Search This Blog

Monday, March 28, 2022

mobile phone - smart phone or a dumb phone - which is better ?

The ubiquitous mobile – which one or rather how many do you carry in person ? – if you are owning more than one, is there a real need ? – and is not a phone, basically an equipment where you call or receive calls, talking to people !

With every technological advancement, problems also galore.  Mankind contrives to have fresher trouble. How soon people forget that in India a couple of decades ago, there was no mobile phone…… only landlines ~ not all had or could afford a telephone at their residence… in Office, people called – the intended recipient may not be at desk – may have gone out, still people communicated, work was still happening at a fast pace. Now, we think that World would come to a standstill if we, were to be without mobile for a few minutes !

Then came a techno marvel called ‘pager’ ~ can you imagine that the basic model was only numeric i.e., one can convey only numbers – the advanced version was alpha-numeric – it was never as luxurious as the modern day SMS – there were service providers. One had to call the service provider and tell them the message that is to be paged – they would record and send the message to the recipient – much like a telegram but delivered electronically – and naturally one had to be short.  The pager was a dedicated RF or radio frequency device that allowed the pager user to receive messages broadcast on a specific frequency over a special network of radio base stations.   History has it that the first pager-like system was used by Detroit Police Department in 1921; officially patented in 1949 and came to India much later in the 1990s. 

Things are changing so rapidly in few years that many things have been  forgotten – the millennium kids and later would not know that    ‘dring ….. dring’ sound was associated with telephones and that telephones had ‘dial pad’ which one had to ring and not push buttons…. So for  if you were to dial say 89893 (incidentally the tel no of my erstwhile Organisation – Mount Road branch) one had to ring – if it were to be a no.  44447777 – no way of pushing 4 four times and 7 four times… but one had to ring 4, 4, 4,4, and …. So on….  the metallic sound of dring, dring, was the only sound that could be heard till one picked up the phone – no fancy ring tones, caller tunes and more…

The landline is place specific ~ while the cell phone is person specific… really wonder, how we communicated to people.  Mobile phone no doubt is a technological marvel ~ able to be connected all the time ~ [some misuse being connected while walking on the road; crossing it; driving a vehicle and more]

Some mobiles cost a lakh of rupees and more, still sell like hotcakes !  .. .. iphone, Android phones and more having 3 or more cameras, lot of inbuilt Apps  .. and in between a generation that is trying to get back to brick phones ! 

May be you have a friend who still fancies an old handset and does not carry a smartphone ! – sounds strange and ridiculous – someone wedded to ‘dumbphone’. These are basic handsets, or feature phones, with very limited functionality compared to say an iPhone. You can typically only make and receive calls and SMS text messages. And, if you are lucky - listen to radio and take very basic photos, but definitely not connect to the internet or apps. These were the fancied first generation handsets that people first vied in 1990s.  some of them still sell in the market.

The decision to ditch smartphone is not exactly a spur of moment thing.   While looking for a replacement handset (which most do in an year or slightly more) – the decision gets lured by the low price of a "brick phone" .. . and because of its limited functionality, one need not worry about data package.   Use that brick phone for a week or so, one would realise that smartphone had been taking over so much of life as it is replete with social media Apps and user gets glued to them.  A couple of persons whom I know, vouch that they may not return to another smartphone, as they are happy with the dumb-model which does not limit, but offers enough of what it is meant to be.  

Dumbphones are continuing to enjoy a revival. Google searches for them jumped by 89% between 2018 and 2021, according to a report by software firm SEMrush.Meanwhile, a 2021 study by Deloitte said that one in 10 mobile phone users in the UK had a dumbphone."It appears fashion, nostalgia, and them appearing in TikTok videos, have a part to play in the dumbphone revival," says a mobile expert, who added that "Many of us had a dumbphone as our first mobile phone, so it's natural that we feel a sense of nostalgia towards these classic handsets."

May be it was the master-brain of relaunch of Nokia's 3310 handset - first released in 2000, and one of the biggest-selling mobiles of all time - that really sparked the revival.  For sure such phones can in no way compete   with the latest premium Apple and Samsung models when it comes to performance or functionality, yet "they can outshine them in equally important areas such as battery life and durability". .. .. .. dumb phone would not be addicted to browsing Facebook, WA, Instagram or forwarded news / videos – they have more time to talk to people and spend quality time with family.  A huge benefit in so far as, it is away from addiction to likes, shares, comments and searches of what others describe of you .. .. instead they have more privacy and peace.  

If aliens were to invade earth, they could be frightened by the super species controlling human being ie., mobile phones. Smart phone is not mere entertainment centre, it is the news generator, time occupier, navigation system, diary, dictionary, wallet and everything – grabbing the attention of others, and potent mines, if one were to lose the phone and its associated private secured data.  For those looking for simpler technologies, dumbphones might offer a return to simpler times. It might leave more time to fully concentrate on a single task and engage with it more purposefully. It might even calm people down.

Now read the first para again ?   which phone do you own/use ? – how many mobiles do you carry along ? 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Mar 2022. 

No comments:

Post a Comment