Confessions of an iPhone-less student

By Julia Pearl-Schwartz

The world full of tweeting, snapchatting and selfies is a world familiar to many. But, I’m a stranger to this world, for I live without an iPhone.

I got my first cell phone freshman year and, while it was just a basic phone with a keyboard, I’ve had few complaints. That is, until now. Though I’ve never cared much before, this year is an opportune time for a cell-phone upgrade.

The smart phone, once reserved for only the tech-savvy and elite, has become commonplace in high school. Because of this, the disadvantages of my LG Octane are now more prominent than ever. I’ve come to realize that my flip-phone has negatively affected my life in two basic categories: socially and academically.

My biggest complaint is that I’m usually the last person to find out about social media trends. I didn’t know that Vine existed until my friends explained it to me. The same goes for Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram… the list goes on.

I’m also the last to hear gossip, solely because I don’t have immediate connections to friends at all times. While I am able to text, I cannot participate in group messages, Snapchats or access Facebook when I’m not at a computer.

My lack of smart phone has also hindered my ability to document events. I constantly find myself wishing I could snap pictures, but my LG Octane’s slow, low-pixel camera renders this impossible.

The most devastating part of having such a defunct camera is that I’m missing out on selfie-mania. Not only am I unable to participate in the Instagram trend “Mirror Pic Monday,” but I also miss out on the beloved “Throwback Thursday”. Plus, I don’t have any pictures of friends to use as emergency blackmail in dire situations.

iPhone culture, in addition to its more trivial advantages, also lends itself to academics. If only I could take pictures of paragraphs in a textbook, look up vocabulary words or Google a new concept on my phone, maybe I’d have a 5.0 GPA.

The iPhone also facilitates group work. If I’m doing a project with others and they tell me to send a screenshot of the information, I can’t. I can’t be in a group message and I’m generally slower to respond. It’s irritating for both my group members and me as it reduces our overall efficiency and ability to communicate.

While my flip-phone vexes me at times, I must say, it has its benefits. I’m not attached to my phone. I’m not constantly checking Facebook, I’m not constantly scrolling through my photos out of sheer boredom, and I’m certainly not sneaking Snapchats behind my desk during math class. I feel as though I’m able to live more in the moment.

My LG Octane has also proved to be less distracting, which in turn increases my overall diligence. I don’t get distracted while looking something up on my cell phone because I can’t. And because I can only text and call on my phone, I don’t have ways to easily procrastinate while doing work.

Despite these benefits, an upgrade is definitely in order. As a junior, this is a prime time to explore my full Vine-making potential, to take hundreds of selfies, and to finally participate in those intriguing group messages. I want a phone that’s not ancient, even if it means sacrificing my already short attention span.