It’s Just a Computer

Paul Miller uses his smartphone without the phone part, and it’s not so bad:

A smartphone doesn’t die without an LTE connection. Much to the contrary, the first thing I notice about airplane mode is my improved battery life. And then, of course, there’s Wi-Fi. I have Wi-Fi at home, I have Wi-Fi at the office, and I have Wi-Fi at my primary evening hangout spot. It’s almost like having an iPod Touch, except my iPhone is newer and better than an iPod touch … So, basically, my phone still works. … And I can call people just fine over FaceTime or Google Hangouts. I prefer it, in fact. FaceTime Audio sounds way better than a regular phone call, and both Hangouts and FaceTime can add video chat to the experience.

With the deep resentment I feel toward wireless carriers, and my own consistent lack of being rich, I’ve long desired to opt out of them altogether, and just rely on Wi-Fi.

But shit happens out in the open world. The advent of plain old dumb-phone cell phones saved my butt in innumerable situations in the aughts, situations I was painfully aware would have been disasters had they occurred just a year or so before, when I was one of those people who thought cellphones were ostentatious and unnecessary. 

And I have kids, and I need to be available, period. So there’s that.

Miller again:

I think there’s something else going on here. When your smartphone isn’t a phone anymore… it’s just a computer. And that’s kind of beautiful to me.

Yeah, I much prefer to think of these things as computers rather than telephones. Telephones are conduits for obligations. Computers are, well, everything.

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