Life Punctuated by Skiing & Writing

1K to go a Week with no Smart Phone?

The company, Frontier Bundles an authorized retailer of internet service provider Frontier Communications is offering just that, one-grand, a thousand smackeroos to not use your smartphone. It’s not like you have to cut yourself off either, you get to use an old fashion flip phone during that time, all one-hundred-sixty-eight-hours of it during which time presumably you’ll be asleep for about a third.

Sheesh, what a piece of cake! Too bad I’m not a joiner, or maybe just too lazy to bother with this, I mean a grand’s a grand right? I could (with my Pro Discount) buy two pairs of high-performance ski’s, I could purchase four bottles of good scotch, seventy-five good cigars, or whatever else struck my fancy. Hell, I could even buy a new smartphone.

So what is it about this little fangled device that gets companies like Frontier and Vitamin Water which offered 100K to do the same thing for a year? Is it because we, as in our society, have grown so narcissistic that we actually believe others care if we are connected or not and in so doing suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)? Would it actually matter if you had to wait to go to a desktop or laptop to see a picture on InstaBook” or could not tell someone that you checked into to your therapist’s office on “Face-Gram” or “Twitedyour latest meal?

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I do that all winter long, and thank heavens for it! Working in the high peaks of New Mexico five to seven days a week from mid-November through mid-April I am blessed, yes blessed with no data or even cellular service when out on the mountain. Sure I could go up to the top where I could get a signal or to the base and into the office and get online, but God why would I want to? If I need to make a phone call or receive one, the good old landline is the only way.  The number of robocalls I miss alone is worth the drive up.

Yeah, I have a smartphone, I even did a blog post review of the iPhone 8 Plus. I love it. It’s great. I can play music when I’m at the gym or read a book while waiting for an appointment. Take great pictures or listen to an interesting podcast when out for a walk with the dogs. These days, being semiretired I get very few emails, mostly news notifications or during the winter, work stuff, so it’s great for that too but not really necessary. 

My kids know that if they text me, I’ll call them, it must be important or else why would they text? That is if I even see the texts; I have the alerts turned off, no pop up interrupts me. Same with the noises, and rings; all muted. Yes, I can see the little number there on the box, but I can never remember how many I had before the latest one showed up last Tuesday… Okay, I’m not that bad, but almost.

The social media I mentioned above? Not on my phone; I have to literally go to my computer, find the site and log in that way. I’m not anti-technology. Quite the contrary I’m fascinated by it. I write novels about it, I’m intrigued about what the future of it will look like.

What I’m less enthusiastic about is the way many of us use it, particularly when it comes to getting information that may not be, ah how would you say, accurate. The internet through the use of “News Sites” and social media in all its forms have put all of the Village Idiots out of work.

And there lies the crux of why companies have to offer money to get people off the smartphone. Doing regulatory work for casinos at one point in my law enforcement career I used to watch people playing slots. It was not unlike the studies of monkeys pushing buttons to get a banana slice. Create a trigger, add a reward and bam, you have a learned behavior. At least if you are playing Black Jack or Craps you are doing some probability and statistics.

In a word, you are engaged.

So if you’re out there listening Frontier Bundles, you can use me, I’ll even donate the grand. I’ll use the flip phone, listen to the music being played on the speakers at the gym and engage my own thoughts while out for a walk with the dogs. If you like I can even blog about how day by day I become more desperate, more cut-off. Night sweats have begun and my loud, racing heartbeats are bothering the dog.

Or I can just tell you that in my case I’d rather have the whole banana rather than just a slice.

Cheers!

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