My life with my Nokia 1100

This entry was posted by on Saturday, 6 June, 2015 at

It was by the end of 2003 that I bought my Nokia 1100 for 35 Euros. Now, nearly 12 years later, it is finally time to retire this awesome phone.

nokia 1100

Years on end this Nokia did what it was supposed to do: call and send/receive SMS messages. I have been stubbornly refusing to get an (in my opinion) overpriced “smartphone”, but soon I will get one from my employer and there really is no more valid reason to refuse. Or is there?

Same phone for 12 years?? you must be idiotic!

The 1100 had an awesome battery life, and still I need to charge it only once per week. So far I have not come across a “smart” phone that can do that, and I was waiting for one because when upgrading I do not like to get reduced functionality. A phone should serve me, not the other way around.

This phone is not hip. It is not pretty. It is a tool, a utility. I have dropped this phone. I stepped on it. It has been used as a hammer. It has been used in the rain. It has been covered with engine grease to a level the keyboard was hardly readable. This phone has seen so many more applications than ‘calling’ and ‘texting’ – and survived it all! No wonder over 250 million of them were sold worldwide and most probably still work.

Another nifty feature – which seemed like a gimmick at first – was the LED light on it. Before cameras came to the phone, the 1100 had a bright white LED which is enormously useful: you always have a light with you! This feature was useful in many DIY projects, when power went out, during camping, etc.

Why I did not want a smartphone

For calling and texting, I had my phone. I am always near a computer, so there is no need for me to have a retardedly-difficult-to-use small interface for email, the web and instant messaging – I always have a full computer at my disposal.

Also, the phone functionality has remained steady for many years now. All the additional features in “smart” phones either break or get outdated fast, either by design (Apple is notorious for dropping support of older hardware or ‘gently forcing’ users of old hardware to upgrade by making new software run slow on older devices) or simply because of the marketing-driven upgrade frenzy (that phone is sooo last-year…). I did not want to be part of that.

And besides, if I have a device which cost me 35 Euros and serves me well, why would I replace it with a device ten times that price? I have no need for Apps – everything I need is on my computer – and sometimes I just don’t want “Always Available” functionality with me. I love spending some time off the grid. When you have a smartphone people will complain if you don’t reply to their WhatsApp message within minutes. Luckily, I can still leave a smart phone at home or turn it off. I value my freedom.

Funny thing is, in my opinion everybody who got a smartphone over the past years only got harder to get a hold of – they have their email in their pocket but are constantly bombarded with IM messages, Facebook updates, WhatsApp messages etc. causing their mental spamfilter to just block everything – including my serious email. But perhaps I should be part of that deluge of WhatsApp messages, hammering at their attention.

Another, perhaps more esotheric, reason is that I live in the real world. I see too many people walking on the street while staring at their phone. At a party or a dinner, or other social events, in stead of engaging in conversations some people are too busy with their phone. Back in the days (10+ years back) we would call these people Nerds. Now it seems the norm. But I do not want to be part of the people who do not interact with the world directly around them. Sure, your friend in Singapore is nice to chat with, but your friends sitting at the table with you right now made some time in their busy lives to spend with you. In my opinion, it is an insult to spend time with your phone while in the company of others.

And now, my life will change

I am curious to find out what will change when I start using a smart phone (HTC Desire 816). I will write about that in a future post.

Will I also become detached from my direct surroundings? Will I also live more in the digital world than I do right now? Will using a smartphone significantly change my beliefs?

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