The Device Divide

From dumb phones to smartphones, we dial in on cellular preferences.

By Malloy Moseley

Your best friend, your confidant, your right hand man, your lover if you’re a character in a Spike Jonze movie: your cell phone. For better or worse, mobile phones are an integral part of modern life. The recent generation of iPhones may be popular, but there are still some holdouts on campus who communicate the old-fashioned way with the 2015 equivalent of a string tied to a tin can.


List price: $149.99 on Amazon, originally sold in June 2013

"Eventually I'll have to upgrade for the necessity of having the Internet on my phone when I'm away from school where there's WiFi everywhere. [Right now] I have an iPod Touch with Internet."

- Jesse Itskowitz, Communication senior


List price: $79.99 on Amazon, originally sold in September 2013

"While smartphones are convenient, a good many of us get too dependent on them and it does affect our interactions with others, often in negative ways. We often stick within our little bubbles, but I've had the joy of striking up conversations with strangers just by keeping my phone and earphones in my pocket. It's not about being anti- or pro-technology but about finding some sort of balance between our digital and physical worlds."

- Dominique Teoh, Communication freshman


List price: $299.99 on Amazon, originally sold in October 2010

"It can be frustrating because group chats come as individual picture messages, so I just tell people not to include me in them. The camera on my phone isn't so great, but other people are always taking pictures. Also, emojis come as little boxes and I wish I could see them - but these frustrations aren't enough to make me want to switch phones! I hate the hold social media has over people, and smartphones perpetuate the overconsumption. Everybody is always attached to their phone instead of interacting with people around them!"

- Manon Blackman, Medill freshman


List price: $199.99 on Amazon, originally sold in August 2014

"People who are actually my friends can always reach me, and I rather like not having to check social media every few minutes. I absolutely love my phone! The battery lasts for about three days at a time, it's virtually indestructible, [and] the screen won't crack. It allows me to devote more attention to the people I'm currently with."

- Scott Gerson, SESP freshman


List price: $917.90 on Amazon, originally sold in September 2014

"[It's] extra great for watching Netflix. I can't hold it up to my face to talk on it, but I still like it."

- Kimberly Keating, Weinberg freshman