Why I Don’t Own a Smart Phone (not yet, at least)

I have a fear of commitment. There, I said it.

You can call me on it, and I’ll admit it too. I, like many people in the United States, grew up with the internet breathing down my throats. I was five or six when my family bought their first computer, an old Tandy 3000 that ran MS-DOS. It was a Christmas present from my father, and I remember walking upstairs to see stacks of boxes bigger than me.

In the years after, my friend introduced me to BBS’s and, later, Prodigy. As I grew up, and we inevitably upgraded our PC away from the old floppy disc drive (how long has it been since you saw a 3.5″ disk?) to a CD-ROM (how long as it been since you installed something from a CD? Hell, they don’t evenĀ have those on most new hardware devices), two important things happened:

1. I Kept Playing Outside

2. I Grew Up

Believe it or not, I remember receiving letters from my ICQ friends when I was younger. Not emails, actual letters from my internet friends, because that was the only way to get a picture of someone at the time. Computers and the internet were coming up, but they still hadn’t carved out a real place in reality where they were the core of our existence. People still thought it was fad.

I also grew up interacting with people face-to-face, and it wasn’t long ago either. I’m old enough that I played NES, but young enough that I still remember the N64. I also remember shooting my neighbors and I shooting each other with BB guns.

So, the real point of this post was why I’m not wholeheartedly willing to merge with the internet. I’m getting to it.

You see, I still sit on my porch with the neighbors and have a beer at the end of the day, smoking the night’s last cigarette. We still discuss high-minded things, talk politics civilly (the good old days, right?), and eat home cooked dinners together. I enjoy face-to-face conversations.

I’m also still a private person. I don’t enjoy the idea of merging my existence with teh interwebs, posting pictures and status updates. I don’t particularly want to create a cloud of information, around which my existence can be charted, where you can see the eddies and flows of my commerce as I live life.

I don’t want a taxonomy of my life, where you can click on a “beer” tag and get an image of every six-pack I’ve bought in the last year, five years, ten years.

“Sure,” you’re saying, “I get that. But you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to. Craig, you can just have a smart phone and use it to look up weird facts about body-modification and Stanley Kubrik while occasionally checking your twitter feed.”

And you’re probably right.

But I know me. When I choose to do something, I commit to it. I go balls to the wall. Once I get a smart phone, I’ll use that thing till the internal antenna falls off.

And that’s what worries me.

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