Why I Don’t Use A Smart Phone | Ann Makosinski | TEDxTeen

Why I Don’t Use A Smart Phone | Ann Makosinski | TEDxTeen

Translator: Jennifer Rubio The last time that I used a flip phone was three hours and 24 minutes ago. This is my phone. It flips open like so. A lot of people might call
this flip phone design, an “old phone,” as someone
at the airport security called it. I was like “No, I just bought this!” I just got my first phone ever
this September, just four months ago,
when I had to get a phone, because I was going off to college,
and I needed to make long distance calls. Let’s get this straight for a minute. I’m 18 years old,
and I’ve never had a phone. And I’ve been very privileged to live on the beautiful island
of Vancouver Island where everyone
there basically has phones, that means I lived through all
of high school and middle school without a phone. Carrying around a flip phone is not
conventionally considered nowadays as being a “cool kid,”
but I’m here to tell you today that carrying a flip phone
at the age of 18 definitely defines you as a “cool kid.” So, my name is Ann Makosinski;
I’m 18 years old; I’m from Canada. And I suppose you could
call me an inventor. It’s actually funny
because when I was a kid, I actually identified
with the term “differentist,” which was something that I made up, which is where I just
wanted to be different, and even though it may not appear
that I am a “differentist” nowadays – I dress like everyone else,
I talk like everyone else – I was actually almost, in a way,
trained from the get-go to be different. So how was I trained
“to be different” as a kid, was that my parents never gave me
that many toys at all. I didn’t have a Tamagotchi, a Nintendo,
a Wii, an Xbox, nothing. What they gave me,
however, was a hot glue gun, and I had to make my own toys. That’s where the first area of me
was almost being put in a position, or almost forced to be in a position
where I had to be creative in solving one of the first problems
you ever have as a kid which is how to keep yourself entertained. (Video) Ann Makosinski: This invention
was my second invention, and it is called “Creation.” The one I just showed you
is called “Invention” because that’s the first one I made. Now this one: you see this flat one? It’s posed, so he can sit down on him. Or I can sit down on him, Creation. But I don’t sit very long
because he can break. (On stage) AM: That was my first
experience with creating things. Other than not being given
that many toys, some toys that I was given were a bit odd
compared to my friends’ toys and actually here’s a photo of me
playing with my first set of toys which was a box of transistors
and electronic components. It was really from the start here that I was introduced to the world
of making things with my hands, which I feel is a skill that’s almost
being lost in some areas nowadays as actually becoming
quite high in demand for jobs if you can actually do things
instead of typing all the time. So, I was always making things
and being engaged. As a kid, I wasn’t allowed out very much
on playdates and things like that, until I had finished all my chores
and practiced my piano – I’m sure lots of you can relate. My parents came
from different backgrounds. One was from Poland
and the other from the Philippines. It’s funny because a lot
of parents come up to me and they’re genuinely very concerned about whether they should give
their kids toys or not. What I generally advise –
not that I’m an expert – is that if as long as you don’t
give your kid this many toys, I think you’ll be okay, but what I found
was that creativity, for me, and making things
was born out of a necessity, because I didn’t have
that many things to play with. I really think it’s important
to encourage your kids because I know as parents you want
to give your kids the world, to give them everything you have. My dad was a skateboarder back in the day,
and when I was, I think 13 or 14, I was like, “Oh well, I want to learn
how to skateboard and be cool.” And I was just given a skateboard. It is still sitting
in my room in the corner, and I have never touched it. What happened was
that I was just like, “Cool! I got a skateboard,
I can skateboard now,” and I just left it. If I had been given,
for example, just the wheels, and then I had to get a little job,
and work for it, do chores around the house,
get an allowance, save up, design the board
and then put it all together, I would have valued
that whole experience so much more that I would actually probably
be a pro skateboarder by now or something like that. So I think it’s really important
when you’re in your younger years for people to encourage you
in your passions but not to give you everything
to give you that head start. Because I wasn’t given many toys,
I got entertained by almost anything. I think I’m smelling a rock here,
I was a pretty insightful kid. I have to be honest with you and say that I’m not very “culturally”
educated in some aspects. For example, I was brought up watching
a lot of 1920s and 1930s films. I’ve never watched Star Wars or Star Trek. Don’t kill me, it’s just not
something that I’ve watched. For some reason, this fact of just not
having a phone, as a teenager, limited my time talking with people. But I never felt like, “Oh my God,
I’m missing out by not having a phone.” And, as some teenagers here
may know, it’s called “FOMO,” which is: Fear Of Missing Out. I never had that because
I was so content with what I was given and how much more I had to pursue. So, what did I do in my spare time? Well, when I was in middle school, I was definitely not what you would
consider a “cool kid.” I was not the person who would be like,
“I also want to hang out with them.” Because first of all,
