Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why I Don't Own a Smartphone

Is that what they're called? I'm so out of the technology loop. Rumour has it that Blackberry was down yesterday and many people were faced with the dilemma of how to keep on living without their little devices connecting them with the world. How did they tell the time? Know what to do next? Text their friends? Do business? People are often buzzing about the latest iPhone on Facebook (I know we're on #4 now, right?) and the amazing new things it can do, who's going to line up for it, etc. It's hard to go anywhere these days and not see someone staring at their little device. I, however, seem to be one of the few people without one. I am clearly behind the times. I have an old-school PC pay-as-you-go cell phone I use for emergencies, if I really need to contact someone when out or occassionally call Joel from the grocery store to find out if we need milk. More recently I've even sent a few text messages, albeit brief ones as I don't have a proper keypad. I think I've maybe sent 10 or so in my entire life! As much as I want to be the cool kid on the block I've decided, at least for now, not to join the wonderful world of smartphones. Here's why...

1. I'm cheap and they are expensive. As far I can tell you can't get a plan for under $50 a month, most much more than that (please enlighten me if I'm wrong!). I don't like spending money and would much rather pay my $20 every few months for my pay-as-you-go deal.

2. I'm too afraid of getting addicted. I already waste too much time on my computer. I don't have a laptop so it's not like I can be on it all day but when I can I find I let it suck away too much of my time and energy. There's something nice about having a message in your inbox, and add text messaging to that, I wouldn't trust myself to not always be checking.

3. Along those lines, I see how attached some people are and I don't like it. I find it irritating being at a social event or family gathering and someone is on their phone. Is it really that important? Barring an emergency can't you just engage with the people that are in front of you in real life? One of the saddest things is seeing two people eating in a restaurant, both on their phones or a parent glued to them while supposedly hanging out with their kids. That being said, most of my friends have them and seem to be able to use them in moderation. It can be done!

4. I just don't need to be in contact with people that badly. The phone and internet work for me. I spend a lot of time at home and I don't need one for my job. I know people use them for work which I get. Joel has one but doesn't really use it after work hours.

Will I ever own a smartphone? Probably. I imagine that when my little phone eventually dies I won't have many other options. I'm not against them if they are used well. They certainly have their benefits and help people to keep in touch more frequently. My only real issue is when I see them taking away from quality real life interactions and I have enough struggles that I don't need another temptation right now. If you can find me a plan for less than $20 (I know, I'm dreaming) than this deal-lover may be convinced! If you're a Smartphone user, what do you like about it? What issues, if any, do you have with them?


Tish said...

I have a smartphone and I hate it. I don't have a data plan, so I just use it as a phone, or sometimes as a camera. I like it for that feature. Always having my camera with me is a great thing for capturing all those little bits of my children's lives. The reason why I hate my smartphone is that it constantly crashes, has no battery life to speak of, and generally has too many features that I don't need making it difficult to figure out how to use the ones I do! The reason we don't have data plans mirrors your reasons for not having a smart phone to begin with... expense, addiction and basically people who have them are often just plain rude and I don't want to become that! Why do I have a smartphone? Well, our phones get replaced every so often through our phone carrier and it is getting exceedingly difficult to find a simple cell phone. Good for you for going against the flow of the world! (well North American consumer culture at least)

the smiths said...

I have Ben's hand-me-down iPhone 3. I use it wirelessly, and use it for texting (mainly my husband since he can't really call during the day), checking Facebook, checking email, and that's a camera. I also use it for recipes. We have a family plan through Rogers and my phone costs me less than $30 per month, and it is also our home phone. To me, this justifies the cost. We have a great plan, and Ben's company pays for his phone (he needs it for work). I love reading on it also. As a busy mom, it is nice having everything in one spot (our family calendar and contacts, etc.).

I totally hear where you are coming from. When I stopped working, I didn't have a phone for 2 years, and then got a pay-as-you-go phone. The only reason I upgraded was because the phone was free and the family plan made sense for us. That being said, I have to catch myself sometimes to make sure I'm not taking time away from the girls. Thanks for posting!