I was chatting with Jay Beagle and Joel Ward during Tuesday’s Caps media event, and Beagle made an offhand comment about his flip phone. Assuming he was joking, I didn’t think twice. Until I eventually did think about it and had to ask him.
“Wait, Jay. Do you really still have a flip phone?” I asked.
Ward started laughing, already knowing the answer. Beagle does, in fact, still use a flip phone.
“I don’t see what’s so bad about it,” the forward said, acknowledging that it’s a little odd considering today’s technology and admitting that he has used that same phone for five years.
Ward, who does not use a flip phone, jumped in.
“I have a Blackberry,” he said. Beagle pointed out that fact didn’t exactly put Ward on the edge of new technology.
“I’m just trying to keep up a couple of steps,” Ward said. “[Beagle's] like, way back.”
Beagle, who called himself a simple guy, got down to the real reason he shies away from modern technology.
“I don’t do internet stuff. I text, but not that much,” he explained. “I would much rather sit here and have a conversation with you in person than be playing with my phone. I hate when people are sitting with other people and one person is clearly paying more attention to the phone than their conversation.”
“It works, right?” he continued. “It makes phone calls and sends texts. That’s all you need, right?”
Beagle took it one step further, admitting that in the offseason, his wife lost her phone and they didn’t replace it for two months. Ward said he spends one phone-free week in the offseason.
“I just put it under my mattress and forget about it for a week,” he said. “Honestly, if I had a choice, I would have no phone.”
While all of this talk about not having phones gives me anxiety, there’s something to be said for being able to embrace that kind of freedom.
“It’s amazing how dependent people are on their phones. It’s an addiction,” Beagle said. “That’s just not me.”