The Opt Out Weblog

The Blog for Garrick van Buren's 'Opt-Out: The Survival Guide for This Modern Age' Book

Category: Mobile Devices

Apple Ressurects AT&T’s “You Will” Ad Campaign

“In what should be a warm, humanizing montage, people are constantly directing their attention away from one another and the real, panoramic world to soak in pixels. They’re choosing the experience of their products over the experience of other people several times in quick succession. And Apple has a warm voice in the background, goading […]

Just Stop Being an Unpaid Documentary Filmmaker

“The key thing to remember is that you are not enriching your experiences by sharing them online; you’re detracting from them because all your efforts are focussed on making them look attractive to other people. Your experience of something, even if similar to the experience of many others, is unique and cannot be reproduced within […]


“my iphone5 is as powerful as my PowerMac g4 350mhz that is still running in my closet as a webserver… and strangely, I can do more with my old mac than I can with my phone.” – Calvin

“The life expectancy of a phone or a pad is 18 months.” – Doc Searls

Updating Just to Stay in Place

“I’m always feeding the Update Beast. How often have you looked at Non-Technical Friends phone and showed them how they need to update their apps? All the time.” – Scott Hanselman


“So this expensive gadget doesn’t solve your real problems, but look how user-friendly it is” – bad_user “Chindōgu is the Japanese art of inventing ingenious everyday gadgets that, on the face of it, seem like an ideal solution to a particular problem. However, chindōgu has a distinctive feature: anyone actually attempting to use one of […]

Removing the Screen

“It’s time for us to move beyond screen-based thinking. Because when we think in screens, we design based upon a model that is inherently unnatural, inhumane, and has diminishing returns. It requires a great deal of talent, money and time to make these systems somewhat usable, and after all that effort, the software can sadly, […]

Natural Forces

“Had I been responding to any of the number of alerts on my phone, I’d have missed the beauty around me for the digital existence that would, and will still be there for me when I’m ready to access it again.” – Lee-Ann Bigwood

dumb phone

“The existing mobile ecosystems are either too dystopic or in turmoil for me to get involved in any of them.” – Henri Bergius

Enjoy your vacation – don’t document it.

“A growing number of hotels and resorts are offering sessions with photographers to chronicle guests’ vacations. Travelers want to record memorable moments without ruining them stressing about focus and flash. They want more sophisticated shots to share on social media. And vacationers realize that an iPhone may not catch that perfect surfing or skiing triumph.” […]