Why the mobile phone is obsolete

I’m thinking of not using my mobile phone anymore. More so, I don’t see the need to buy a more expensive (and reportedly more privacy-violating) smartphone.

Just thinking how I’m accessible to anyone via the following makes the mobile phone obsolete for me:

  • Landline Phone (if I’m at home)
  • eMail
  • Instant Messenger

My mobile phone is an Alcatel OT-E101. It’s no smartphone but it does the job enough for me. It’s inexpensive and tough as you can see in this video. But am I using it as a mobile phone should be used?

Here’s how I use my mobile phone now:

  • When I go out with my family, I use it as a watch or calculator.
  • I use it daily as an alarm clock to wake up or be informed of a certain event.
  • I use it rarely as an electronic notepad (albeit a VERY slow one).

After reviewing the list above, I see that my mobile phone can be easily replaced by much more cheaper devices: a digital wrist watch and pen & paper.

I would like to end this post with a decision, but for now I haven’t done so yet. Maybe you can help me out? Should I or shouldn’t I just not use my mobile phone anymore?

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4 thoughts on “Why the mobile phone is obsolete

  1. Thank you for the article, I’ve been thinking about this in the past months as well and came to similar conclusions.

    Smartphones are a lot about manufactured demand. Mobile distraction devices.

    I have a more than 2 year old smartphone and my use of it has declined in the past months. I never was a frequent caller and I mainly got it for the mobile internet (switching to SIP is a pain because of the carriers …). I use it for checking the time, morning alarm, sometimes checking mails, Diaspora & Identi.ca etc. and often listening to podcasts & audiobooks. Except for the alarm clock which I unfortunately need I could really do without instant access to the aforementioned things and just check them at a computer.

    Some time ago I picked up using pen and notepad again which is much more fun as a pastime than any app on the phone. Although faster to note something down via the hardware keyboard, it’s frustrating to not be able to freely scribble on the phone. The main reason I still have it is its combination of things as I don’t like carrying lots of things around, especially single-purpose devices like a wristwatch or a music player.

    I think if the device would break I wouldn’t get a new one though; it slowly does that already by the battery being broken. At the moment I’m waiting for my contract to phase out and will at most get a prepaid plan (because I hate the recurring fees); although Wi-Fi seems usable without SIM card.

    As for privacy, I have Replicant on my phone, the fully free and open source variant of Android – seeing that and FDroid, the free market alternative was probably the best thing in the time of using the device.

  2. I’m not ready to stop carrying it, but I definitely don’t use my phone as a phone, nor even to text very much. I use it when I am on the bus to read RSS, statusnet, blogs etc. and to IM with friends via XMPP.

    At home I make my calls via my PC so my phone isn’t even on.

    I too worry about some of the privacy features that are “automatic” with my android smartphone and can’t be removed…

    I don’t have a solution yet..maybe carry my pc more or a netbook where I know 100% of the software and what it does and when.

    Pen and paper…that’s a good idea but after 20 years of typing away, I’m not sure I could read my handwriting any more 😉

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