in middle school and high school you are really judged a lot, and I was very unconfident,
at first, of how I appeared. I had short hair, glasses, braces.
I dressed in guys’ clothes. I didn’t have the coolest stuff. People would come up to me and be like,
“Oh, what a handsome boy you are!” and I’d be like, “Thanks!”
and just walk away. So, I was definitely quite a loner, but I did look up
to some people in my life. While a lot of teens had modern pop stars,
actresses or actors they looked up to – which I totally respect
and I have some too – who I looked up to was a little different,
and I couldn’t always relate with them. For example, my family has the privilege of helping out
with Ravi Shankar’s archives. Ravi Shankar was a musician who brought the whole Indian culture
and music from the East to the West in the 60s and 70s, and really helped
generate the hippie movement. He worked with George Harrison. We had the privilege as a kid,
to travel to California, and each summer, I would learn from him,
and learn how his love and passion for what he was doing, bringing in
and introducing it to people who had never seen
any of this stuff before. It was something that he loved so much. That really inspired me and one time,
we went and visited his family in India. I was so shocked
by the poverty there. That was the first time I had ever
experienced something like that, and I was around eight years old then.
It was a huge shock. Another time, we went and visited
some family in the Philippines, and I saw houses like this, which you don’t see regularly
where I come from, in Canada. I was just so taken aback. I didn’t fit in; I knew there were
problems in the world, and I wanted to find a way
to fix it simply. But I never thought I could
accomplish any of that because I was just a regular teen
who nobody really seemed to like except for a couple
of outcast friends I also had. So, the two things my parents
noticed that I loved to do was to tinker and to talk. So I was enrolled in something that a lot
of popular kids in high school do – just kidding – which is the Science Fair. So, this is me in grade six.
I looked like Harry Potter. I was very proud
of this project by the way. I was comparing laundry detergents. So, I started making projects, and I started to get into the area
of energy harvesting. I had the inspiration for my project
when one of my friends in the Philippines told me that she failed
her grade in school because she couldn’t afford electricity. She didn’t have any light
to study with at night. This brought me back to my childhood days
where I had a problem that, in the beginning, was for myself:
to find a way to entertain myself. So, I’d make my own inventions
and my own toys. But here was a problem
that my friend had, and I was like, “Well, why can’t I invent a way
to maybe help her out?” So for that, I made something that you may know me for,
as “The Flashlight Girl,” which is a flashlight that runs
on the heat of the human hand. That brought me
to a whole new journey where I suddenly learned
to be confident in who I was, because at first, to be honest, I didn’t think anyone would
ever be interested in my project. To go to places like the Google Science
Fair, and Intel, was absolutely amazing, to see that people were really
inspired by what I was doing. This year I presented my latest invention,
which is called “the eDrink.” It’s a coffee mug that utilizes
the excess heat of your hot drink while you’re waiting for it to cool down,
and converts it into electricity. So you can eventually
charge your phone or iPod from it. Just because you’re in college,
and that you’re a “university student” does not mean that’s
the only thing you are. That does not mean that like,
“You know, I’m in university.” You leave it at that,
not doing anything else. You can pursue whatever you want to do,
and start when you’re in high school. When I was in middle school,
I started making stuff with electronics. You can do whatever you want.
Anything you can dream of is possible. But you have to start and work on it
even if it’s just 20 minutes a day. That’s what I really wanted
to emphasize today is that you have more opportunity
and time to create when you have less. When you’re given less to start off with, your brain is designed to come up
with different ways to solve your problems and to solve other people’s
problems and issues. I think that’s so important to emphasize,
especially in today’s society where excess,
like buying this and getting that, “That’s the latest fashion,
I should be wearing that, and throw out
everything else that I have,” is kind of the trend. I really think in a way that’s going
to sound slightly controversial but I truly believe that disconnecting
helps you connect and create more. You don’t think about it,
but you’ll pick up your phone, you’ll check it a couple seconds
or a minute, ever so often, you think, “I’m briefly
checking my phone.” But if you add up every single minute,
every single second you spend on your phone per day,
it’s pretty terrifying. Really minimizing your distractions, so you can use your time
most effectively is really important. If there is one thing
I can leave you with today, for all of you who possess phones
or even other small electronic devices, it is that the next time
you pick up your phone, think of all the possibilities
“off” your phone and not “on” it. Thank you. (Applause)

99 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Use A Smart Phone | Ann Makosinski | TEDxTeen

  1. A car like Ferrari or a Lamborghini can reach 300km rapidly, but you won't drive away at this speed every day, do you? So smartphones are like fast cars, you can used it very well if you are disciplined.The only things on smartphones that are waste of time are social media.

