Would introverts flock towards a phone that is just that – a phone? No texting ability, no wifi or Bluetooth? A phone so stripped back it is the size of a credit card?
I stumbled on The Light Phone recently (while surfing the internet on my smartphone using wifi) and it immediately got me thinking. Not all introverts hate making and receiving phone calls but many introverts seemingly prefer texting to talking. From what I understand The Light Phone is designed so you can leave your smartphone at home and forward your calls to this second phone. In the promotional literature, it says the phone is designed to be your ‘phone away from phone’ and enables contact ‘without unwanted rings, dings or pings.’
On face value, that sounds wonderful.
My relationship with all of the smartphones I have had over the years has evolved to the point where I feel we have an understanding. I make it clear where my boundaries are, and my smartphone ‘respects’ them.
For example, I have no notifications set except for texts and calls. I learned the hard way that constant alerts combined with espresso are a one-way ticket to introvert hell. The notifications had to go.
I do, however, appreciate the convenience of a smartphone. My calendar is always available, I can quickly keep tabs on my various social media accounts, and take a damn good photo at a moment’s notice.
The thing is, I simply pick up the damn thing way too much. This is something most people can relate to. Most of the time it’s to perform a function I simply didn’t need or want to do ten years ago. My smartphone has, in this sense, dictated proceedings.
If I had a phone that was just that – a phone, I would certainly be picking it up a whole lot less. I rarely talk to anyone on the phone as it is. Even with close family, we text each other.
If I was out and about and I didn’t have my smartphone I would have to do something else with my hands and my mind. I would probably write in a notebook, listen to music on the iPod I would have to dredge up from the bottom of a storage box. I could also simply sit, people-watch, and think.
Isn’t this what introverts are amazing at? Does the omnipresence of the smartphone limit our creativity?
While The Light Phone might free up my time and mind for creative pursuits, it would force me to communicate with others in a way I don’t particularly relish. Would this then result in me communicating less, thus weakening family and social bonds?
I often think the internet is the single most important invention for introverts. It has allowed us to express ourselves in non-verbal ways, and given us access to a universe of information in the comfort of our own homes. For me, easy access to the internet is freedom.
To be honest, I can replicate the functionality of The Light Phone on my smartphone by removing all my apps and using it only for calls.
The truth is, I don’t really want to. I want the functionality to text and take photos. I like accessing my calendar and social media accounts immediately and I can always discipline myself to not pick up my smartphone as often as I do.
I don’t think The Light Phone is for this introvert. I can see it being wonderful for people who genuinely desire a break from intrusive technology and want to connect with the world in a different way.
Perhaps I’ve missed the point, but I go out and spend quality time with friends/family with my smartphone. I simply turn it off.
For me, despite my desire to spend lots of quality time by myself, I also desire the ability to communicate with the outside world via texting, blogging, and email. With a smartphone and a little discipline, I can do all of this on my terms, not my phones.
Over to you! Does The Light Phone sound like something you would love or loath? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.