Every second spent glued to the screen of a smartphone appals blogger Angelo Braam. Which is why he chose to have an old-fashioned ‘flip phone’. Until that could have meant not getting a position on a board.
© Sven Menschel
‘I have strong principles and I’m convinced that they are valid for ever. One of those principles concerns smartphones. Every second spent glued to the screen of a smartphone without a clue what’s going on around you, is something which has no added value for me. Guys, talk to each other instead of to a screen!
Throughout the transition to smartphones in the past decade, I have always deliberately hung on to my old flip phone, and sung its praises as the best option. Thanks to my primitive telephone, I live in the moment and don’t waste any time endlessly scrolling on Facebook, and I’m spared a whole lot of bullshit.
Sadly, though, my anti-smartphone principles turned out not to be as strong as I thought they were. Starting from this academic year, I’ll be using one of these disgusting little pieces of tech that I’ve been ranting against about for years. Turned out it was a requirement for a position on the board of my study association. Without WhatsApp, the others thought it wouldn’t be possible to consult each other outside the university. I didn’t entirely agree with that, but my wish to take on the role of treasurer and thus improve my skills with money and figures proved stronger than my principles. Especially when a teacher told me that experience as a treasurer is very handy for getting nice jobs with NGOs, something I’ve been dreaming of for a long time.
To anyone else, it might sound like a small step, but no sooner had I accepted the job than I had second thoughts. Hadn’t I abandoned my principles too quickly? But in the end I gave in to the temptation of future career prospects and the fun you can have serving on a board.
In the bin
So I’ve shed one principle. Luckily I’ve got quite a few principles left, though. What’s more, I shall only use my smartphone for work-related issues, and I’ll chuck it in the bin next year. Hopefully I won’t have become addicted by then, like all the people around me.’
Angelo Braam is a second-year student of International Development Studies
Watch his introduction video below..
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