x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Phone peer pressure weighs form over function

I really love my Nokia; it's a 6230 model and I bought it in 2007. Until last year, I never left home without it. Now I have to hide it.

OK I admit it. I've got a bit of an embarrassing secret I'm going to share with you. I have an addiction - to my mobile phone.

I really love my Nokia; it's a 6230 model and I bought it in 2007. Here's why I like it; it's simple, handy and reliable, and in five years it has never let me down. It totally serves its purpose: it allows me to talk to people who are not standing or sitting next to me, and that's what phones are for, right?

Until last year, I never left home without it. Now I have to hide it. Why? The derogatory comments, the looks of pity and the general bemusement of the people around me when I have attempted to use it have taken me aback, to say the least.

"What is this - a phone?" I have been asked, from friends or associates who were talking perfectly pleasantly to me only seconds before. Then I would get the cursory glances of disdain: "Ugh, disgusting, terrible, embarrassing. Is he really so poor he can't afford a BlackBerry or an iPhone?"

I have tried to resist mobile phone fashion fascism. What is the point of exchanging a phone with another simply because people think another is cooler? Guess what? My 6230 used to be the coolest thing ever, albeit a few years back.

For the past few years I staunchly resisted the social pressure, and was proud to pledge my allegiance to that wonderful Finnish mobile phone firm that has served me so well in my day-to-day business, social and family lives.

But then I gave in. I shelled out about Dh2,000 and got the latest, slimmest, shiniest, whatever phone. OK, it looks good when I place it on the table during a meeting and it shines when I hold it in my hand and it is not bad at making phone calls. But it's not my lovely 6230.

Now I only use my 6230 in the privacy of my own home. I can't take it out anymore and have to conceal it. But I just can't let it go. When I go out I openly have my BlackBerry with me, and I think I was one of the first people to have one. In fact, I even worked with one in Canada before the BlackBerry ever came to the UAE. But this is not my phone. It's a mail-typing and Twitter-updating device, and Ask Alicouldn't function without it. But I really need my 6230.

When was the last time you bought something you completely and totally did not need or want? You just bought it because you were expected to do so. Have we all become so shallow that we must have the latest all-singing, all-dancing gadgets simply to impress our peers? It appears so.

 

Language lesson

Arabic: Ghaidh

English: Extreme heat

When it gets really, really hot here, we can use this one word to describe it. So if I told a friend I was going fishing at noon in July, for instance, I might be told: "Dude, it's ghaidh!"