Reluctantly Giving In

This unattractive to me!

Right. A smartphone is this unattractive to me.

I had held off getting one because I did not need it. But, at last, the pandemic will render me immobile until I get one. I will find it difficult to transact online with my bank unless I install its Online Banking Application. To my horror, it cannot be installed to my computer. Why? Because the app is a Mobile App.

Because I haven’t owned a smartphone at all, it took me a while to understand that platforms and applications may work for either computers/laptops or smartphones. However, this “or” is non-inclusive for many of these apps, meaning, for only one or the other, and only occasionally for both.

This bothered me considerably because I was used to logging into my bank’s portal using my computer for almost a decade. So, this is my first gripe about having to go online here in the Philippines: that banks here are giving more of their attention to mobile-phone banking versus making it accessible with a regular desktop computer or laptop. Would this be going backwards, a regress, or is this a leap in the dynamics?—in that, since most of the Filipinos who go online do so using their smartphones, this paradigm is more profitable.

Compare the screen sizes!

Which leads me to my second gripe about going online (that is, being forced to go online because of the pandemic): that, since most who go online use only smartphones, then the implication to online-learning is tremendous. It is so inefficient that it has become detrimental to leading healthy lives.

Now, those who have never used a smartphone, like me, find it horrendous to be forced to do homework and exams using a smartphone only. Navigating webpages using a netbook is quite challenging and stressful when one is after narratives and the big picture. How on earth could this be justifiably done using a narrow screen the size of my tiny palm?

For the sake of survival, I reluctantly give in to the idea of owning a smartphone. Yep, after all these years of holding out. I mourn the loss of my stand. I wonder how my students think of me now, of my advocacy against the indispensability of smartphones for their wellbeing. Yep, I showed to them graphic clips of parading smartphone zombies. And a TEDx talk by a smart young lady who discourages attachment to the smartphone lifestyle.

Because it does stay that way: smartphones are not indispensable in order to stay human, to become human, to thrive. Smartphone abuse, which is today’s norm, is in fact highly detrimental to humanity.

I have to get a smartphone so that I can do online banking and similar essential processes. But I will do my best to keep resisting its deceptive charm. My hope is that someday the smartphone lifestyle becomes downgraded as a result of alternatives developed toward having steady online presence without being caught in the trap of a smartphone’s sugary distractions.

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