UPDATE : 2020.6.17 수 15:38

[Vol. 75] I am talking to people, not to iPhone 4

이대명 기자l승인2016.06.22l수정2017.11.26 19:30






  One of the things that cannot be detachable with people’s hands in this century is, I would say with no hesitation at all, a cell phone. These days, most people especially have a smart-phone which helps them to live better and simply, as the name itself implies, be smarter. To survive as a “smart” person in this society, a smart phone now becomes a necessary item and indeed plays a role as a symbol of a trendy person. In my age in particular, when we go to a café we sit and put our smart phones on the table. Often, the very first question that would come across your mind and you actually ask to your friends is “What kind of a smart phone are you using?” If you have a Galaxy s7 or iPhone 6s, and you might want to start talking about how great this phone is, how fast LTE is, what kind of services this phone is providing and finally end up implicitly showing how trendy and “smart” you are.
  I am a smart-phone user too, though I have been using this iPhone 4 for 5 years. It is kind of hard to find anyone still using iPhone 4. I actually told my students during practicum about my old phone and they began to look at me with those weird eyes which I will never forget. Not only can students not believe the fact that there still is a person using an iPhone 4, but many people around me are showing not so much of a different response when my phone appears out of pocket. This type of situation got me starting to hesitate to put my iPhone on the table and I would rather keep it in my pocket in spite of inconvenience. I might probably have been ashamed of my old friend.
  Though, there is one day when I changed my perspective of my iPhone 4. Last semester, I was on the way back to the dormitory from the main entrance of KNUE and accidently had a look at the inside of the 513 bus. Then, the scene waiting for me is that the bus was quite packed as usual and more shockingly and importantly, every single person in the bus kind of bowed in the same direction to stare at their phones. I thought it was so tragic as well as a bit pathetic, seeing that how smart phones make us be their slaves and break down our real communication with one another. After that, it got me reconsidering the bright side of holding a smart phone all the time and it led me to think what I have been doing with my iPhone 4 is not actually as bad as it looks. Maybe, it would be better than, at the very least, relying too much on a smart phone like those on the 513 bus.
  What I do with my smart phone is almost nothing. It is just like a big watch, which is a common joke that I have with my friends about mine. It is simply because mine is way slower than you think in every aspect. For instance, when I get lost, instead of using my smart phone to look for the direction, I might as well ask for the directions to people because I know it would take so long to execute a map application. Even if I am patient enough to wait the 2~3 minutes for it to be executed, it just does not function properly in my old one. Most of the apps in my phone, such as Facebook, Safari, dictionary and several games are now just a decoration in my phone. For this reason, I tend to look at people’s face and try to rely on them rather than depending on my slow old friend. 
  The only time when I hold my iPhone is to call someone or to listen to music. Luckily, phone service is still working properly, although it rarely gets a signal in somewhat countryside where the other latest phones are working perfectly. Other than that, I barely look at my phone and mostly keep it in my pocket or just place it anywhere, which makes it easy to forget where I put it and I have to spend quite long time to find it. As it is 5 years old, which is pretty old in the market of technical devices, it does not work properly as it used to do, thus I cannot help but have been getting far from holding the phone. Unlike me, however, when looking around people in a café or even on the street, I mostly catch the scene of people holding a smart phone and keeping looking at it. Unlike mine, their phones are pretty fast and “smart” so that they can do whatever they want to do with this little fancy thing. They can watch dramas that they missed because of the hard work or do Skype with a boyfriend or girlfriend who is abroad for studying. No matter where and when, as long as you have a great smart phone, you will probably do something, believing that you are living in a smart life.           
  However, is it a real smart life, even if we are only looking at a smart phone instead of your people and too much relying on that? Of course, it is absolutely great to utilize smart phones in proper and wise ways, though that does not mean that we cannot live without it even for a second. It seems like our eyes and hands cannot be taken off of the smart phone. We might be too in awe of a device, which I believe is far away from being smart. Honestly, I used to have a plan to replace it with a newer, faster, and smarter one, but I now decide to put it aside for a while. It is because I still like the fact that I can focus on my friends who are actually facing me right as that moment, instead of having communication with others who are far away from me. I also still like the fact that, when help is needed, I mostly seek for it from people and not to the device, realizing that having an interaction with someone makes me feel just great and blessed as ever. I know I am way behind the trend and lack some technical stuff, but I am absolutely fine with that because I do know I still hold the more important value than holding a smart phone.


이대명 기자  borawww3@naver.com
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