If a flip phone is good enough for my senator, it’s good enough for me.

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From Why Schumer still uses a flip phone (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

Two years ago when my flip phone broke, in Time to finally get a Smartphone? NYTIMES columnist Roger Cohen says it’s already too late. I considered getting a smart phone.

But I worried about catching yet another DTA (digitally transmitted addiction). In his piece, “The Smartphone Era,” Roger Cohen said addicts check their phones 221 times daily.

This year I succumbed. My sister who lives in Silicon Valley bought me a Smart Phone. Over the Holidays, she visited with her daughter, Audrey, to teach me Smart Phone. Audrey said she was told the point of the trip was to usher me into the modern era.

Fair enough, but with misgivings.

One of my political favorites, New York Senator Chuck Schumer (who I met — phoneless — once at the Park Avenue Festival) still uses a pre-modern flip phone.

festival

Senator Schumer at the Park Avenue Festival warning young voters of the dangers of Smart Phones

In a March 2016 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle article, Why Schumer still uses a flip phone, Chuck said he gets emails but doesn’t send them as responding can only get him in trouble.  Schumer’s chief of staff gently warned him:

 You’re going to write on the email, “Senator So-and-So, what a jerk.” And that’ll be public and that’ll end your career.

Schumer april

Schumer holding his “new” Smart Phone, writing, “After years of being mocked for my flip phone, finally turning over a new leaf.” From Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Made the Ultimate Dad Joke on April Fools’ Day

Given the recent fall of so many politicians, the chief of staff was prescient.

In Time Magazine‘s April 2017 Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Made the Ultimate Dad Joke on April Fools’ Day, Chuck pretended he was going to ditch his 1990s-era LG flip phone, adding that he “bought ten of them in case they run out.”  Schumer tweeted on a Smart Phone:  “After years of being mocked for my flip phone, finally turning over a new leaf.”

It was an April Fools’ Day joke.

Leslie and Audrey admirably showed me the Smart Phone ropes.  For a moment, I saw the light.

However, when we took some before and after pictures of traditional social activities, I was aghast at the transformation wrought.

1. No phone at chess

Before. David Kramer teaching Audrey chess while Leslie Kramer offers physical and emotional encouragement. [Photo: Carol Kramer]

2. chess - phone

After. We couldn’t even get the pieces out of the bag as each was consumed in playing chess solitaire on our Smart Phones. [Photo: Carol Kramer]

At the Strong Museum, Leslie and Audrey at first enjoyed mother/daughter bonding at the restaurant. But then out came the Smart Phones.  (Also, note how crappy are Smart Phone pictures compared to my Canon Elph 180.)

On the Strong and Audrey, see Monopoly at the Strong Museum. And the world’s shortest Monopoly game.

On New Year’s Eve, we made our own fun as Leslie served cookies and Carol dropped a ball because we were not staying up until midnight.

11. New Years fun without phones

Before. December 31st, 2017. (l-r) Eugene Kramer, Leslie Kramer, Audrey, Carol Kramer. [Photo: David Kramer]

Then out came the Smart Phones and it was mass alienation — and Auld Lang Syne for the flip phone.

12. New Year's Eve with phones compresed

After. December 31st, 2017. (l-r) Eugene Kramer, Leslie Kramer, Audrey, Carol Kramer. [Photo: David Kramer]

Finally, on her vacation, Leslie was able to enjoy some weighty reading recommended by the pages of the New York Times Book Review, William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience.

5. Leslie reading William James without phone before

Before

Afterwards, Leslie returned to her customary religious experience, playing games on the Smart [sic] Phone.

6. Leslie in natural state with phone

After

Upon returning to Silicon Valley, Leslie saw the pictures, was as aghast as I, and wrote back:

Thanks, these are great! Cell phones are ruining civilization. Thanks for documenting the slow descent into the abyss.

SEE ALSO

Monopoly at the Strong Museum. And the world’s shortest Monopoly game.

Visiting a Talker haunt: the Brickyard Trail with Leslie Frances and Audrey

Audrey’s excellent adventure in Rochester

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