I hate to use a smartphone.

Being able to view maps, look up info on the go and listen to music is great, but I always felt that smartphones are like plastic utensils. Very useful on the go, but temporary in nature. A compromise. Using a smartphone for more than a few minutes in a row feels wrong.

Wrong because either I'm trying to do something I should've done before or should do later, at my normal-sized computing device. Or, more often, because I should not do this thing at all. Using a smartphone makes me physically and mentally uncomfortable, and noticing it makes things even worse. Like eating from a PVC container with a single-use plastic fork while sitting in a full-equipped kitchen.

Half of the reason I dislike using any smartphone is the operating system. Both major OSes are an insult to human bodies and ergonomics, mental models and years of research of human-computer interaction.

(Have you ever though how “iOS and Android” sounds and feels so similar to American politics? Two parties, an illusion of choice, both crappy in their own unique ways.)

It's really unfortunate that the promised personal computer turned out to be a half-baked proprietary attention-grabbing device with bad UX across the board. What's worse: today you actively get punished by not wanting to use a smartphone. Everything is siphoned through one by default, and alternative options are costly at best or non-existent at worst.

Many banks in Europe make you pay more money if you want to authenticate without their smartphone app. Many shops and services use push-notifications as the main channel for important communications. Proper emails are going extinct. Several shopping malls in Finland offer free parking only when you install their app (where it was just free before).

When I read about “teenagers who don't know how to email”, I'm not worried because email is so great. I'm worried because the only thing they use is so not great. It's not even the proprietary nature of it. It's just general crappiness. Whole generations growing up having these kinds of interfaces, interactions and performance. Quality arises from expectations, and modern software, especially on mobile devices, lowers the bar so much, there are no high expectations for the future.

What a sad, meandering, grumpy burst that was. Kids nowadays, huh.

(Written with a physical keyboard and a large screen.)