Adventures With A Slider Phone

Adventures With A Slider Phone

What happens when a twenty-year old uses a "dumb phone?"
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Early on Memorial Day morning, I tried to charge my phone, a Samsung Galaxy S5. However, I couldn’t do so because I then realized a piece of the charging port came loose and broke. After several attempts, I gave up trying to charge and asked for my dad’s help.

This scenario happened once before, in which we had to go online and go over several steps to solve the charging issue. It turned up to be quite small, but my dad warned me about being careful next time.

This time, I wasn’t careful, and he couldn’t fix it. To temporarily remedy this issue, he pulled out the small slide phone from the cabinet and suggested I use that for the week. My mom thought I should borrow her smartphone for a little bit, as she found less use for it than myself, but it was already decided.

For the next week, I had a mid-2000s phone.

Based on the photographs I’ve taken, the last time I used the small phone was during my sophomore year in high school. My parents saw using a smartphone as a privilege; when I used too much data or otherwise abused the phone, I would be relegated to such a phone.

Personally, I didn’t think it was that bad using that type of phone. Recently, I find myself surfing The internet on my smartphone, even in the bathroom, depleting of its battery and the time it needed for me to change. I even neglected brushing my teeth for a little while so that my roommate would knock on the bathroom door and have to use it before I managed to brush my teeth.

Also, other than a camera, I didn’t have any other apps on the phone to worry about, so my battery remained high. When I would come home at the end of the day, the battery would remain substantially high, requiring little charging at the end of the day.

Despite these advantages, along with the ability to recognize my surroundings more, I saw some disadvantages as well.

***

One thing which irritated me is despite the addition of my SIM card, I didn’t have that many of my contacts on my smartphone transferred onto the other phone. My dad thought of this as the least of my concerns, as I would only have to use my cell phone for emergencies or to contact my mother during the day. But when I wanted to contact my other friends, the only numbers on the phone were those from people we barely interact with anymore.

Another inconvenience is texting. As someone who frequently texts via screen to go back to numbers was a little bit difficult. I switched my phone language to French, which meant autocorrect couldn’t help me when I had to write texts to other people. Therefore, it took me a little bit longer to write them. I also received some multimedia texts which didn’t exactly translate into text.

Finally, one thing I did adjust to is photography. As it is a smaller phone, it can only hold a limited number pictures at a time; not to mention, I couldn’t upload them onto my computer when they were done. But I had a camera, nevertheless.

***

Ultimately, I got my smartphone back, albeit with a wireless charger instead. On the one hand, I can have my phone again, yet I wouldn’t be able to charge it whenever I liked.

As a child coming of age in 2015, of course, I missed my smartphone, with all its whistles and bells and high-speed everything. Yet at the end of the day, there are some things I appreciate with the slider phone I’ve had for a few days.

Cover Image Credit: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/MYYBYmSMGUM/maxresdefault.jpg

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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To All You Zombies Stuck To Your Smartphone's Tiny Screen, What Are You Doing?

Why is technology becoming so advanced, but people are more and more likely to lonely and emotionless zombies?

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In this age, there is an emotion called "lonely in connection". I realized it on a rainy day, feeling empty while holding my phone in hand, looking at the "green active on-off button" continuously, and wasn't able to find a person to text. I keep surfing one website to another, all superficial and tasteless.

Deep down, I know what I really want to do, of course, not surfing the Internet. The true feeling of happiness that I crave for is not the likes, shares, and meaningless icons on Facebook. That day, I decided to leave my phone in the room, have a walk in the park near my house, and I realize that smartphones have taken away more from me than what I got back...

Smartphones are changing us to zombies.

Warning about the harmful effects of smartphones is everywhere on the Internet: children using smartphones are at risk of autism, light from smartphone's screen makes users lose their sleep, Facebook increases the risk of depression, smartphones increase the risk of traffic accidents, even deadly cases because of "living virtual"...

So what? The truth is people still use them: Use them until they become addicted!

Even though smartphone users have hundreds of reasons to justify why they are looking at their phone, such as "updating information", "keeping connection", "working" ... the truth is they only do so as the result of reflex, of the habit has been deliberately "trained" by phone makers and software developers. Today, the software works so well that even an illiterate child can use smartphones and become addicted.

Smartphones are turning us into technology zombies that only know how to act reflexively.

And day after day, the comfort of smartphones gradually turns us into technology zombies, acting instinctively by habits and very little thinking. We go through this website to another website, read the crap, post status to talk about bullshit, wait for likes and shares unconsciously. We jump continuously from email to Facebook, to Instagram, to YouTube. We aspire to interact, eager to receive notification from any source. We plunge into stimulating loops - reflexes from the phone, so if it is silent, our lives will also stop.

And maybe for some people, their lives will stop if smartphones disappear!

The problem of smartphones right now is not only addictive but also making things simpler and easier. Instead of saying "I like your opinion", we click like. Instead of saying "thank you", we drop and release icons. Instead of retelling our own experiences, we take a virtual live photo and use a "deep" caption. Instead of texting people to ask them, we're just surfing on the notification ... And then instead of taking pleasure from human interaction, we become addicted to virtual interaction between people and machines. We like just to like, surf Facebook just to surf Facebook ... We don't connect for real connection, but because we can't stand the feeling of being "disconnected".

I want to finish my article with a story about an experiment. It was the early 1950s, American psychologist James Olds discovered the area that governs the feeling of satisfaction in the brain of mice. In one experiment, he placed the electric pole on that part of the mouse and connected it with a button. The mouse can press the button to satisfy itself. As a result, the mouse repeatedly pressed the button, not caring about food and water, until it died of exhaustion.

This story may sound funny, but actually very similar to the behavior of smartphone addicts. Increasingly, smartphones and applications within it are optimized to give users quick "rewards". They are fast food, which can give users instant gratification.

But in the long run, addiction to smartphones will not bring anything good for the spirit and emotions of users. Because human is a strange animal. It needs to experience sadness, suffering, loneliness, hostility, effort ... to be able to connect with each other and enjoy the full joy of life.

Just by putting down the phone, staying away from the easy satisfaction that smartphones bring us, accepting real efforts, embracing the complex and lively mind behind each one, then we will have a real sense of life, real connections, and real happiness.

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