Is life without a smartphone getting harder & harder?

Recently, a friend of mine shared an interesting article with me:

It’s about a year old, but I think it’s more relevant than ever.
Those of you who are on the digital minimalism journey, what are your biggest gripes about not having a smartphone?
I’ll start: QR codes in restaurants.

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To be honest, I’ve not missed having a smartphone at all. Until I got the Pure I was using a Nokia 225 for most of the time; probably for at least the last two or three years.

After getting rid of my smartphone years ago, I realised is that I needed to buy a physical street directory to keep in the car. I’m normally fairly good at finding my way around a city, but years ago when I did have a smartphone I would occasionally need to pull up a map if I was in a part of the city that I was unfamiliar with. Also, since I could not look up things on a web browser whilst I was driving around, I realised that I would have to store any phone numbers that I may need in my phone; things such as the phone number for my car insurance company (in case of a car crash), the phone number for a tow truck service (in case my car broke down). In addition to this I stared keeping a notepad and some pens in the car, in case I needed to write anything down when I am away from the house.


One of our kids’ activities requires booking classes on a smartphone app, which I do 3x a week. Can’t book on a computer, and the alternative is to call them to book. The business is overworked and understaffed, so I feel like I would be a nuisance to keep calling, so I still have my iPhone on the kitchen counter to use wifi to do this.


So I don’t really find it difficult. Of course there are stupid comments here and there from people who see you using a “normal” mobile phone, but in my close circle of friends I have actually received a lot of admiration and encouragement for this decision.
What took some getting used to was that I could no longer have parcels sent to the DHL Packstation and pick them up there. This is now only possible with an app and no longer with a customer card and SMS code. But that’s not so bad, so now I pick up the parcels once a week on Saturday at the post office.
You learn to have more patience and let’s be honest, you don’t need most deliveries right away (apart from important medicines).

QR codes in the restaurant? That’s rare here. Of course, during the pandemic, some tried to switch from paper cards to QR codes for “higienic reasons”. But even though I still use a smartphone, I said that I wanted a conventional card, and I almost always got one. Or I was told what the daily menus were. No problem at all. You just have to not let yourself be pressured. Those who only use the digital way are boycotted by me.

At my bank, online banking is still possible with a reader into which you insert your bank card or directly at the service terminal, which I use.
When it comes to banking transactions, I am traditional and rather cautious.

Otherwise, I really don’t know why I need a smartphone any more. I have a navigation device (TomTom) for the car, and I can read paper maps and orientate myself accordingly.

And the quality of life I gain, the deceleration and less stress, is really worth doing the whole thing.
When I observe all the smartphone addicts around me, I really get scared about the direction our society is taking.


I have no gripes about not having a smartphone as my cellphone.

  • Podcasts: I use BeyondPod on a SIM-less Android-7 phone to listen to podcasts after downloading them Wi-Fi.
  • Navigation: I have more than enough other ways to navigate by GPS: a Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Traffic (by special “HD Radio” power cord in my car); the GPS navigational unit built into my car, with SD card updated by computer + subscription; the navigation feature in the Sunbeam Wireless F1 Orchid.
  • Dining: I recently saw a movie at a dine-in cinema that wants patrons to use their smartphones to scan the cinema’s QR code to open their menu. I told the waiter that I did not have a smartphone, and he got me a paper menu.
  • Reading: I was a big fan of ebooks on Amazon Kindle. I once downloaded an ebook to the Kindle app on an Android phone after learning that I had a long wait for an appointment. Now, though, I prefer to buy and read physical books, and I often will take one with me to an appointment (just in case there’s a long wait!).
  • Online Activities: I much prefer a computer, with a QWERTY keyboard and a large screen, to a smartphone for online shopping, research, and posting to a forum such as this one.

I don’t think so. You just have to be ok being a nuisance.

  1. Car parking apps
  2. Train and bus ticket apps
  3. Electronic ID apps for logging into Banks and verifying your identity with authorities
  4. Educational system apps where teachers inform you about your kids school
  1. ticket at the vending machine
  2. ticket at vending machine or online and then print.
  3. service terminal at the bank or choose a bank that offers tan devices instead of an app.
  4. telephone or communicate by e-mail with the teachers.
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