Recently, I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine who is struggling with her bills. I asked her to list the payments she was late on, and one of them was her cell phone bill. When I asked her about her plan, she insisted that she could never give up her smart phone. She argued that she used it for school, and that it was necessary for her to do well. The thing is, my friend was also late on rent and a few other things. Her lifestyle had far surpassed her means. Yet, regardless of what I said to try to help her, she could not agree to give up her smart phone plan.
Now, I may be young, but I wasn’t born yesterday. I know that a smart phone plan is not integral to any of our lives. It may make some aspects of our lives easier, but it in no way dictates how successful we are in our relationships or our work.
I have actually gone without a smart phone for 13 months. Because I was so addicted to it, it took me at least 6 of those months to fully get over my tendency to reach for it every spare moment. While my husband still keeps one for himself, I’ve saved us money every month by giving up mine. Plus, I find that life is quite peaceful without it now that I have broken the habit.
Still, many of you would argue that smart phones are quite useful, and to that, I would agree. In fact, here’s a list of pros and cons for owning a smart phone:
1. Instant access to all e-mails, which keeps you up to date in both your personal and professional lives.
2. GPS in case you get lost or need to find a specific store or address.
3. The ability to take videos on most high quality models and upload them instantly.
4. It can act as a small traveling computer, with important files and photos available at a moment’s notice.
5. An unlimited amount of apps that can help you in a pinch (need a level to hang a picture, anyone?)
1. Instant access to all e-mails, which keeps you up to date in both your personal and professional lives. (Yes, I realize I listed this as a pro as well. Sometimes being too connected is unhealthy.)
2. If it breaks, it is expensive to fix.
3. The plans for a smart phone are often double, if not triple, that of a regular phone.
4. You will often purchase a phone, only to have it surpassed quickly by the latest model.
5. They are very distracting, especially when it comes to games or e-mail notifications.
While I acknowledge there are certainly a great deal of pros to owning a smart phone, ones I weighed heavily when purchasing one to begin with, I am also quite happy not having one. Sure, my family members get frustrated when I can’t see a media message, but I just encourage them to be “old fashioned’ and send me an e-mail!
Making the transition to having a regular phone wasn’t easy, but it certainly was eye opening. I can’t tell you how many times I reached for my phone or went to check an e-mail out of habit. I had no idea how much time I spent using the phone until I no longer had access to all the perks of the smart phone. Now that I’ve gone over a year without it, I don’t even miss it. I’m able to do my work and write on my blog without the habit of stopping to check my phone. This choice has made me more productive and less stressed. I highly recommend it.
Do you go sans smart phone? Or, have you ever considered giving up the practice?