  2. I've been thinking for a few months to stop using a smartphone and yeah thanks for encouraging me
    Will quit it soon it's too addictive and makes us less productive

  3. Well I am 18 now and still single that's the more quality and uniqueness than compared to not having smartphone

  4. Welp, Guess technology has officially enslaved us. We are being controlled and haven’t yet realized it.

  5. Great reflection and conclusion!! I totally agree. If one wants to improve as a person, he must try to avoid absurd distractions.

  6. I don’t disregard her good development in the science field or that really the intention of this video is to inspire people in a way or another, but I think she comes as a little pretentious during her speech always trying to state how different she is when in reality when you look at her Instagram she’s not that different from any other girl in that social media. I’m just stating my opinion sorry if it comes as a little critical.

  7. totally agreed on what she said 99% of her points, you are inspiring and very uplifting. I'm going to bookmark this video and show it to my other friends. =)

  8. Don't care about her no smart phone story, I just want to see a video of how she got the pants on

  9. Все слушают 18 летнюю девочку как зомби под гипнозом:)

  10. Whoever floated the idea that young adults, who never worked a day in their lives, have useful things to tell the world, has got a lot to answer for. I and the girl I later married were both working full time aged 15. Not in some third world sweat shop, but in England. In my youth some 'children' had jobs. Nowadays they have opinions.

    Aged 19 I was married to my 18 year old wife. The idea that she would lecture an audience about not owning an electronic device of some kind would have struck her as preposterous. And I'm clicking off this video now because IT is preposterous.

  11. so motivating..😀 I teach English in Korea and really wanna show this to my students(they are crazy about their phone) but there was no subtitle for korean..so sad..😓

  12. I was finally forced to buy a smartphone because my 2008 legacy phone finally broke down. Not really broke down, just the speaker which I am sure might just have clogged…

  13. these all TED talks are same. clap clap and this fucken clown with a wireless mic starts the talk with some mundane story that begs for admiration. Without even saying "Hi" to begin with

  14. I have to do an assignment for school based on this video and it was very entertaining and informative

  15. poor kid… Turned into an outcast and subjected to bullying, then brainwashed to consider it good for her by her own parents – for the sake of what, a flashlight?

  16. Nice message !!! I am a former general shop teacher until 1999 and the state of Ohio dropped my program . Students now are taught how to buy something rather than make something. I can relate to your childhood .

  17. Not having a smartphone is cool too but not knowing that Indians are poor is horrible😂😂😂
    Btw she moves a lot🧐

  18. When you have too much, you make a mess (think too much glue, too much flour etc.) When you don't have enough you make do. I've been saying that for years!

  19. How would I've heard this video, seen this video if not with my smartphone? Phones are not distraction, it's abuses are. I'd say smartphones are by far the best invention of science. But with every great invention, comes a great threat. If you have the privilege to own a smartphone, utilize it. Don't spend your time scrolling down your newsfeed, liking memes. If you are on social media try to learn good things from it, and if you can't, just give up using them. You don't have to give up using smartphone all together.

    Let me tell you my story: I used to be a super insta freak. Every free second I got, I would find myself using Instagram. Then started my messenger, WhatsApp addiction. I absolutely couldn't live without these. My study, everything went to dogs, I realized I was wasting me time, something I'm never gonna get back, but you see, who gives a damn? I had to check up on my SM friends whom I never or probably will never gonna meet, my crush who's probably chatting with 100 other girls. The celebs that doesn't give one cent about my life, the memes that are probably making me stupider by the second. I mean what a great life to live. Then, at a point I was lying down on my bed and thought, what am I doing with my life? Why am I ruining my life like that. I took the very tough decision. It was a matter of 5 minutes. There's no going back now. I took my phone, factory reset it, restarted it, downloaded Wattpad, started finishing the story I never got to finish because of I was oh-so-busy using other stuffs. Now I'm not on these social medias anymore that doesn't help me be a better person. My story is getting more and more read everyday, I'll probably even publish it in the future if I get lucky. I'm a freelancer too. So I can say, I'm not doing something really great, something worth remembering, but at least my phone is now helping me make my career. It's helping me become a better person. You always have the blue and the red pills. It upto you to choose the right one for you. Because at the end of the day, it's your medicine that you have to taste.

