I’ve always gotten by fine without owning a smartphone – until now. Covid has made my already obsolete 90s-designed Nokia flip-phone nearly useless. I’m suddenly surrounded by QR codes. There are now Airbnb doors I can’t open, cars I can’t start, menus I can’t read. Paper menus have vanished; ordering food has become an ordeal.
At a recent dinner with friends, after some initial chatting, everyone stared at menus on their phones. I sat there for a minute looking around the table and then whispered to my neighbor, discreetly asking to look on. When I eat out alone, I show my flip-phone to the waiter and ask for a proper menu. After an eye-roll, they’ll either bring out a paper menu from some vault in the back or hand me their own phone to use.
It’s awkward when I ask a stranger for directions and they pull out their smart phone, looking at me as if to say, “where’s your phone?” My brother says I’m like a smoker who won’t buy her own pack, but smokes everyone else’s. I never wanted to start smoking at all, but the world is conspiring to make me bum one. If I bought my own, I know I’d be smoking a pack a day.
Americans check their smartphones an average of 96 times a day, which works out to once every 15 minutes. Two-thirds of Americans check their phones 160 times every day. Social
— source theguardian.com | Jen Wasserstein | 4 Nov 2021