Generation Z has the right idea with flip phones and digital cameras

This may be a source of comedy on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but to me it’s obvious why young people are opting for flip phones and digital cameras.

They’re smart enough to think: why should I have a device that’s addictive and wastes my time?

Why should I spend time on websites filled with misinformation and advertising? Why should I allow them to take my personal information?

And if I need a camera, why not see if the old digital devices will suffice, if I’m not all about sharing on sites used by old people like Instagram and Facebook all just to help make Mark Zuckerberg rich?

Why put up with patchy sound being transmitted over wifi or Bluetooth when it can come through wires into a quality headset?

There’s also the experimental aspect, such as when Polaroids made a comeback a few times since the turn of the century.

I know how they feel, too, being someone who had been warning about cellphones since the 1990s. Some of my students in 1999–2000 will remember my quips about them, and that at some point we’ll treat cellphone use as we treat smoking. Do it if you wish but don’t do it around me.

That hasn’t come to pass exactly, but I’m still not a huge fan of them.

After the damage inflicted on my Meizu M6 Note by Whatsapp some years ago, I was hesitant to reload it. A friend asked me if I would because there was something he needed to share, so I dug out the old M2 Note (still alive, unlike the M6) and installed it. Whatsapp actually asked for my permission to delete contacts (the few that were left on this old phone).

Within a day, another friend added me to his Whatsapp chat group, and made me an admin, exposing my number to all and sundry.

It took me 10 minutes to figure out how to remove myself from the threads and then delete the threads (so as not to delete them accidentally whilst an admin!). I’ve just spent over half an hour writing an email to the friend to explain my actions, that he is one of the very few people on the planet to have my number, and to let him down in a polite way.

Tell me how these things save time again? Whatsapp just cost me about 45 minutes tonight, not to mention annoying me that people treat private information so callously these days. We’ve become a society that wants to use this junk so much that we forget there are real privacy implications and privacy legislation at play.

Our youth and their experimenting with old tech have my total support.

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