FOR­SAKE YOUR SMART­PHONE

Esquire (UK) - - Esquire Townhouse with Dior -

ESQUIRE’S CHAR­LIE TEAS­DALE SPENDS FOUR DAYS (FOUR DAYS!) WITH­OUT HIS SMART­PHONE

Is the in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion we get from phones on the way out? It isn’t, ob­vi­ously; Ap­ple, Google and Sam­sung have taken over so­ci­ety and we will be for­ever en­slaved. But some young peo­ple (16–24) are us­ing smart­phones slightly less now than a year ago (six min­utes a day less), so maybe there’s dis­sention in the ranks; maybe the mil­len­ni­als are re­volt­ing.

In­spired by this mi­cro-fuck-you to Sil­i­con Val­ley, I ditched my iPhone for Nokia’s new 3310, an update of the iconic, 126m-sell­ing 2000 model, re­leased ear­lier this year. It of­fers a month of bat­tery life, comes in four colours, it has Snake, and that’s pretty much it. No email, no apps, no so­cial me­dia. I got it in yel­low.

Day one, a Thurs­day, was pep­pered with as­ton­ished looks and scathing re­marks. “What the hell is that?!” was the com­mon in­quiry. Peo­ple (sheeple!) couldn’t un­der­stand why I didn’t have a smart­phone, but were over­joyed to hear it had Snake. At din­ner, the waiter pointed at the phone on the ta­ble and said, “That’s cute, is it vin­tage?” I still don’t re­ally know what he meant. Later, I tried to or­der a cab, and couldn’t, so got the tube.

Fri­day, a day off, was a real test. No way of check­ing the weather out­look, see­ing when the bus would come, or to change my fan­tasy foot­ball team. I would just have to risk it, like peo­ple have been do­ing for mil­len­nia. I con­sid­ered draw­ing up a list of queries and call­ing 118, — but de­spite know­ing how much it would have meant to those two creepy gym­nast guys, I didn’t.

The day went well. I car­ried a light coat in case it rained, con­sulted the timetable and route at the bus stop and kept Ser­gio Agüero as my cap­tain. Noth­ing bad hap­pened, and if a need for 4G or In­sta­gram arose, I just did some­thing else. That evening at a garage night at Beth­nal Green Work­ing Men’s Club, I used the Nokia’s Dic­ta­phone func­tion to record 34 sec­onds of the Sweet Fe­male At­ti­tude banger “Flow­ers”. Is there any­thing more pure, joy­ous and 2001 than that?

Be­cause all cor­re­spon­dence is now done over so­cial me­dia and mes­sag­ing apps, I re­ceived just three calls and two texts all week­end. I did nearly miss the the­atre on Sun­day night be­cause my friend with the tick­ets had What­sApp’d a few times to see if I was still keen. The last mes­sage asked if I was dead. I was touched, but it took him an­other five hours to call. Per­haps best about the Nokia

is the schaden­freude, be­cause you force peo­ple to call you, and it must be ghastly.

I con­sid­ered stick­ing with the 3310 for the rest of my life. Aside from the fact the bat­tery would prob­a­bly hold out, it would mean I could de­tach from many scourges of mod­ern so­ci­ety: the in­se­cu­rity of so­cial me­dia, the pull of af­ter-hours email, the gnarled claw of Candy Crush. But the les­son here is not that tech­nol­ogy is bad or life was bet­ter be­fore, it’s sim­ply to use your smart­phone a bit less. Just make sure your friends and fam­ily know you’re not dead.

Nokia 3310, £50; nokia.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.