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Thread: The all conquering smart phone

  1. #1
    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    The all conquering smart phone

    Saw this article today

    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...era-smartphone

    And it's actually something I feel a bit uneasy about.

    It's not the ipod's demise so much as the all conquering smart phone and the increasing difficulty in getting away from it.

    I have a smart phone. It's useful. I can update badge records from the middle of the woods, I can access nearly all the internet, I can post on this forum! Bu there are times.....

    There are times when I simply go out and leave the phone at home. Not off or airplane mode in my pocket, but at home. I put myself away from it, miles away, away for days. And I like it that way. I don't want to be contactable, I want to be on my tod with no temptation to glance at it. It's nothing personal against friends and family. I just like it that way. I'll be in scotland for a few days next month walking. I know full well that the area I'll be in has no mobile reception at all. I can't wait!

    the increasing dominance of the smart phone though makes that increasingly difficult. It's rapidly killing off the pocket camera, the mp3 player, the alarm clock, all those bits and pieces that are useful but don't make you contactable.

    We're not there yet. I still expect to regularly leave the house and be out of touch for years to come, but I do fear the point will come when being out of touch, the enjoyment of a bit of solitude, will become seen as weird or eccentric instead of a healthy and natural part of existence.

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  3. #2
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    I think ours might be the last generation that thinks its okay to be out of touch/uncontactable every now and again.


    (I say ours... I don't know how old you are... I remember there being no mobile phones and having but one phone in the house. Ours was in the kitchen on a bunker on top of a phone book and yellow pages...)

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    Senior Member Rikki01's Avatar
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    I don't get the issue some people have with smart phones. All that information and learning in the palm of your hand.

    I spend a lot of time on mine and television is almost non-existent and has been like this for some time.

    I read the news. Research things I fond an interest in. Write and design, play games etc.

    I like to be contactable. A lot of people depend on me and I want to be here for them if they need me.

    Yes they can be annoying when that person keeps trying to contact you but it is no different that the annoying neighbour that keeps talking to you over he fence.

    I have one very simple rule. When I am with someone. The phone stays on silent until I am alone. One of the most discourteous things in my opinion is when you are having a face to face conversation and someone stops to take a call.

    So in my opinion the smart phone is not the issue. It is a lack of manners that is the issue.




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    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    I can understand everyones point of view on this. I have to admit that I like to be contactable if at all possible (in my circumstances this is basically a must) and I enjoy being able to read as and when the fancy takes me. Like Rikki, I watch very little TV nowadays.

    Having said that, I can fully understand how people would want to get away from all that sometimes.

    Each to their own, I guess.
    All posts represent my own opinions only. In no way do they speak for anyone else, including (but not limited to) my group, district, county or HQ.

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    Senior Member Rikki01's Avatar
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    Two things I recommend which ai do:

    1. I have my phone automatically set up to go into 'Do Not Disturb' mode between 18:00-0800

    2. Set all email accounts to 'Fetch' instead of 'Push'. I will request my emails when I want not when the phone wants.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CambridgeSkip View Post
    the increasing dominance of the smart phone though makes that increasingly difficult. It's rapidly killing off the pocket camera, the mp3 player, the alarm clock, all those bits and pieces that are useful but don't make you contactable.
    I don't wear a watch these days, I use the phone instead of a camera, email of course, but seldom make phone calls. So I was on site in Albania last month when, without warning, my phone died. Completely bricked. I didn't know what time it was, had to borrow a camera to take site photos, no email contact, no maps. Actually there was some warning, the charge level seemed to drop then recover, but I took no notice assuming I was mistaken. I left it on charge and suddenly, after 16 hours or so, it suddenly sprang back into life with charge of 5% and rising. Something to do, I suspect, with the charge level indicator and the battery internal protection against complete discharge (which is bad for L-ion batteries) assessing charge level in different ways. So all's well that ends well - but I couldn't help for a while there but think of Forster's story 'The Machine Stops'.
    John Russell
    ex-CSL now ACSL 1st Pinhoe Exeter Devon
    Cubs don't care how much you know, but they need to know how much you care.

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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    I totally understand Cambridgeskip's point of view. However, I am also grateful for the abilities that a smartphone brings.

    Take Cub and Scout Summer Camps. My business partner is away abroad during cub camp. We are away on Scout camp together. If it wasn't for smartphones we wouldn't be able to keep on top of work calls, emails, bookings, etc whilst away. Maybe not a problem if you're just an "employee" in a big company, but you are the only people who can respond to those emails, and when not responding to them potentially means losing business, the smartphone does become a necessity.

    Thinking about it, at Camp, my phone:

    - Is the main means of running camp. Yes we have everything on paper as well, but being able to pull up the programme on my phone anywhere in teh field is a lot easier than walking to the notice board
    - Is my watch and alarm clock
    - Is my camera. Unlike my DSLR it's waterproof, its far more resistant to being dropped, and it takes pretty good photos... and its not a pain to carry around camp
    - Allows me to keep on top of work
    - Is our music player - we have a bluetooth speaker in the cook tent and use spotify on my phone to give us some background music whilst cooking/washing up/chilling without the kids
    - Is our weather forecast service - particularly live rain sattelites from www.raintoday.co.uk are very useful when deciding whether its worth changing an activity or if the shower will pass!
    - Allows us to post on the group's social media and website whilst on camp

    Its worth saying that I can, quite happily, do "uncontactable". I do quite like having the ability to make contact if needed (e.g. knowing where there is signal if there is a problem) but if we are on a site with no mobile signal for a week then, apart from being able to keep on top of work, it doesnt really bother me!

