17 Reasons Why I Don't Want A Smartphone: A Curmudgeon's Tale

[Editor's Note: It must be stated that while we embrace a great and varied degree of opinions and voices here at Supercompressor, the following letter of archaic technological perspective by no means reflects the slightly inebriated sentiments of our editorial staff.]

When people find out I don’t have a smartphone, reactions range from laughter to anger.

Friends threaten to upgrade me for my birthday. Strangers ask me how I live. But I’ve had this same dusty relic since it was barely outdated—I’m pretty sure I got it in 2007, the same year the first iPhone came out—and I’m doing just fine. Here are just a few of the reasons I have absolutely no urge to upgrade.

Reason 1: I don’t need to follow Cara Delevingne’s Instagram to see pictures of her making out with hot chicks when I know New York Magazine will eventually run a Cara Delevingne Instagram Retrospective with better captions. Besides, why look at small images of hot, scantily clad women in public when I can just wait to get back to my laptop and look at large images of hot, scantily clad women in private?

Reason 2: GPS? I live in New York City. Where the hell do I need to get directions to? It’s a grid. If you can’t navigate your way through a grid without the help of digital assistance you should be in assisted living.

Even if I lived somewhere where everyone owned cars, I still wouldn’t want it. GPS does to your sense of direction what giant calculators did to your math skills...and what computers did to your giant calculator...and what smartphones are doing to your computer. I can barely handle single-digit multiplication anymore, much less long division. I don’t want to become as helpless walking places as I am counting things.

Reason 3: I don’t need Shazam, or whatever people are using these days to “discover” new music. If I want to know the name of a song, I’ll ask the bartender. If the bartender doesn’t know, I’ll leave and find a bar that still gives a crap about its soundtrack.

On that note: Hell 2.0 is Satan asking, “Who was in that movie again?” and you having to look it up immediately or else suffer intolerable anguish, but right before you finish Googling the answer, Satan asks about some other guy from some other movie, and so on.

Reason 4: If I have a thought important enough to Tweet instantly, then it should be important enough for me to remember it until I’m in front of my computer. I rarely have thoughts that important.

Reason 5: That flashlight app is not a more convenient packaging of a must-carry tool. People were not bringing flashlights to restaurants before smartphones.

Reason 6: If I’m old enough to not have a smartphone, you probably don’t want to see my Instagram selfies. You definitely don’t want to see me flash my boobs on SnapChat.

Reason 7: My real friends know that if it’s after 7 p.m., they should send me a text—the fact that they almost unfailingly remember to text instead of email during non-work hours is a heartwarming testament to the depth of our relationship. On the other hand, people who send me unsolicited emails at 8:30 p.m. asking if I’d like to optimize my company’s mobile experience are not my friends.

Even if you’re not a spammer, any email you send after working hours can’t possibly be that important. If it’s that important to you, you have a grossly inflated view of just how much I respect your sense of urgency.

Reason 8: I never have to suffer through a conversation about how the new iPhone is better/worse than the slightly older iPhone.

I can always enjoy a conversation about how awesome I am for not having a new iPhone or even a slightly older iPhone.

Reason 9: My phone has no chance of achieving singularity and enslaving me.

Reason 10: I resent the fact that Webster’s recognizes “smartphone” as a word. I also resent the definition: “a cell phone that includes additional software functions (as e-mail or an Internet browser)”.

Not only does it appear to be missing the word “such,” it also unfairly implies that, because it lacks these additional software functions, my phone is dumb. My phone can call freaking Mozambique from a strip club. My phone is a goddamn genius.

Reason 11: Funny thing: I can’t 'Reply-All' to group texts. Funnier thing: the totally inane crap that goes on in group texts is the same stuff I like to talk about in person. I’m damn sure not going to hand over my mouth’s limited supply of ammunition to my thumbs.

Reason 12: I don’t play console games featuring amazingly life-like alternate universes. How much do you think I regret not being able to play smartphone games featuring sh*tty-looking birds? Besides, what’s the point of playing any video game if you’re too old to brag about how good you are at it?

Reason 13: I enjoy allowing my parents to feel younger and hipper than me. Like your parents, mine also have smartphones.

Reason 14: I enjoy feeling like I’m a better human being than all the young people who sit there screwing with their phones in social situations. It’s a far easier route to moral superiority than getting involved in a cause and then scolding them by saying things like “you young people don’t even know about this cause that I am involved in.”

Reason 15: I also enjoy never being that dick who’s not paying attention to where he’s going when he’s walking down the sidewalk. And I love refusing to get out of those dicks’ way and either yelling “heads up” or just walking through them. This might be indicative of some unexamined need for confrontation with strangers due to an inability to work through conflicts with friends and family, but I’d like to think that whether or not I was afflicted with that condition, I’d still gain tremendous pleasure from bracing my shoulder in order to derail the path of an oblivious asshole.

Reason 16: An old friend of mine got me my current phone through some PR company shenanigans. So it’s got sentimental value, even though if I ran into her today she’d probably tell me to throw it in the trash and get a new phone.

Reason 17: People are constantly misplacing their smartphones or cracking their screens. These are very expensive mistakes. The only thing I have to worry about is losing is my mind. The only thing I have to worry about cracking is deez nuts. Ha! And my vertebrae.

David Blend is an executive editor at Thrillist. Despite being old, he is still somehow on Twitter.