Residents of the town of Scratch Ankle, West Virginia are celebrating today, as one of their own decided to finally get a mobile phone, after many years of vowing never to.
Ninety-two-year-old great grandfather Archie Shakespeare was proudly showing off his newly purchased Apple iPhone 12 to neighbors and local news media for the occasion.
The former lighthouse keeper, who lives alone since his wife passed away twelve years ago, has actively shunned technology - and people - for many years.
Things began to change two years ago, however, when, encouraged by some of his own grandchildren, Mr Shakespeare decided to install a doorbell in his modest, low-set brick house. The following year, he splashed out again, buying an entry-level computer. He now happily entertains himself with on-line games of solitaire, chess and Scrabble.
The decision to acquire a mobile phone was prompted when Mr Shakespeare began noticing the widespread use of QR scanning codes, and the need for a device that could read them. “Since Covid, I can’t even go to my local Farmers market, coffee shop or cinema without having to scan one of those blasted codes,” Mr Shakespeare said. “I’m afraid my little one-man technology protest has now come to an end thanks to these codes. I just can’t keep on ignoring them and still trying to lead an active life.”
Shakespeare has, until recently, worn the title of ‘Luddite’ as a genuine badge of honor. Sources close to him reveal he first acquired his disdain for technology advancements when automation of lighthouses in the late seventies forced him out of the job he had loved for so long. “He never got over that,” Mr Shakespeare’s great-grand-niece Shelby Warde revealed.
Meanwhile, the champagne corks and party streamers continue to pop for a day Archie’s friends, relatives and neighbors never thought they’d live to see.
“Now he’s got the doorbell, computer and phone, what’s next for the old guy – a drone?“ quipped next-door neighbor, Chris Cross, who also claimed Shakespeare’s own father lead the original protest against the tractor when it was first introduced, saying it offered little advantage over horses.