(Thomas Dishaw) As a blogger and concerned citizen I try to put my money where my mouth is. I believe voting with my dollars is a way of life, therefore I do my best to only support companies, products, and people who I truly stand behind morally and politically. I came to an understanding long ago that the only way to get a point across criminal corporations is to affect their bottom line.
Over the last few months I have been having discussions with friends and family about getting rid of my smartphone and downgrading to a cheaper, less traceable flip phone. Sounds crazy, right? Most people think so, but at these critical times when everybody is distracted by their smartphones, a major social breakdown in society is happening . What used to be sounds of conversation, laughter and happiness surrounding us has been replaced by an eerie silence only filled with email and text alerts. We have become slaves to our devices, almost never looking up in fear of missing something from our glowing screens that continues to sell us propaganda and unhappiness for pennies on the dollar. Most acknowledgements like “Hello” or “How are you” are returned with dirty stares and confusion from people forced to look up from their personal enslavement devices.
So this really got me to start thinking “why am I paying a AT&T to spy on me?” I give them $110.00 a month for access to my own personal information, but what am I getting out of this deal? This is the question I often asked myself. I carry around a big brother tracking device that sends everything I do to EVERY alphabet agency on the planet, and ANY corporation that would pay a dime for my psychological profile and buying habits. You may be thinking, like a lot of people, “well if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t care.” Well I have everything to hide and I do care, and so should you.
PEOPLE LIKE ME ARE DANGEROUS
I decided I needed to make a change. As most continue to go high-tech, I made the unpopular decision of going lo-tech. After weeks of toying with the idea of ditching my smartphone I finally did it. Called AT&T, dumped my $110 a month service and switched to NET 10 for $35 a month unlimited phone & text (no internet). With that move alone I am already saving $75 per month and almost $1,000 per year. But more importantly I’m proving to myself and others that you don’t just have to put up with these phone companies because it’s the status quo. There are other options that allow you to still be connected but without giving up your freedom of privacy. I know I can’t stop 100% of the unconstitutional spying but I can start by controlling who I support.
In a weird way I actually enjoy the stares I get from people when my Nintendo sounding ring tone signals an incoming call when I forget to turn the vibrate on. I know people are secretly judging me, but I don’t care. “He must be a drug dealer, a criminal, or that’s a second phone for his mistress.” “He must have bad credit, or even worse he’s poor.” The main stream media wants us to think this way. They used the same narrative when attacking Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who was caught talking on a flip phone. The media made fun of Jones, attacking his lack of style and financial stature as a reason for using such an “outdated” device. I’m sure Jerry’s having the last laugh as he is making million dollar phone calls from his secure satellite phone.
Over the last month I’ve noticed that I need my phone less and less. Prior to this my cell phone used to follow me in trips to the bathroom, at the dinner table, and in the bedroom. Now I find it easy to abandon on the kitchen table and barely use a full battery. The biggest shock to me is that I don’t even miss it. I’m getting more accomplished everyday, I’m not wasting time on Facebook or getting sucked into the smart phone trance that often distracts us.
Some things are taking a little while to get used to though. I don’t have the luxury of taking a quality photo with my flip phone. I can’t get driving directions with my navigation app. I can’t look up a business or phone number on the fly. Texting is really tough compared to ease of my old “big brother tracking device”. And yes people will notice the difference. I recently got a text from a friend saying we don’t talk as much, and I found that it was too much to type a whole explanation on my flip phone. I guess I’ll just have to explain in person.
I don’t like to make bold predictions, but I don’t ever see myself going back to a smart phone. I know over the next few years the temptation will be great with all the new technology that continues to be developed. But to me the pros outweigh the cons:
- Voting with my dollars
- Saving money
- More productive
- Cut the surveillance drastically
- Eliminate the radiation risks
- Engaging in more conversation
- I’m not texting while driving
- I’m less distracted and more aware of my surroundings
- Cant take a good picture
- It’s a hassle to text
- Can’t Email
- Can’t surf the web
- Can’t get driving directions
- Can’t enjoy the internet from my bed
The pro’s drastically outweigh the cons, so stop being a slave. If the opportunity ever arises to ditch your cell phone try it. I guarantee it will be one of the best investments in time and quality of life that you ever make.