May 1, 2017

"But I can grant you permission to stop consuming 'content' wherever possible. Just resist its pull. Stop reading my column if you must. After all, this is how you got Trump. Thanks Obama. Over and out."

The last paragraph of "I write on the internet. I'm sorry," by Michael Brendan Dougherty (in The Week). Here's the first paragraph, which amused me, and I'm not sure if it's because I liked the exaggeration or I was laughing at him for being such a drama queen:
Try to pinpoint the last time you took a purposeless walk through the late spring breeze, when there was no itch in your hand to reach for a mobile device, and you felt like the wind and sky around you had nothing to disclose to you other than the vast and mysteriously sympathy of existence itself. Was it 2007? Or as far back as 1997? Does just asking the question make you feel ill?

39 comments:

khesanh0802 said...

We have an outdated pay -as -you -go mobile and that's good enough for me. Half the time we should have it with us we don't. I never ever think I need to have a mobile in my hand. I feel quite sorry for those who believe that their smart phone is more important than the person they are having a meal with.

Matthew Sablan said...

For me it was... Sunday?

Fernandinande said...

Try to pinpoint the last time you took a purposeless walk through the late spring breeze, when there was no itch in your hand to reach for a mobile device, and you felt like the wind and sky around you had nothing to disclose to you other than the vast and mysteriously sympathy of existence itself. Was it 2007?

Except for the "mysteriously[sic] sympathy of existence itself", that's an easy one: yesterday. The wind mostly disclosed cold air.

Bob Boyd said...

Too long.
Could have been a great tweet.
Sad.

MayBee said...

I like his twitter persona.

Original Mike said...

"Was it 2007? Or as far back as 1997?"

When I get a smart phone I'll get back to you.

Matthew Sablan said...

We live in a world
Where even the brief haiku
Loses interest

robother said...

From "Steal this Book" to "turn off this device, and back out the door slowly."

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"I feel quite sorry for those who believe that their smart phone is more important than the person they are having a meal with."

There are a few restaurants around the country that give discounts to folks who don't use their phones at the table.

I know of a Portland bar (Rouge Ales) that has signs saying phones aren't allowed.

Luckily for Meadehouse the golden arches will probably always encourage wifi devices when it's chow time on a road trip.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Walking in the spring breeze....yeah. This morning. Then I came back and sat on the deck to drink some coffee and read the rest of my book.

I also don't own a smart phone. I have a pay by the minute phone of some sort. I usually but 25$ at a time and rarely use the minutes in the 3 month period. I used to buy $100 for full year...100 minutes. I have never ever used more than 1/5 of that time. My mobile phone is for emergencies while traveling, or to contact my husband, on his ancient flip phone which he only uses for work.... again when traveling and we decide to do separate things and need to meet up later.

Jack Wayne said...

I know it's useless to tilt at windmills but it's disheartening to see that an otherwise somewhat literate person does not understand what Luddite means. To be a Luddite is to be pro-guild/pro-union. It is not to be anti-science. The original Luddites did not destroy looms so they could live in bucolic splendor. They did it to save their jobs. Destroying your hand-held device to have a day of bucolic splendor is just stupid.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

I think you mobile phone holdouts are missing out on the advantages of texting v calling in many situations.


Horseball said...

This guy is a complete thin skinned hysteric. He blocked me on Twitter because I said he shouldn't draw historical examples exclusively from Ireland.

Ficta said...

I think people who don't see the point of texting haven't tried it. It's asynchronous communication. It's how computers usually talk to each other. It's very efficient.

ALP said...

Wow, this group of commenters is a hotbed of "no smart phone" types. Glad to find so many kindred spirits. I never want to give up my little flip (folding) cell phone. I'd much rather get a tablet for mobile web surfing - how can people peer at those tiny screens? Even if I watch a show on my laptop, it doesn't "count" until I've seen it on our 60" screen. I have not one shred of desire to merge web surfing with being able to call someone if I get into an car accident into one device. I can't imagine hauling around one of those brick like phones just to take a walk around the neighborhood.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think you mobile phone holdouts are missing out on the advantages of texting v calling in many situations.

It is a different type of lifestyle. Not that I don't know how to text...but why? There is no one that I need to be in such close or immediate contact that a phone call, voice mail message or email can't wait. There are no advantages to me to texting or receiving a text message.

