A smart-enough phone

This is my new “smart-enough” phone.

I have noticed that the “smarter” my phone, the less content I am.

I don’t want the New Newness. What I want is… enough.

I want things I can repair. Things that don’t take too much from the earth, that don’t need to be replaced too often.

So when my smartphone screen smashed, after drop 13,478, I looked for something else. The screen was as broken as my relationship with my phone, and it was time to fix it.

I’ve tried digital wellbeing hacks, and while they help, I always felt I was on the edge of a slippery slope, ready to slide me right back to where I didn’t want to be.

The world of endless mindless consumption says friction is the enemy. And, well, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Friction interrupts the scroll. Friction prevents binge-watching and binge-buying. The rash reply and thoughtless comment. Friction gives me a moment to think, to decide.

So I’ve added back a little friction, to see where it takes me. When I have to take a little longer to write a text, I think more about what I’m saying. When I can’t just snap a quick photo to look at later, I look harder now.

Having a somewhat-smart phone adds to my life. I mean, we /develop apps/. And I enjoy using apps. To identify birds by song, and ID plants that aren’t in my books. To get my GPS status, and swap photos and ideas with friends. To e-transfer to local farmers, and chat with my mother-in-law about the weather.

But I don’t like carrying an open-faced glass sandwich that I drop 2-100x a day. I don’t like it to beep at me, advertise at me, cajole me, and doom-scroll me. I don’t like a form-factor that screams at my eyes to stare at it more, and the world less.

So this is my new phone. It cost $115 and is unlocked and ruggedized. But it also has a small touchscreen, so I can still use whatever apps I want, including the ones I make myself 😀. I’m not endorsing this particular phone exactly. But the idea that we have the choice to choose something else, when the status-driven status quo isn’t for us… Well that, that I’ll endorse all day every day. 👍

Have a great week folks! May all your devices work just poorly enough to bring you joy.