So Apple has just confirmed that it’s slowing down older iPhones. Which let’s face it, we all knew anyway.
Anyone who’s ever owned a Nokia brick, an old washing machine or a cassette player knows that stuff today just isn’t built like it used to be. Even I – a 90s-born millennial snowflake who has never owned any of these things – know this. My mum’s blue Ford Fiesta that she got at the age of about 19 years old lasted her until my teenage years. Her record player that she listened to while she was at school still works today. I challenge you to present me with a piece of technology that will outlive a hamster nowadays.
Technology might be moving forward in terms of productivity – but when it comes to battery life, sustainability and durability, we are moving backwards. If you drop most smartphones on the floor without a 10cm thick casing of bubble wrap you will more than likely find yourself at one of those stalls they have outside off-licences nowadays, chatting to a guy who sells 300 phone cases about how quickly he can fix your screen.
In contrast, if you throw a Nokia brick through a window it will be fine. You could probably play a game of football with the phone and it would still work just as well. And you can play snake on it. Beat that, Apple.
Yet despite their tendency to break, people are queuing – literally camping outside Apple stores – to buy the latest model. Nobody ever queued like that for the Nokia brick. And despite me singing the praises of beautiful old technology, I know I’m in the minority here. Especially amongst people my age, most of whom can operate an iPhone using their thumbs, whilst I sit there prodding it with my index finger, saying “I don’t understand how it works”.
All I need to tell you to illustrate my technophobia is that I was at school in the year 2010 and never wanted a BlackBerry. I got my first phone when I started secondary school – the most basic kind you could imagine, I think it was about £20 – and I kept that phone up until I was 18, forgot it on a bus and lost it forever to the abyss of TFL’s lost property department. Otherwise I promise you I would still have it today (RIP beautiful old phone).
Yes it’s true; I’m a rarely sighted creature – the millennial technophobe. A Neanderthal when it comes to any kind of gadgety thing. The thing is, I spend most of my days and evenings online doing one thing or another – whether it’s writing articles like this or watching Jessica Jones for the tenth time on Netflix. Why would I want to carry the internet around in my pocket as well?
Unfortunately (and ironically), I’m hooked. I hate the Internet, yet I’m on it all the time. And I know that if I had the option, I would be online for even longer, and that wouldn’t be any good for my mental health. I’m mad enough, so I feel like rejecting these fancy phones is the way to go.
There are two things at breaking point: our phones, and our mental health. A recent Atlantic article pointed out that the mental well-being of young people took a drastic hit in 2012 – the year the proportion of US citizens who owned a smartphone surpassed 50 per cent. Instead of spending more time on our slowing phones, we need to spend some time on slowing down and spending some time with ourselves.
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