Over at the "LIDL" store on Chesterfield Road there's a sweet little shopworker called Anna from Romania. Last night, when I was at the checkout ready to pay for my shopping, Anna asked if I had "LIDL Plus" on my phone? I said that I didn't have a phone so I was excluded from using "LIDL Plus". "It is a kind of discrimination," I told her.
"Still, it must be very peaceful - not having a phone," she said.
"Yes it is. I can recommend it. Many people seem addicted to their phones. Checking them out all the time. I don't have that in my life."
Now let me rewind and explain that "LIDL Plus" is a kind of store discount card. It was introduced quite recently. However, there are no actual plastic cards - membership benefits can only be accessed via smartphones. Folk like me who do not possess smartphones are excluded from using the system.
When "LIDL Plus" first came out I had several e-mail communications with the chain's customer services - complaining about this careless discrimination but to no avail. After a while I gave up complaining but it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I have been a pretty loyal "LIDL" customer for years but my loyalty is disregarded.
It's one of the downsides of not having a mobile phone. In fact, I cannot think of many other negatives.
It's a bit weird living in a world where so many of my fellow citizens are glued to their phones. They just cannot stop looking at them.
One of the things that appals me about smartphones is the sight of young parents checking them out while pushing babies or small children along in their prams or pushchairs. It's as if they are saying - I am proud of you kid and I love you but you are not as interesting as what is on my little screen! Oh you said "birdie" for the first time as that pigeon flew by but Sandy just left me a message on Facebook so please keep schtum child!
And please don't talk to me about drivers using phones behind the wheel. That makes my blood boil with rage.
Apple, Samsung, Facebook and the rest have cunningly designed their systems to keep phone users hooked. In this sense they are bit like dealers who encourage drug addiction.
Modern humans have existed on this planet for about 200,000 years and for 199,950 of those years no one had access to mobile phone technology. People got along fine. Consequently, it makes me chuckle inwardly when anybody expresses anxiety or concern about me walking in the countryside without a phone. They are like religious converts who pray to the great god Smartphone and cannot understand why there are still a handful of non-believers out here in the wilderness.
Of course, I can see why phones are pretty much essential in various forms of work these days but in my life I have neve arrived at a point where I felt I needed one. I hope that that day never arrives but if it does then okay, I shall also join The Smartphone Cult and feel the benefits of "LIDL Plus".