Ok I admit that part of me does really want a smartphone, but I am just not willing to get one right now. With my current situation, the negatives of getting this fine piece of mobile tech simply outweigh the positives.
The reason that this is suddenly on my mind is that my cell phone provider recently sent me an e-mail offering the phone I wanted for free…if I sign a 3 year contract. The irresponsible spender I was a year ago would jump at this opportunity. Instead I took some time to think about it and it just doesn’t feel like the right time to splurge on a cell phone.
I will keep using my outdated cell phone that I honestly get a little embarrassed about taking out in public, especially since we’re now in the digital age. In fact, it might have really hurt my chances on a date a few weeks ago when she revealed that she’s a bit of a phone snob. Well she also saw my bulky first gen 60gb iPod and didn’t even know what it was. So yeah, I felt pretty outdated and old.
Anyways, back to the smartphone, here are the reasons I decided to remain as one of the few bloggers without a decent cell phone.
The Added Expense Of Having A Smartphone
Since I’m not big on chatting on the phone, I currently have one of the cheapest cell phone plans possible. I’m actually only paying about $30 per month. Canadians pay some of the highest prices for cell phone plans. So I think I’m getting a pretty good deal.
If I were to upgrade to a smart phone, I’d feel quite obligated to also pay the extra for a data plan to get the full benefits like getting access to internet connection anywhere. That alone would likely double my monthly bill. I suspect I’d also go over my data limits as I get accustomed to how much cell phone data adds up.
On top of this I’d be tempted to buy various apps to further improve the experience. I have no idea which apps are free and which need to be purchased. I’m sure some of the apps I’d want would at least cost something though.
Then there’s the possibility of the phone getting lost, stolen or broken. I just don’t think I’m careful enough to carry around such an expensive phone everyday.
Fear Of Long Term Contracts
Maybe I just have a commitment phobia, but there’s something scary about getting locked in long term. With the way cell phone contracts are structured, you usually have to pay off the balance of your ‘free’ phone in order to get out of a contract. When they’ve got your nuts in a vise like that, what’s to stop them from abusing it? Most would probably say that just having your nuts in a vise is abuse.
Ok so their business still would profit more if they keep customers happy, but cell providers tend to be rather unethical with some of their billing practices. I’m sure you’ve heard of the people who have accidentally racked up 4 figure cell phone bills.
Also what if cell phone plan rates suddenly drop sometime in the next few years? I’d be stuck overpaying until my contract is up.
Excessive Online Time
I don’t even want to say how much time I already spend online. I do website marketing work for my daytime job and then I am doing a lot of work on my blog outside of those hours. Then add in all the random surfing, chatting, facebook, etc. It’s just a whole lot of time spent staring at a screen.
Do I really want to let that invade the time that I am away from the computer? Sure it would ultimately make me more productive, but then I’d gradually block out more and more of the real world. I’ll save that for when everyone starts getting cell phones surgically implanted into their heads.
For now I’ll walk around enjoying the sights around me. I’ll stand in the supermarket line and people watch instead of reminding myself of all work responsibilities. When I’m hanging out with friends, I’ll give them my attention instead of making them a secondary priority.
Since I’ve managed to get this far without a smartphone, I know I’ll survive with my old school cell phone. There is a part of me that truly wants to own one- an android or an ios phone, whatever is great. However, I won’t give in to societal pressures and blow money on something I don’t really need. Besides, just like my search for a new girlfriend, the longer I wait, the more it’ll improve.
Anyone else out there still rocking a small cell phone that easily fits in your jeans pocket?
Those of you with smartphones, do you have any regrets? Are you happy with your iPhone or probably your Samsung Galaxy? Hopefully this doesn’t turn into a big sales pitch of everyone listing all the things they love about their smart phones. Feel free to be negative about it for my sake 🙂