By Mary Anglberger
I was at a relatively large gathering the other day, with people mingling, laughing, dancing and, of course, taking pictures with their phones.
There were phones everywhere. At one point I counted three on the table, one on the bench on a jacket… and I thought to myself: ‘Funny how people basically leave €500 or more lying around all over the place’. The guests were more or less all friends, but still, it was a public place.
Is it because it is absolutely normal these days for everyone to own a phone that cost you a fortune that no one seems to worry? As a bit of a technophobe, I am fortunate to have a friend who keeps passing on her ‘old models’ to me, since I try to keep the time I spend staring at a phone’s screen to a minimum and am, thus, perfectly happy with any model.
I do know about some of the tricks the latest models can perform and the features they have. I just don’t think one necessarily needs them.
But maybe I’ve got it all wrong? A quite charming encounter during a recent stopover in Kiev, Ukraine seemed to want to tell me so. A good-looking, well-dressed young man tried to sell me some cards in Russian. “Can you sell them to me in English?” I challenged him.
And we ended up having a most insightful conversation. He was at university, his parents couldn’t pay the fees, he had designed those cards himself… When he sensed that I still wasn’t too impressed, he suddenly burst out: “I’m a poor man, you must help me!”
“You don’t seem like one.” I replied, pointing to his smart, stylish clothes.
He pulled out a little Nokia touch-button phone: “Look at this! I need a better phone!”
And maybe he does. I just can’t quite relate to it and, for my part, won’t mind if people think I’m a ‘poor woman’ with my hand-me-down, ‘old’ Samsung phone…