Cranfield Rowell: No More Flip Phones, Please

Monday, November 12, 2018 - by Cranfield Rowell

Around 20 years ago it was uncommon to see or know someone who used, or owned, a cellular phone. If a person had a mobile phone they were ‘somebody’.  Those mobile phones looked like the large cordless phone you’d find on the wall in your living room or kitchen. As time went on those phones became smaller. A couple of years later cellular phones transitioned into just ‘cell phones’, and those phones could flip open and close, ending or starting a phone call. Society evolved. The Internet evolved. People needed access to everything at a moment’s notice. Flip phones transitioned into phones with keyboards and access to emails and Internet. Those phones evolved into smart phones. In today’s society it is common to see an eight-year-old checking out the latest YouTube video of their favorite star with his or her smartphone.

A few members of society choose to not own a smartphone. I respect that. I don’t judge. I can see the view that a smart phone is dangerous in the fact it allows the possibility of others accessing your personal information, and can disconnect you from human interaction. I get it. Some people choose to not evolve with the current pace and speed of society.

On occasion I will see a person traveling in a horse-drawn carriage. I think no less of a person who chooses that archaic mode of transportation.  I know a few people who choose to write and mail personal letters rather than type and email them. I know a few people who choose to avoid debit or credit cards and only use cash. In terms of cell phone ownership, I respect those who choose to use an  old mobile phone that looks like a cordless phone you’d find in a 90s angry Mel Gibson movie. If you want to live in the past and communicate using handwritten letters, face-to-face interaction, corded or cordless wall or rotary phones, passenger pigeons, or by happening on your neighbor’s property during a nice Sunday run on horseback, go for it. However, there is something you should never, ever do. There is one mode of communication that you should avoid at all costs because it is terrifying for a normal person to witness you owning or using. Do not ever own a flip phone.

Flip phones belong in the past. Like history’s outbreak of smallpox, flip phones had their time in society and left their mark. We still have the scars to prove we stopped their attempted ascent of staying in our lives forever. We learned. We evolved.

I get it. They’re durable. They’re cheaper than smartphones. They don’t allow personal information to be stored on your phone. They’re only meant for calling. I get it. I understand parents giving them to their children to use. But adults? No. I understand a person finding them appealing. You know who else finds flip phones appealing? Terrorists. If I see a person with a cell phone, I imagine they are about to facilitate a drug deal in a nearby alley, they are waiting for the rendezvous point to exchange their hostage for money, or they have a direct line to a bomb somewhere.

If I were employed by the TSA I’d solely focus on flip phone users for my random searches.

“Officer, my grandmother is 97 years old, a flip phone is easy for her to use.”

“Ma’am, I’m sorry but this is a national security matter. We are going to wait here until we get some dogs to investigate her wheelchair. On a side note, JOAN, if you truly loved your grandmother, you would have not got her a flip phone.”

Like I said, I understand the appeal of flip phones. On top of what I already mentioned, they are easy to use. One flip phone owner told me, “The sound in the phone calls is of such high quality.” I’m sure. I bet you hear society’s judgments loud and clear.

If you own a flip phone I suggest you take it outside, burn it, and then bury it in the basement of your regrets. There’s still time for you. You can be saved.


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