The false narrative of phone culture

I just want to bust open the false narratives surrounding phone culture and speak about the long term implications of having a computer in your pocket at all times that talks to the public Internet.

The current narrative of phone culture is that phones are pervasive and have seeped so far into consumer culture that anyone who forgos a phone is immediately cast off as suspicious. You get this (and I have experienced this) where people immediately assume because you are phoneless that you are engaged in criminal activity or trying to evade the watchful eye of the intelligence services.

I have experienced this peculiar effect of technology before, of a sort of crippling disablement of otherwise rational thoughts, where the technology controls the narrative, and not the other way around.

Empowered vs Enfeebled

My only conclusion as to why people would think this is because they are enfeebled by their phone, and not empowered by it. I have experienced this peculiar effect of technology before, of a sort of crippling disablement of otherwise rational thoughts, where the technology controls the narrative, and not the other way around. This leads to a blame game of who is in control, and who is not. Big Brother gets the brunt of the blame, and not the citizen. In the worst case, the citizen identifies with the aggressor and feeds the narrative: "I am not in control, Big Brother is. I willingly submit my data to third parties". But, you are in control, and you should never forget that. Perhaps you need to work hard at being in control, or challenge more assumptions about that, but in a free and democratic society, we are in control (and empowered) more than we have ever been.

When I forgo a phone, or I do without phones for long periods of time, it doesn't mean I know what every transistor in the phone is doing, or when phones talk to an IMSI catcher. I simply forgo my phone.

Not overthinking things

The Big Brother narrative is false. Let me be clear when I say that technology is there to augment our lives, not replace it. When I forgo a phone, or I do without phones for long periods of time, it doesn't mean I know what every transistor in the phone is doing, or when phones talk to an IMSI catcher. I simply forgo my phone. I don't try to obfuscate my behaviour with VPNs, unbundle the base-band, or wrap my phone in a Faraday sleeve, or any number of anti-spying techniques being sold as snake oil to paranoid consumers. I just go phoneless. No other reason other than I don't think too hard about what its like to be freed from a device that doesn't care about you anyway.

Are we phoneless yet?

This sounds like a judgement on those who carry phones and don't think too hard about this but then call out those who go phoneless because they (the phone-equipped) don't understand the hardware. This is not a judgement. It's simply challenging the false narratives and assumptions citizens have when they carry a phone around: DO you feel empowered or enfeebled (weakened) by a phone, and if you do, then how are you coping? Do you resort to a blind ignorance about the fact of spying or do you free yourself of the things that don't make you feel free? The latter is sound, and has not landed me in trouble. If I need to dial 999, I will use your phone that you are so happy to hand over to a stranger right? You hand your phone over to strangers every time you turn it on, so why not me too?