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“My friends accept it without complaint”: Readers on why they ignore smartphones

“My friends accept it without complaint”: Readers on why they ignore smartphones

Whether you want to check in for a flight, view a menu, or – since Coronapas has expanded – go to a coffee shop, you’ll likely need to show a QR code. But what if you don’t have a smartphone? We asked readers who do not use smartphones Morning Why and how do they deal with it.

Unnecessary incentives

I’ve never owned a cell phone, let alone a smartphone. I rate the disadvantages of using a mobile phone above the practical advantages. I simply prefer not to be accessible or accessible all the time, and I don’t want to be constantly distracted by unnecessary information or stimuli. This way I keep more space for mental thinking, and this benefits creativity.

As a scientist, they regularly ask me to buy a mobile phone for “urgent questions”, for example from journalists. In practice, it seems to me that people can always be reached at the right time or that “urgent questions” are sometimes not as urgent as expected.

Dieter Porsens (45) of Hearnt.


I don’t want to be reachable all the time. It is another additional device that requires attention and takes time. Regulators and governments that only want to work via QR codes exclude a portion of the population.

Moreover, smartphones and batteries contain many raw materials for which people are still exploited and even die every day. Consciously I do not wish to participate in this.

Martin Tice (48) from Antwerp.


Smartphones are a symbol of the rat race and fast life. Privacy issues and all jammers that can be on these devices are also turned off. It takes a bit of organization, but my friends accept it without complaint. To be accessible on the road, I use a good old Nokia I got when I was 10.

I always have my covid paper certificate to hand in my wallet. For other QR codes, you can usually print the code via the website or take a screenshot. I haven’t had many problems with that so far.

I fear it won’t be long before a similar digital bungee cord pulls me out of my smartphone-free lifestyle. When the time comes, I’ll probably buy a smartphone that I’ll use just for that purpose and leave it locked in the drawer for the rest.

Florian Verhoff (23) of Tervuren.

Unread aura pass

I don’t want to be available every moment of the day and decide for myself when I want to call someone. But recently I was waiting for a concert in the rain and my printed Covid Safe ticket was completely soaked and illegible. Fortunately, I had already emailed my code to a friend who could then show it via her smartphone.

Naomi Segers (34) from Brussels.


I see a lot of people are very addicted to it. Moreover, the smartphone is accompanied by a violation of your privacy. My wife doesn’t have a smartphone either. For our work, we sit behind a curtain all day and often in the evening too – that’s more than enough.

In the restaurant, order the menu or print the necessary information on paper. It’s very annoying for people to assume you have a smartphone, but at the moment it always works fine without it.

Olivier Fuchs (39) from Wilrijk.

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