I’ll Just Stick With My Stupid Stuff. Thanks.

I know I’m walking into a punchline here, but I think we need to be okay with some things being dumb. I know that’s a pipe dream with the way our world functions, though.

Not everything needs to be smart. It’s such a slippery slope. We started years ago with a smartphone and now today I read some company has come out with a smart ring. I have no idea what it does, but come on. Do we need a smart ring?

No. The answer is no. It’s “no” because it’s excessive, and it’s a “no” because the person who will buy it already has a smartphone and a smartwatch. Do they really need notifications on their ring finger?

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My very favorite “dumb” ring. It does just what a ring should.

Before I go further, I should probably confess that I still store my music on an iPod nano and an iPod shuffle. Because they still work. And they play the music I want. And they’re just fine.

I don’t use wireless earbuds, and have hesitated to upgrade my phone because I don’t want to give up my earphone jack. I loathe Facetime and video conference calls and I’m slow to adopt new apps – mostly because life is working out just fine without them.

Besides, aren’t we dependent on enough technology? Why add more to the mix?

I heard a Kevin Hart interview the other day where he remembered a time recently that his phone died and he had no way to know how to get to the place he was going. The map he was using was on his phone. He joked that he needed two phones – one as a contingency. And then he wondered what we all did before we had phones to direct us everywhere.

What did we do? Really.

Before phones we consulted MapQuest, and printed out hard copies of the directions. Remember doing that? Before that, like, what did we do?

Did we need to know street names and directions and all that business? We did. When I went to play with a new friend, did that mom give my mom directions to get to her house? She must have.


It is super convenient to be able to share an address, type it in and find your way – unless the map gets confused, which is rare. It’s just a funny reminder to think about what we did before technology made us dependent.

Now, everything is smart. Really. Pretty much everything. There are smart fridges, smart lighting and air conditioning systems, smart speakers (that spy on us, apparently), smart cars, smart sneakers and – wait for it – a smart hairbrush.

So you can get analytics on the quality of your hair. Because you apparently need that. What’s next? A smart chip clip?

It’s just too much. I’d rather use old dumb stuff, stuff that just does the thing I bought it for. A fridge that keeps things cold, sneakers that are light and comfy, and a brush that brushes – without commentary.

The world is already opinionated enough.

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My very favorite, opinion-less, “dumb” sneakers that carried us through a half marathon.