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    Thinking about it, at Camp, my phone:

    - Is the main means of running camp. Yes we have everything on paper as well, but being able to pull up the programme on my phone anywhere in teh field is a lot easier than walking to the notice board
    - Is my watch and alarm clock
    - Is my camera. Unlike my DSLR it's waterproof, its far more resistant to being dropped, and it takes pretty good photos... and its not a pain to carry around camp
    - Allows me to keep on top of work
    - Is our music player - we have a bluetooth speaker in the cook tent and use spotify on my phone to give us some background music whilst cooking/washing up/chilling without the kids
    - Is our weather forecast service - particularly live rain sattelites from www.raintoday.co.uk are very useful when deciding whether its worth changing an activity or if the shower will pass!
    - Allows us to post on the group's social media and website whilst on camp
    Not sure why I didn't think of putting all the camp info on my phone for camp! That said walking to my folder wasn't a big chore.
    Used it for most of your other points (except work - was glad to be uncontactable but obv diff circumstances). Kept track of several weather forecasts at multiple points throughout the day, mostly to see when the next lot of rain was going to hit

    Parents loved the fact they could see what the scouts were getting up to through our fb posts - made a big difference to them although none to the Scouts

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    Do you remember the days before smart phones, the net, email etc - I don't remember the world falling to pieces or things failing to work - all this tech hasn't really made our lives easier, just more complicated. It's good to detox once in a while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rikki01 View Post
    I don't get the issue some people have with smart phones. All that information and learning in the palm of your hand.
    I think that the issue I have is that I used to work with several people who could not bear to put the things down.

    I was recently handed a HSE news release telling of a support worker who ingnored a vulnerable adult because she was on her phone for so long. He drowned and she got a prison sentence.

    I also get fed up of people crossing the road concentrating on their phone.

    I admit that I am a bit of a Luddite in this respect!

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    ASL and YLUL wealdbrook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernwood View Post
    Do you remember the days before smart phones, the net, email etc - I don't remember the world falling to pieces or things failing to work - all this tech hasn't really made our lives easier, just more complicated. It's good to detox once in a while.
    I remember as a Scout a fellow breaking their leg on camp - Kingsdown I think - the only phone was a call box outside the warden's office and the leaders had to ring a neighbour of the parents. Everyone survived, it was normal.
    John Alexander,
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    http://www.1stwealdbrook.org.uk
    ESL(YL) Brentwood District

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    ASL Kev's Avatar
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    My son used to say that cameras were a waste of time because you could use your phone. He now carries all sorts of camera stuff around including my 30 year old film SLR. Remember also the renewed interest in records. I think there will be more interest in analogue devices such as music synthesizers. I think turning the phone off for free time will get more mainstream.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by bernwood View Post
    Do you remember the days before smart phones, the net, email etc - I don't remember the world falling to pieces or things failing to work - all this tech hasn't really made our lives easier, just more complicated. It's good to detox once in a while.
    Yes I remember - people and organisations had one phone number and when you called it they answered!

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    I do like the fact that my phone gives me easier access to information that is useful - weather forecasts, contacting people etc but I agree that its something that we need to ensure we are in control of rather than it being in control of us.

    We currently have a regular family holiday back at an outdoor centre I used to work at as a student 20 years ago. Mobile signal on site is minimal to non existant but there is wifi if you want it. I tend to try and have the week off social media but do tend to use the weather forecast apps - being in deepest Snowdonia and wanting to be outside does make that beneficial.

    It was however amusing to point out to my kids the location of the phone box I used to use a couple of times a week to phone home or latterly a girlfriend. We're talking a half mile walk down a lane. There was a payphone in the centre but it was in the main entrance hall so having a private conversation was a bit tricky - and to be honest its one of my favourite locations I've ever stayed so the walk down the lane was always a pleasure - even in the rain sometimes. Even now when I go back I'll often go for a walk down that way in the evening just to enjoy the scenery and the almost bone penetrating quiet that is such a culture shift from city life.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rikki01 View Post
    I don't get the issue some people have with smart phones. All that information and learning in the palm of your hand.

    I spend a lot of time on mine and television is almost non-existent and has been like this for some time.

    I read the news. Research things I fond an interest in. Write and design, play games etc.

    I like to be contactable. A lot of people depend on me and I want to be here for them if they need me.

    Yes they can be annoying when that person keeps trying to contact you but it is no different that the annoying neighbour that keeps talking to you over he fence.

    I have one very simple rule. When I am with someone. The phone stays on silent until I am alone. One of the most discourteous things in my opinion is when you are having a face to face conversation and someone stops to take a call.

    So in my opinion the smart phone is not the issue. It is a lack of manners that is the issue.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    It's not an issue with the phone as such. They are very useful and I use mine a lot.

    It is not the manners I have an issue with.

    My concern is the expectations. As they absorb ever more gadgets into them my concern is that the expectation of others that you will have it with you, and you will be contactable will only increase. And with that being able to be away, to be switched off from the rest of the world, to disconnect and it just be you and the mountain, you and the woods, you and the sea, will become increasingly frowned upon. And I don't think that is a healthy thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CambridgeSkip View Post
    My concern is the expectations. As they absorb ever more gadgets into them my concern is that the expectation of others that you will have it with you, and you will be contactable will only increase. And with that being able to be away, to be switched off from the rest of the world, to disconnect and it just be you and the mountain, you and the woods, you and the sea, will become increasingly frowned upon. And I don't think that is a healthy thing.
    Yup - this.

    More often I find myself fielding accusations of 'why didn't you reply?' or 'why didn't you respond?' There are those who - because they can see if you've read a message, or because they know their name will pop up if they phone you - get terribly offended if you don't skip to it.

    Smartphones in that regard, play into the narcissist streak some people have - not an attractive trait either...

    In a weird way, the smartphone (in some regards) has reinforced the notion for some, that the world does revolve round them. Sometimes its good fun to disabuse people of that notion.

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