It so happened that at the end of the week I invite you to discuss interesting topics that concern or concern many. I did not try to specifically initiate this, as a rubric, and did not even notice how it happened, but it is by the weekend that a desire arises to leave the news and raise an interesting question. This time, I thought about what it would be like if there were no smartphones now. How our life would change if we project the beginning of the 2000s onto it. And you know what? I came to the conclusion that it would not be so bad. And that's why.
Smartphones are good, but even in the days of such devices, we also lived well.
First of all, it is worth saying that I am not going to drown for giving up the benefits of civilization and say that this is all superfluous, but in “one thousand nine hundred khe-khe year” it was better. No, it was more difficult then than it is now, but not in the way many people think. Especially those under 22-25 years old.
I understand that I really could live without a smartphone. Perhaps the fact is that my conscious life was already taking place at that time. But sometimes I have a feeling that something was right then.
What technologies have emerged over the past 15 years
When I graduated from high school in the mid-2000s, I had a regular push-button phone that my parents bought me. I don't remember exactly what kind of device I had at that time, but it seems that it was Siemens A35. For its time, it was not a “business” level apparatus, but was a solid middle peasant. Kind of good Honor or Samsung for 15000-20000 nowadays.
This was my first phone – Siemens A35. And you know, I had enough. I called people and texted. Everything worked.
Later, Siemens M55, Samsung E330, Motorola Razr V3, SonyEricsson W810i and a couple of other models passed through my hands, until I got the first generation iPhone in the first couple of months after the start of the sale.
At the time when I was finishing school, not even all apartments had a fixed Internet connection. At that time, he was just starting to switch to ADSL, although I lived in the near Moscow region. I even remember very well phones with a disk, when we hated friends who had zero in their phone number and it seemed that it was faster to reach it on foot than to wait for the disk to return to its original position.
Naturally, in those days there were no instant messengers, social networks, banking services, geolocation and other things. Nevertheless, not knowing that the existence of such things is possible, we lived fine. Then it was even normal to go up to a person on the street and ask what time it was. It's just unheard of now.
From the means of communication then there were only nascent chats in which people discussed any topic with unfamiliar interlocutors. However, sometimes people even managed to get to know each other and continue to communicate offline. After all, it didn't even smell like Tinder then.
I remembered, felt nostalgia.
One of the first services that cannot be called instant messengers in the modern sense, but which were them in fact, was ICQ – the famous ICQ. I remember how I used it in a mobile version with a PDA when I was at the institute. Many even installed it on push-button phones, but it was still a pleasure.
It is worth noting that the mobile Internet at GPRS speeds at that time cost a lot of money. And that was already around 2005-2007. On the other hand, then there was nothing to spend it on in such quantities as it is now. Streaming services and YouTube were never even dreamed of back then.
Why it's better without smartphones
Now let's talk about where I started. Namely, why sometimes I wish there were no smartphones.
Of course, now many will argue and say what is wrong with them, but it is foolish to deny that now everything has gone online so much that we have stopped living real life. Instead of calling someone and just getting worn out, we write to the messenger, instead of attending a mass event and meeting real people, we meet in Tinder, and instead of going to McDonald's around the corner, we'd better order delivery via Yandex or Delivery Club.
Of course, there are also pluses, which are expressed in the fact that we can get access to a bank account or call a taxi without explaining to which entrance we need to give the car. But could we do without it? I think yes!
It is convenient to use banking applications. This is an undeniable blessing. One of many.
Especially often I think so when I understand that I am in touch with the whole world and I cannot hide anywhere from it. I have chats with friends, family, colleagues, partners and so on. There are chats for every project at work and for every event with friends and acquaintances. A lot of information is constantly poured there, 90 percent of which is simply not needed. Many will add to this chats with the parents and teachers of their child's classmates and chats of the residential complexes in which they live. Fortunately, I do not have this, but I still have enough. It is enough that dozens of people are constantly next to me. But you really want to be alone.
Perhaps my productivity would have been lower if I had not been in touch 24/7, but it is precisely this kind of total online that does not allow me to retire. Of course, I can turn off the phone, but then a small worm starts gnawing from the inside, which makes me think that I will miss something important.
Those who remember the times when there were no mobile phones will remember that we were not constantly in touch, but somehow we managed to find each other and this was not a big problem.
And even in those days, we memorized numbers better, as we often ran them through our memory.
News is another disadvantage of general onlineization. On the one hand, it is important to get them fresh, but is it really important to follow all the Telegram news channels in order to know about the flooding of the courtyard on the other side of the city three minutes after the incident, and not in a couple of hours, when already verified and reliable information will go? As a result, everyone first gets a bunch of rumors, and then they read verified news in the same public pages.
As a result, all this causes an overload of consciousness, which is completely unnecessary in real life, but from which there is no escape. I tried to give it up and realized that nothing changed at all. But at the same time, I had a lot of free time. Sometimes it comes to the point that you go to read the news and drop out for an hour, or even more. Even on the road, it is much more pleasant to kill time by reading an interesting article, book or watching a movie.
How to live without a smartphone
It is very easy to refuse unnecessary information in life and organization of your time. You just have to be smart about the information you receive. For example, you can correspond for 15 minutes to agree on something, or you can call and discuss everything by voice in two minutes. There are exceptions, but this is generally how it works.
