It’s 2014, I’m a learning technologist, and I don’t have a smartphone. Why? It’s all about real estate.
You see, when the iPad first came out, I knew it made sense for me. It hit the sweet spot of portability, compact size, battery life, and functionality, so I could do *most* of what I wanted to do on a computer but anywhere and anytime. I bought (well my dear husband bought it for me for Christmas) the 3G iPad generation one. That iPad has now been replaced by a mini wifi only, but I have a mifi device which gives me connectivity pretty much anywhere I can’t get wifi.
Meanwhile, everyone else was buying smartphones. But why did I need to be poking around on a tiny keyboard and looking at a tiny screen when I had my iPad? What about actual phone calls, you may ask? Well I do have a little Nokia which cost me 15 quid at a local shop, which I use for a grand total of 5 quid per month. So that 5 quid, plus the 10 quid monthly I pay for my mifi — total of 15 quid a month and all devices purchased outright so I’m not paying for those monthly.
There are occasions when it seems like I might need a smartphone. For example, Instagram. Have never done Instagram. I do enjoy taking photos with my iPad and my camera, and I have accounts on Flickr and Pinterest for some of these. Also Snapchat — have not done that one, as it seems to demand a smartphone. Another time I felt out of it without a smartphone was when I used Google Glass. Google Glass wanted to pair with a smartphone, or at least an official 3G-enabled tablet. My iPad with a mifi did not qualify. I had to borrow my boss’s iPhone to test Google Glass (slightly awkward).
One last thing: I’m a woman. I carry a bag with me pretty much all the time. Some of my clothes don’t have good pockets. So carrying an iPad mini is no problem — it’s with me all the time. Even when I go to a fancy party, I can fit my iPad mini and mifi into a small bag. So I guess it’s a big goofy that I carry 3 devices (iPad, mifi, dumb phone) instead of one… but I think I’m ahead in terms of money, and I have the real estate which I like. What do you think? Will I have to bite the bullet and get a smartphone?
Learning Technologist, University of Leicester