I let my minutes lapse on my mobile phone and then get a new number if mine has been given away. I've had probably 6 numbers in the last few years. So what? There is no one that I need to have call me other than my husband.

My husband's phone is for business...meaning I can call him when he is out on a remote job location and let him know if there is need for a nearby client to have a visit. OR, he calls me to let me know if he is going to be in a different location, update on times, ask for a "materials run" (bring him some missing parts for a job.)

50% of the time, he has his phone off so as not to be disturbed while working. The rest of the time it is a 50/50 chance he will even BE in cell phone range. So...if someone sends him a text, it will be hours before he gets it and doesn't have the time or patience to respond by text.

Different lives. Different needs.

It is a disadvantage to text to US, because people seem to think you are going to immediately respond....ain't gonna happen. You are wasting your time texting to us.

California Snow said...

Texting guarantees people see and read your message. Phone calls rarely get picked up if it's from an unrecognized number and people often do not listen to voicemail. There are definite advantages to texting but then again, I've had entire text conversations that took 30 min. when it could have been done by a phone call in five.

Balfegor said...

Try to pinpoint the last time you took a purposeless walk through the late spring breeze, when there was no itch in your hand to reach for a mobile device, and you felt like the wind and sky around you had nothing to disclose to you other than the vast and mysteriously sympathy of existence itself. Was it 2007? Or as far back as 1997? Does just asking the question make you feel ill?

I have literally never felt like that. I don't even know what feeling he is intending to convey by that. On the other hand, the last time I took a purposeless walk through the late spring breeze was, hmm. Maybe 10 days ago or so? I suppose I had a "purpose" in a sense, in that it had been a while since I had wandered through the nearby park, and I wanted to see it in late spring, see what flowers were in bloom, whether there were any cherry blossoms left (there were). But I wasn't doing anything in particular there. I didn't have a particular route through the park.

Re: Texting, I suppose I like it better than calling (I hate telephone calls), but I usually use LINE. Lets you see whether your text has been read, too, although that, in turn, puts unwelcome social pressure on the person on the other end to respond.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Texting guarantees people see and read your message.

Only if they have their phones on or have cell phone range/reception. Also assumes they 'want' to get a message from you :-)

Original Mike said...

You can text on a flip phone.

Michael K said...

We had a lovely dinner last night and the only use of a smart phone was to show my niece our house in Tucson. I have some photos of it on the iPhone. We are back from the new house to visit family and had a birthday dinner Saturday night with my son.

Back to Tucson tomorrow. I will be happy to get out of LA traffic. Bumper to bumper last night at 9PM.

Yesterday talked to a friend of my son's who is cashing out and moving to Atlanta. The middle class is draining out of California like a leaky sieve.

Original Mike said...

"Only if they have their phones on or have cell phone range/reception. Also assumes they 'want' to get a message from you :-)"

My cell phone sits in a drawer 99% of the time.

Rabel said...

For daring to criticize The Net the author is smited by the Gods of Autocorrect.

A tip - If you think that "mysteriously sympathy" is an obscure literary reference of some sort and wish to know more (surely it could not be an error in a well-curated MSM publication), do not search for it online in quotes. But if you must, do not click on any link that doesn't go directly to Althouse or The Week. Unless you are Laslo, of course.

Birches said...

I am also a pay as you go cell phone user, though my phone is a smartphone. I'm a true unicorn though because I'm under 40. I don't generally give out my cell phone number because people will use it as their primary contact for me and I'm not great about checking it. As a SAHM, I'm mostly home. And if I'm out, I don't really feel like communicating with you.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"You can text on a flip phone."

Sure, but do you have the peach bottom emoji?

We know what it's like w/o it. They tried one of those New Coke type switcheroos on us. But, soon enough the classic was back.

Birches said...

Cheaper phones won't do group texts correctly, but you still get the message, you just can't reply all.

Kate said...

Michael is a distributist. He *is pro-guild.

He's also an Irish Catholic. No matter how much he believes in the good of something, he'll have to feel guilty about it, too.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Original Mike said...
You can text on a flip phone."

Good God, have you ever tried to do that? It's like tapping out Morse code. It took me forever to type out a short message.