  20. But Ann I'm just comming from your Frobes video "From tinkering to invention". Since title of this video was showing in the sidebars I couldnt help notice you handling your smartphone at 2:26?? 🤐🤔😯😒😒

  21. That’s very good! I only use old phones with original keypad buttons when answer the phone clearly. Using the iPhone is being smartphones, so I use iPad over them, due to SOCIAL MEDIA REASONS, to keep yourself even safer without having anxiety.

  22. i choose to be human.
    eye contact
    feeling your surroundings
    pull a cell phone and i'm gone.

  23. All you gotta do is go outside and look around and see the smartphone epidemic. Zombie might be a harsh word but it's not that far from reality. I use the internet at home on my computer, but I refuse to take it with me when I go out. Convenience promises productivity, but it breeds laziness. I deleted all social media apps on my smartphone (still contemplating a dumbphone, if it wasn't for google maps or spotify) but after I realized how much time I was spending in the bathroom on my phone, after work on my phone, during workouts on my phone… I started to realize how much time in the day I was just absolutely wasting my time, doing and gaining nothing.

  24. smartphone helps me in lot of situations in my life ,i actually learnt new language ,improved my english,helped me to take notes of my friends and write them later to win time on better stuffs ,
    i think its basically about controlling the technology, if the smartphone was limited in some things it would be much more helpful

  25. Ohhhh you just a weird little kid that somehow made it to be 18 with no electronics and now thinks she can go through her life with out it. Ok

  26. However you post on ted talks which reaches people via youtube via peoples smart phones. Couldnt the title also be why i dont use the library? Access to information on smart phones is one of the greatest resources we have.

  27. I own a flip phone as well. I only do so because pay phones are a pain, think of those that don't work, being used by someone else, having to have coins in the right amounts to use one, have incredible amounts of germs/viruses on them and are hard to find. I'm 70 years old now and this pay phone difficulty existed when I was 18. Now nearly all of them have disappeared. I only have a cell phone to make sure I don't need to use a pay phone.

    Like this young woman, when I'm out of the house I don't want to be emailing, looking things up on the internet, ordering things online and texting people. All those activities need to be at the right place at the right time. Otherwise those activities bleed into the other things in your life and you can become less focused and less productive in them. I carry a cell phone with me when road bicycling, but I don't answer it unless I'm taking an extended rest break and will only return calls from my wife, who knows not to call me while I'm on the bike unless its urgent.

  28. Ummm the reason why the world is on their smartphones is because the internet is where everything is happening. Perspectives are being exchanged, truth is being interpreted, people are questioning religion and science and their governments people are online seeking better health alternatives and want to hear different perspectives about medicine because the drugs being prescribed by our doctors aren't really healing and curing the illness. So I do agree that smartphones can be used to distract us and destroy our overall well being but there are millions of people questioning reality and seeking more out of life. U can't get that from a library or ur schools people are even questioning the knowledge being spread in their universities and schools. So that's powerful to me, to be able to do independent research and form ur own opinion about reality and decide what true information is and what is fact. Because a lot of world powers are simply lying and controlling humans, and thanks to the internet we can finally receive the truth about everything we can possibly imagine. Just type in "cure for cancer by infinite waters." There are people proving that u can cure cancer by going vegan and they have the science to prove that. It takes a lot of inner strength to really decide this information but thanks to smartphones and YouTube u can do it in ur car or at a coffee shop at ur leisure and comfort. I think we shouldn't tell people to run away from our smartphones I think we should encourage people to realize how powerful the internet is and use it responsibly.

  29. She’s just talking about all the bad things and I agree But having a phone makes live easier. You can call or send a message. You can read books, listen to Podcasts, creat a power point, write an essay, take notes etc. You can do all this thing in anyplace. I don’t have to be home in my computer. And of course you’re not going to give a young kids any type of technology yet. Let them be kids and play around. It’s not bad to have a phone it’s just matter of how you want to use your time. To much of anything it bad. Balance is key

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