Monday, March 10, 2014

Passion Party #505: Not-So-Dumb Phone

I live in a prehistoric age
when there wasn't an "app" for that,
there was a nap for that.
I have an old-fashioned "flip phone",
one of those clam-shell jobs
that doesn't break when I drop it on the ground.
I can call people.
They can call me.
They can even text me now (I finally agreed to spend $5 a month so I can connect with modern people that type into their phones instead of using their voice.)
I even text back - one or two words usually.
People get mad at me if I don't respond when they email me while I am in a car, or in the elevator, or at night.
They just have to wait a little bit.
Patience, they say, is a virtue.
Now we are learning the downside of
always being connected.
There is an aphorism: "When something online is free, you’re not the customer, you’re the product."
The GPS on your smart phone not only tells you where the nearest pizza place is,
it tells data brokers that you like to eat pizza.
It tells Google and Facebook to push pizza ads your way.
If you choose, your phone will now know
when you sleep, how you sleep, when you wake up, where you are, what you are doing.
It may all be harmless
but it sounds a bit too much like "1984".
Do you remember that?
It is something they used to call a "book" by George Orwell.
Right now I am happy to have a phone
that is just a "dumb phone".

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