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My first mobile phone was a Nokia 1611 — and I loved it. But my history teacher had something to say about it.

by Jerry “Doctor Spin” Silver // Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
Senior Digital Strategist // Spin Factory

The first mobile phone I ever owned was a Nokia 1611.

It did have a display, so it was possible to compose text messages and see incoming phone numbers, but that was about it.

Still, it had enough features to become a daily companion.

But ever since, I’ve also been mindful of the impact I allow new technologies to have on my life:

The Curse of Always Being Available

When my history teacher, the great but somewhat eccentric Sören Lokrantz, caught me texting during his class, he taught me a valuable life lesson.

He asked me:

“Jerry, throughout history, do you know what made slaves into slaves?”

“Eh …?”

“The fact that they were permanently available.”

I’ve since taken his advice to heart:

You can love new technologies all you want, but make sure you end up on the right side of the master / slave spectrum.

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Behind the keyboard:

Jerry Silver is the author of Doctor Spin, a PR blog that's been around for 15+ years. Via his agency Spin Factory, Jerry is advising brands on how to adapt to a 'digital first' world. In 2016, Cision Scandinavia named him "PR Influencer of the Year". Jerry lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife Lisah, news anchor and television host, and their three-year-old son, Jack.

Doctor Spin’s comment policy:
“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

Reader reactions:

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I started with the Nokia 1610. I thought that the 1611 was so cool because the possibility to use a solar powered battery to prolong the 30 minutes of talk time :)

Jerry Silfwer

 @rutberg I know! But I never got the solar battery for some reason. I can’t quite remember what the difference was between the 1611 and 1610, but I sort of remember they looked the same.


Not only did I google the Nokia 8210 picture, I made a graph too:

Jerry Silfwer

Awesome analysis! Interesting that the weight doesn’t seem as important as so many of us thought at the beginning as the cell phones started to become smaller and then, to your point, bigger again. 
Interesting also how we used to talk about smartphones, but we hardly do anymore. We sort of expect all phones to be smart these days.
And yes, I had a few more Nokia phones after this one, but after the James Bond Limited Edition I switched and never looked back! :)


@DoktorSpinn Link doesn’t work. and I would love to see it.


Sorry about that, @echristensen42 – here goes:


My very first very heavy mobile phon #Motorola888 @DoktorSpinn

virtual office

This must be epic if you still have this in your pockets. But this isn’t a thing to ashamed with.  Nokia low tech phones are the one we all had since the evolution of mobile phones started.

Jerry Silfwer

 @ virtual office No, I don’t carry it around still, but maybe we’re just waiting for old phones to become hipster trendy? ;)