Today was a big day for me. I bought my first cell phone in over 5 years. My pink, dumb Nokia slide phone era is over – at least temporarily. Instead I welcome my brand new Nokia C2-01! And no, I did not take the step into the smart phone era just yet, although I have to admit I was considering it for some time, since WhatsApp seems very widely used down here. But eventually I decided to stay with my principles.
This brings me to a related topic. During the past four years I have lived in a handful of different countries: Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Portugal, and Argentina. None of these can be considered developing countries, but I would still like to claim that they span a pretty wide range on the wealth scale – especially with Portugal being right in the middle of a crisis, and Argentina just having gone through one.
Still, in all these countries smart phones seem almost equally popular and common. And as I was looking for dumb phones today, I noticed how incredibly expensive the common smart phones are! I felt cheap not wanting to pay 70 EUR for a phone. Couldn’t even imagine what I would feel like paying 700 EUR for one…
I would also like to take this opportunity to kill a myth. Too many times have I heard that the people in the Stockholm subway are quiet, don’t talk, are reserved, are completely devoted to their smart phones, etc. But I have to challenge this: this is not a feature unique to Stockholm, Sweden, Finland, the Nordic, or even northern Europe. This is a worldwide big city phenomenon! I traveled by subway almost every day in Lisbon, and not even once was I approached or addressed by anyone; they were too busy using their phones. And after less than two weeks here, I can conclude that BsAs is no different – people are quiet and focused on their clever devices.
It’s a smart world we’re living in.