We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us.

– Henry David Thoreau


I’m guilty as most when it comes to using my smartphone in the company of others, constantly checking emails, facebook, or texts. Usually I don’t feel too bad though: when I look up, my friends’ heads are screenward. Recently, I have been leaving my smartphone at the apartment during the week when I leave for school or the farm. There is a sense of peace in the (semi)disconnect and an ease when in the company of others—the “check me, check me” no longer present. Oh, the luxuries of technology. The Chicago Tribune recently ran an article on people who have intentionally given up or decided not to upgrade to smartphones, instead choosing to use “dumbphones.” The articles discusses the many reasons these people, many younger, have chosen to disconnect from the hyper-connectivity a smartphone provides.

I have toyed with the idea of going back to a land line and the freedom that would afford me but also realize it would be a pain in the ass when I needed google maps or was stranded somewhere alone. ETR readers what are your feelings on smartphones? Is this all-too-common disconnect worth the many benefits they provide? Any “dumbphone” users out there?


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