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Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:10 AM

Step away from the smartphone... Shhh it'll be ok. [View all]

So, after Christmas (We didn't put a penny on credit, if we didn't have the cash it didn't need bought. ) we decided to take a good hard look at expenses in our lives.

First discretionary spending to get the knife was Time Warner Cable... We have had the TV service for a while now without anyone really watching it. We typically use the net for that, so out it went. Savings- 67 dollars a month. Should have done that a long time ago, OTA tv is free lets use it.

Noting how well that felt, my phone rang. I don't have a new smart phone, I have an older mesmerize. We've never had to have the biggest or the brightest new shiny thing but as I picked up my phone with the custom ring tone and my husbands cute face plastered on it I thought to myself 'Self? Why the heck do we have smart-phones?'

With a smart-phone, I have to pay for data. They give you no other choice. Do we use data? Very little. We mostly use the phones for what they are, phones. I have one son in college, one in the Army as a field medic, one girl graduating this year and volunteering at hospice and one 16 year old daughter who is a chatterbox so phones are kind of a given.

But...do we really need smart-phones?

Sure GPS is convenient, but with it comes sacrifices. Basic skills like navigation are dying.
For instance: when was the last time you saw someone use an atlas?



No need to wait for your phone to load, and no crossing your fingers hoping that the digital voice won't become vindictive and send you down a dead end 10 miles from your destination. No fretting over if your battery is going to die in the middle. "What..wait? Did it say exit 15b or 50b?"

You know the conclusion I came to is? We have smart-phones because as human creatures we've become lazy. "Oh I'm sooooo boooooored!"
Really? What happened to having a conversation, instead of playing Angry birds? It's all about the instant gratification folks. The whole, I need an answer and can't wait a single minute generation. Has anyone else had their phone blow up because you decided NOT to answer right then and since you didn't, something just HAS to be wrong?

"But MoF... what happens if I need to check the balance in my checkbook?" my answer "Why don't you check it before you leave the house? That way you know how much you have BEFORE you go to purchase something."

"But MoF ...how am I going to keep track of my appointments?" my answer "Ever hear of a calender? They certainly don't cost you the amount of money a smart-phone does."
AND...it has the added benefit of being accessible to the entire house so everyone knows what's going on. A 2.99 calendar and a couple knock off magnets holding it to the fridge and you're in business. Heck, if you are computer savvy make one for your desktop.

"But MoF... the smart-phone takes over the spot of having a PDA!" Well, not much argument there but we're talking about family plans and not business phones. I don't know what my 16 year old daughter would need with a PDA.

"But... it's so hard to text on one of those flip phones!" my answer "Gee I guess that means you won't be blowing up peoples phones with messages then, I suppose you'll just have to use your voice." Most times if it's an emergency people talk voice anyway, you wouldn't send a text to your loved ones saying "Just got into a wreck, car is totaled LOL ...TTYL!"

Besides, most anyone who's posted to a forum knows that a lot is lost in text. Tone of voice, facial expression...heck you can HEAR if the person is smiling on the other end when you talk voice.

So today the howls of anguish will ensue as I go to our cell phone carrier and switch us all to handy dandy lil flip phones. I'm sure the hair tearing and pounding of chests will be dramatic. My answer is the title of my post.."Step away from the smartphone...Shhhhh it'll be ok."


Savings? A whopping 100 dollars a month... unflippin real. Unlimited talk and text for five lines? 119 a month total. That's less than 25 dollars a phone. Can't beat that with a stick.

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