Ever since I wrote my column claiming that I was probably the only person without a smart phone, I've had quite a few people try to persuade me that I need to get an iPhone or a Blackberry.
No offense to any of them, but I haven't yet discovered a good reason why I need an iPhone. I think I'm eligible for a new phone in February. And I have no intention of buying an iPhone then, either. Unless, of course, some of you who want me to have an iPhone want to buy it for me.
See, I like to do things old school. For example, the only thing I use my phone for is to wake up in the morning, call people or text them.
I also do a lot of research when I'm not working, and I compile a ton of notes. But I would much rather compile them on paper rather than type them into a computer.
And, this is a given, but I would much rather read a physical copy of the newspaper or a book rather than online.
My reason? Doing everything old-school helps me retain information better. It helps me focus better. And, it's a much better experience.
For example, let's say I'm reading a book on my computer. The possibilities for distractions are endless. If you're on the PC, you've probably got your e-mail up in another window, and Facebook or Pinterest in another. Knowing today's society, you're probably checking it every five minutes, or at least you've got the sounds activated on it so that as soon as someone messages you or posts something, you're compelled to go check it. So just when you're getting into a rhythm, boom — it's gone.
Another reason I like to do things old-school? It appeals to more senses. If you're reading a book on a computer, for example, you're just looking at it. If you have the actual book in your hand, though, you not only see it, but you can feel the pages, and sometimes, you can even smell the pages (the older the book, the better the smell!). Hearing the pages turn is also a fun sound (though I certainly wouldn't recommend tasting the pages, unless you'd like to experience a trip to the ER or at least a real bad stomachache).
In my short life, I've found that the more I can experience something (in other words, the more senses involved), the more I can remember. The more senses that are involved, the more I'm focused. This is why I've always been an advocate for allowing our teachers to have some freedom in what, and how, they teach. If they're just staring at a screen or having to listen to a professor lecture, they're not going to be as interested or involved as if that professor relayed that information through hands-on activities. But that's another discussion for another day.
Page 2 of 2 - I like sitting in a comfy chair with a good book, or having a pen in my hand while I'm taking notes. I don't like to become reliant on computers, because there's always room for something to go wrong, like a file becomes corrupt or the hard drive will implode. With the physical copy of a book, or a binder full of notes, if you take care of it and store it properly...well, let's just say I've never seen a binder of notes blow up in my face. There's always the unexpected, but again, if you know what to do, they'll stick around for a while.
Computers might be quicker to get things done, sure. But quicker doesn't always mean better.
In the meantime, I'll stick to my binder full of notes and hard copies of books. And until someone forces me to get these "smart" phones — and by that, I mean physically puts one in my hand — I'll stick to my regular little cell phone. It does its purpose quite well, thank you very much. In fact, I'd be willing to bet it's more reliable than your "smart" phone anyhow.
Alix Kunkle is the News Editor of the Leesville Daily Leader in Leesville, La. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @LDLAlixKunkle.