The downside of that time was that it was almost the only way to replenish the account.
You can also consider options for abandoning some channels of information. Not complete, but just stop constantly checking what is happening there. Come in in the evening and calmly browse the feed for important information. For example, as in our Telegram news channel, where we try to post interesting news as soon as possible, but by and large, nothing will happen if you flip through the feed in the evening and read only the articles that interest you.
And the number of news channels can simply be safely reduced, since most of them are read simply by headlines, which, plus or minus, are the same for everyone.
Having carried out this kind of inventory of your sources of information, you can understand that there is less unnecessary information in life, and more free time. It's always nice.
Why won't I give up my smartphone
Despite the above, I am not going to give up the smartphone. What I have said is not senile grumbling about golden times, especially since I am younger than a very large number of our readers.
Smartphones give us benefits that really make our lives easier, but as usual, the benefits don't come alone. Sometimes they bring with them negative moments and each of us decides for himself how to manage his time and the opportunities given to him by technologies.
Smartphone saves our time, but at the same time takes it away.
I would also like to note that I am very glad of my opportunity to live at the time in which I live. Those who have seen the times that I spoke about at the beginning of the article will agree that living, receiving every year a new revolutionary device that replaces the previous one or supplements it, is much more interesting than coming to everything ready.
By “ready” I mean the present time, when new gadgets don't appear every day. Smartphones simply began to measure themselves with new, but not always necessary, functions, but by and large we did not receive a new means of communication from the release of the first iPhone. Interesting developments are shown to us all the time, but what, apart from smart watches, tablets and “icos”, entered our life on an ongoing basis?
Whatever one may say, before the speed of new gadgets emergence was higher, and designers and marketers were not so blinkered. Someone will remember a well-known saying, say that sugar used to be sweeter, but before writing the article I prepared myself. Everyone aged 25-35 agreed with my reasoning that we have seen a very interesting technological breakthrough, and that smartphones have brought us not only good, but a very large amount of procrastination.
How people turn off notifications
I am not the only one who follows the path described above. Many people I spoke with generally supported me. Even within the editorial office, among people for whom technology is not only a profession, but also a hobby, I found a response.
For example, the owner of Android Insider.ru and several other Internet projects, Mikhail Korolev, has completely abandoned almost all applications and notifications on his smartphone. I asked him to comment on this and this is what he said.
I refused notifications for a very long time, probably two years ago. I left notifications only for phone calls, turned off everything else – both sounds and notifications. If someone dies, he will call me, and not write to VK.
Pulling the phone out of my pocket every time someone decided to write to you in a personal or chat, when a certain application decided to communicate something wildly important – no, thanks, I want to control my life myself and be able to delve into my affairs, my study or rest.
I decide for myself when it's time to check out the work chats, when it's time to read the news (spoiler alert: I don't), when I want to reply to an e-mail.
After that, it became much better, I could walk down the street for 20 minutes and not look at the phone. But there were other parasites – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. The 'Screen Time' menu appeared on the phone, I studied it and realized that the rest of my life will be spent on Instagram … and what do I get in return? Photos of acquaintances or celebrities who carry zero information and benefit .. no, thanks, I stopped keeping Instagram, although I have about 7000 subscribers there, but I'm not ready to spend the rest of my life on this. Facebook, Twitter and Vkontakte – just deleted. On the computer, I also do not open these applications, deleted all bookmarks and forgot. At first, to be honest, it was hard, I took my wife's phone and looked what was new with a friend or acquaintances, what photos they posted, how their life was going without me. Thank God it's gone.
Oh, forgot about YouTube – it's evil. But here it is more difficult, I deleted the application, but sometimes I watch the video. BUT only in English or Spanish. At least some benefit.
The last step was to delete mail, this is a working tool and mail arrives 24 hours a day, for myself I decided that I only work at the computer. The mail was deleted, with it SLACK (working chats) went to the trash, I left Github and other services and only go to them from the computer, only when I work.
The funniest thing in this story is that, having drowned my iPhone X, I took iPhone 7 from my son and walked well with him for almost a year, he does not slow down, does not bother me with his size. Navigation + banking apps + music and browser. This is what I need and what I need.
In the time that I got in return, I learned a little Spanish, improved English, signed up for programming courses and have been taking them for 3 months, read a book on 'Python', learned how to edit video in DaVinci … and began to work awesomely efficiently, breathed a lot of air and did not worry that a pipe burst in a nearby yard, and our biathletes were caught doping.
Regarding the news, I used to constantly check it, but then I realized that if a war starts, I cannot escape, if the price of oil falls, I cannot raise it, if the Reds come to power, I cannot stop them, so why should I I absorb all day this news, filled with negativity for the most part. I'd rather learn something new and work calmly.
Mikhail Korolev, owner of Android Insider.ru
Mikhail also shared screenshots of the desktop of his smartphone, so that it was clear that there really is almost nothing but stock applications.
Mikhail Korolev's smartphone desktop.
I think that all the advantages of rejecting unnecessary information that our smartphones feed us with are very clearly indicated here. Well, now the floor is yours! See you in the comments.