You Down With N.O.P.? Yeah, You Know Me

How Life Schooled Me to Break Up With My Smart Phone

(Ball busting texts from siblings. Always a good time…)

Sissy: How’s N.O.P. treating you?

Me: Huh?

Sissy: New Old Phone, Loser.

Me: You down with N.O.P? Yeah, you know me!

Sissy: Just b/c you’re owning this doesn’t make it any less ridonkulous!

And so it goes … Let the ridicule begin. Yes, I am one of the dozens of humans who chose to use their “upgrade to downgrade” as the Verizon salesman so eloquently put it (chose being the operative word here). To put it in layman’s terms: I have returned to the land of the flip phone. Yes, the literal flip phone. Better known nowadays as the “dumb phone”. Although always one to root for the underdog – thank you, Rudy – this was not a pity move. This was a conscious, planned out decision that forced me to face the feared question of practically every human being on the planet … “What will I do without my beloved emojis??” Oh, the horror!  

In all seriousness and honesty, I am that dork who wrote a pro’s and con’s list to see which outweighed the other in this decision. I’ll be the first to admit that my brain wasn’t onboard but my gut was already lounging on the upper deck, popping a straw into a coconut cocktail.


What shocked me most was that although I will miss FaceTiming at the drop of a hat with my freaking adorable nephews, my nerves were peaked at the thought of not having “Maps” at my finger tips. That’s right, “Maps”. I admittedly have a negligible sense of direction. Do I blame this on my over dependency of “Maps” or is it hereditary? Either way I was going to find out – Cue panic moment. What if we’re traveling and hit unfamiliar territory on a weekend getaway? What if I wind up stranded with my family on a country road and I don’t know how the hell to get out of Deliverance town? What IF??  Then the revelation struck me – We’ll stop at a gas station (unless he’s playing the banjo) and … you got it… ask for directions. Ask. Another. Human. For. Directions. Wow. This is serious.

I sat with that idea for a moment and as it sunk in with each passing moment, I felt myself sigh out loud as nostalgia slowly seeped into my brain and swept out the cobwebs of my childhood memories. There were the annual Griswold worthy car rides to our summer vacation in Lake George, weekend excursions hopping the border to Canada and road trips to visit Aunt Irene in Pennsylvania. All of us crammed in “Freddy” my dad’s red, Volkswagen rabbit. My sister and I snuggled deep in the makeshift blanket fort in the back seat, ears pressed up to each door speaker with “Here, There and Everywhere” or the latest Air Supply ballad piping in. My sister booting me in the butt with her heel every time I sang lead when I was officially forced to be backup (the doom of the younger sister). Playing word games and sharing Walkman headphones to blare Axl crying out about his girl “…with the eyes of the bluest sky…”.

We survived the lack of GPS convenience and thoroughly enjoyed the dips of surrender our parents took rolling up to the gas attendant, heads bowed, to get us back on track. On this trip down Memory Lane I was adrift in the land of A Simpler Time. I’m a sucker for the “Remember when…” game and realized that it’s been awhile since I played it. So busy with the new It Girl: The Screen.

So to answer your most likely initial question of “What the hell is the point?”

Here we go: It’s to challenge the auto-pilot idea that more is better and less is average. To walk out of the Veruca Salt crowd filled line of  “I WANT IT NOW!” and trust that new and shiny don’t always trump the character and loyalty of the ordinary.  It’s to minimize when everyone else wants to maximize. To simplify when others feel the need to amplify.

To find out what life is like when people stop being “updated” and start being reacquainted. It’s been real, Apps. Join me for the adventure…


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