that term displays a fine shit-parade of phones which capture the ‘magic’ of mine perfectly, so I’m sticking with it.
I”m not keen to reveal exactly which model I’ve plumped for (by ‘plumped for’ I mean ‘found lying in a drawer’), but perhaps a simple analogy would assist. If the most coveted of all phones the iPhone 5 is, let’s say, the XBox 360, and the 1983 Motorola DynaTAC 8000X (you know it – “the brick”) is a Z-X Spectrum (or Specky as it was known in my day), then my current phone comes in somewhere around the Sega Master System mark. That’s right. Not quite as shit as the NES but missing certain qualities that would put it up there with the Megadrive / Super Nintendo.
For example, there is a picture of a globe on my current phone suggesting internet can indeed be accessed. Manually move the cursor (remember – analogue phone equals Actual Buttons), select the globe and…nothing. It seems that even GPS and wireless signalling have moved on and left my little phone behind.
But is this a bad thing? Over the last few weeks I’ve become more inclined to think that No is the answer. It’s no bad thing. And here’s why.
1. The Actual Buttons on an analogue phone allow you to text whilst driving. I mean, What? Absolutely not, officer. I was doing no such thing.
2. I am not pestered by people firing me emails, SPAM, whatever, wherever I go. Because let’s be honest, my phone vibrates in my pocket, I’m excited – Ooh, someone’s texting me! Perhaps it’s an invite to that (insert social event here), I pull out my phone…only to see it’s another load-of-shit email trying to sell me car insurance / Nectar points / sex aids. But with no internet to carry about with me, that needless disappointment is no longer a concern.
3. People get my full attention. None of this constant checking of various accounts and frivolous status updates. Not that I ever really did that, but I’m pleased not to be carrying around a device that is a gateway to such attention-deficit behaviour. I’m with the people I’m with, not the internet.
4. If the answer isn’t known, an interesting and thought-provoking conversation will take place as to what it could be. Wikipanion is no more. The answers are there to be made up over booze-fuelled revelry. Excellent. Even if the answers we reach are wrong. This also bodes well for the re-birth of the pub quiz.
5. Despite not being a sexed-up Apple product, my analogue phone is smaller and lighter and kind of cooler than an iPhone…in a plasticky buttons-that-glow-in-the-dark kind of a way. No, really. It is.
I do miss Instagram though.