Two weeks ago, my smartphone shut down because of a low battery as I was about to board a flight to Europe. That seemed odd, given that I had barely used it that day. I plugged it in on the plane, but seven hours later, it still wasn’t functioning. When I arrived at my hotel I tried a different charger, to no avail. The phone was dead — terminally so, it turned out.
I hadn’t brought a laptop, so I had no access to the internet or email. I had no camera, no guidebooks, no maps.
I took a deep breath and decided to make the best of it. I’m hardly a smartphone addict. I rarely look at social media. I had happily traveled in Europe in the years before cellphones. I decided to emulate the movie star Eddie Redmayne, who last year said he had given up his smartphone in order to live “in the moment.”
I shared my experience this week with Adam Alter, an associate professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and author of “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked.”
“One problem for people who choose to be without phones is, as you found, that people expect you to have one, and infrastructure is designed with the knowledge that almost everyone does,” Mr. Alter said. “You’re borderline forced to carry one for basic utility even if you’d prefer not to.”
Read the whole story: The New York Times