i hate smart phone
I hate smart phones with a burning passion that has caused my weak willed hands to give up three to various bodies of water including a puddle outside a mechanic's and a pond to which I walked through the forest. I don't regret my actions except that I haven't killed more digital beasts.
My own current phone (until it too meets the fate of its brethren) is a PINE64 PinePhone running postmarketOS, a Linux distribution intended to keep good-enough smart phones running well past the expiration date on the box (or on the manufacturer's website). Technically, though I bet most people don't care, it's a security hazard to have an out-of-date smart phone; your banking, personal, medical information is on there and it doesn't take too long to get it out. Look at NSO Group and other wretched sub-scum that have evolved out of leech law enforcement's taxpayer-funded searches of people's smart devices, that made money because their product was good, because they could take the data out of your cell phone like the mind flayer sucks at your brain, like Coca Cola through a straw. Who even needs a crime scene indexed when you've Googled "How do I kill my rapist?", when GPS and cell tower logs show you were the only one at the scene of the crime, and when your slow descent into hell is chronicled in your Camera Roll, and when Samsung stopped updating your phone a year ago so all the police need to do is plug the black mirror into their stylish plastic suitcase? The journalist documenting the dictatorship is booking an airplane trip into a death trap if they forgot to make sure the little version number in a menu in a menu in an app in the bottom right corner of their home screen is high enough. I'm happy with postmarketOS's very regular updates which are for now preventing my pocket gizmo's eternal submersion.
Why the hell are we keeping all our shit on a piece of glass? I wouldn't trust my best friend with my nudes, why am I dumping them into a device someone else made that I don't understand? What happened to paper? What happened to Polaroids, to CDs, to e-mail and hard copies and for the love of Allah what happened to cash? The PinePhone is slightly better for this. I can call a dude that works on my phone's operating system ("Who are you? How did you get this number?") and ask any questions I want ("It's 3:00 AM. I'm turning my phone off.") or post in a forum and usually get an answer about what's safe and what features will turn me into a gecko (usually Find My, sometimes Auto Rotate). I don't even know how normal people deal with bugs in the system or ghosts in the machine. I asked a friend. "Usually I just ask you." When you run the "normal" phone operating systems, Android or iOS, you can't run your own apps, which doesn't matter if all you do is TikTok and Instagram but I like to solve my own problems which I'm forbidden to do unless I spend $2000 on a MacBook and $100 on an Xcode license. That's iOS. Android development is free but so godawfully slow and painful that I would probably rather be waterboarded by someone in a clown costume, and even though you can run your own apps on there you still can't take control of your phone by becoming system administrator like on a normal Linux or Windows installation. You have to "jailbreak" (iOS) or "root" (Android) your phone to have full control over it. Why am I paying for a jail? Why am I storing all my stuff in a prison? Again, postmarketOS is yours to control from the outset, not hiding any functionality behind a subscription or preventing you from using your device however you want (for better or for worse). postmarketOS supports full disk encryption with Linux Unified Key Setup, the cutting edge of the file security field. It's very nice.
But phones still suck, even my PinePhone, which is the best one I've found. "There's an app for that" but it isn't available for my phone and no I cannot fucking download your app, Dunkin' Donuts, to get that free coffee every Thursday or whatever. God forbid I have to take money out of my savings account like I do every once in a while because my shit job has miserable pay. I can either use the app my bank publishes (only for Android and iOS, of course) or go to an ATM, pay for the privilege, and hope I only have to use it two more times that day because my bank limits ATM transactions because they were targeted by hackers probably because their phones weren't updated. At this point I just keep cash with me which is great except for the places that don't take cash and instead take poker chips, ahem, numbers on a piece of plastic. In this day and age having no social media means having no friends, which I honestly do enjoy after the lengthy withdrawal because it's serene not having to check everyone's Instagram story (else miss out on the Next New Thing) or Facebook wall (else miss out on the Next New Gathering) or what have you. It is for me worth having nothing to miss in exchange for never having that gnawing fear of missing. I still have my phone number and on paper I have plenty of friends in person who never call, never e-mail, never stop by, because they've forgotten what life is like outside the app. Which I can live with, which is unreasonable for any non-crazy person. But forgoing this rotten post-Capitalist world of ad-soaked shitware takes a financial toll. How do you live on minimum wage? Discounts. Download the Dunkin' Donuts app. Download the Starbucks app. Even a god damn Home Depot app. I'm a Luddite for rejecting the last ten years of technology? They say not having Android or iOS is self-torture but even spending a little more of the little I have and taking a little more time of my little left to engage with the analog pleasures of the world is in my mind much more tolerable than the endless thoughtless suffering of the digital era and casino-floor news cattle feed and disintegration of person from world. So I suppose if I'm broke, I'm broke by choice, but it's a choice I never felt comfortable making.
Better the screen in the puddle than my head under the water. Reason died with the atom bomb.