Phuket Opinion: Why I’m keeping my dumbphone

PHUKET: Life today is inundated with myriad marvelous advances in technology, not least in the realm of personal telecommunications. I can’t go anywhere without encountering the latest news, entertainment, music or point of view being delivered by a screen a short distance away, a friend within range of such a screen, or by someone’s smart phone.

Even on this idyllic paradise isle, people are turning to their phones for instant communication satisfaction, often at the expense of those sharing their real time and space, like the person who has accepted their invitation to lunch, (“Hang on a minute… Hey! Hi…”) or the person they’re conversing with face-to-face (“Sorry, I need to take this…”).

The extent of interruptions and some people’s compulsion to answer, text, Facebook or Tweet using a handheld device beggars belief, particularly against the backdrop that says, “I came here to get away from it all”.

Some people answer the phone no matter what they’re doing. One time I was deep into a conversation with my brother, who lives halfway round the world, before I noticed a strange echo.

“Where are you?” I asked.

“On the toilet,” he replied.

“I’ll call you back.”

The ability to never be out of touch today leaves me gasping for downtime. Sometimes I feel like I could be lucid dreaming that I’m in a Stark Trek movie as Crewmen 444 with a communicator pinned to my chest.

At work, I spend on average 10 hours a day in front of a computer, facing a torrent of incoming messages. When I get home, I open my modern mailbox and do it all again.

So for now, the last thing I want to do is have all my remaining minutes accessible to instant e-contact , and I’ll be sticking with my dumbphone.

If I’m to be hauled into being overwhelmed by underwhelming information, it’ll be inch by inch at best – or worst.

— Damian Evans

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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