I finally upgraded because my younger relatives don't answer their calls. All they do is text, so if I wanted to reach them, I had to be able to text too.

Original Mike said...

Internet access is useful when you travel. For that I buy a prepaid SIM card for my iPad. Problem I run into is, except at an airport, the cellular providers don't even seem to know what they are. A couple of months ago I went down to the local cell phone store to get one for a domestic trip I was about to make. Took forever to get across to the sales person what I wanted. Then, a month later, I get a message telling me my credit card would be charged for the next month's plan. Fortunately I had anticipated this and had paid for the card with cash.

Original Mike said...

"Good God, have you ever tried to do that? It's like tapping out Morse code. It took me forever to type out a short message."

I do do it, but only when I need to which is hardly ever.

etbass said...

I must be missing the point. But it seemed to me that the thrust of the article was not the use of mobile devices so much as a continual feeding on the internet and its effect on attitudes and perceptions, especially in the cultural arena. I certainly can identify with the feeling that we are losing in the culture war and I sense that my feeling is likely unduly biased by the number of news articles of otherwise obscure events that would never have caught my attention in the pre-internet age.

It is a suggestion that too much of the stuff that I dredge up from Drudge, probably affects my perception a lot more than it deserves, despite the fact that much disclosed on Drudge is quite helpful and true. The same for Facebook. A lot of the stuff highlighted on Instapundit has the same effect, and to a lesser extent, even some of the stuff posted by Althouse too.

The lesson probably is; get off the internet a little more and get a life again, to me at least.

SukieTawdry said...

I, too, am a pay-as-you-go dumb phone user. I always said I would move to a smart phone when it became counterproductive not to. I'm almost there, but I find researching these things tedious. Is there a website that will make recommendations based on a users list of desired features?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"Is there a website that will make recommendations based on a users list of desired features?"

Buy an Apple or Google (direct) phone.

All the rest take an OS and make it worse by adding stuff.

If it matters to you, Apple has lower cost options (unlike Google/Pixel). The lower cost iphones seemed fine when I used them, when they were newly released.

I suppose the limited memory could be an issue on those older models.

FullMoon said...

Personally, I admire people who can use all the cool apps on their smart phone. Also, those who can text in a hurry.
Sixteen year old relative pulls out her phone while we are riding in my 1954 convertible, touches her phone, tells me exactly how fast we are going. Has an app that measures mileage. Another to scan a product in the store, and see if any nearby store has it cheaper, and in stock. App to tell about traffic conditions as they occur. And, of course, an instant map of anyplace you happen to be.

Birches said...

Etbass,

I gave up Twitter entirely and now only see family posts on fb and it is wonderful. There is too much faux outrage on both sides. I did check out Twitter to see draft news this weekend and scrolled through for a minute before I looked up the specific reporters I wanted to follow. I realized quickly why I left.

Unknown said...

Wow there are some serious self absorption going on.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I am nothing, nothing at all, NOTHING, without my phone.

The phone remains a phone with, or without, me.

...

Seeing Red said...

Walk the dog, dipshit.

Kirk Parker said...

DBQ,

You are missing one of the yuuuge benefits of texting in a marginal-coverage area: it's asynchronous at both ends, including your sending device.

Say your husband is trying to call you for some missing valve he needs delivered to the job site. But he can't get a signal, at least not long enough to actually call you and/or leave a voice mail. With voice, there's nothing he can do about that but try calling, over and over and over until he gets a stable signal long enough to ring your phone, wait through the voice-mail greeting, and then leave his message. And heaven help you both if the call drops before he gets around to describing exactly what valve he needs, or there's a brief dropout (that the person on the *speaking* side has no feedback as to that happening.)

But with text, all he has to do is type in what he needs and the phone itself does all the retrying. If you're both in spotty coverage areas, but your phones do occasionally connect to a tower for even a few seconds, his text will eventually get to you even if there's literally never a second when both of your phones are active at the same time.

I made great use of this when I was in South Sudan a few weeks ago. In one town you could almost never get a cell call to go through, but texts were usually delivered and and answer received within 5 or 10 minutes. Since this was a town, I suspect the problem was badly oversubscribed cells, rather than just being too far from any tower, but in the later scenario it can still be that case that the phone randomly connects for short intervals, and so a text might go through, but you never get a decent voice call due to dropouts.