Tuesday, September 18, 2012

first world problems

Ryan and I have been wrestling big time with a decision lately.
Every evening we talk about it, we go round and round, we can't get comfortable with a solution, and we decide we'll revisit it again... tomorrow.

It seriously has us ridiculously frustrated...
and when I say ridiculously, I mean it.  It is absolutely ridiculous that not only are we wrestling with this trivial thing, but that we're both so emotionally irritated by it.

Do you want to hear what it is?

New cell phones.

Now lest you think we're merely in this discussion because the new iPhone is coming out... you couldn't be further from the truth.  Because we?... still have "dumb" phones.
And our problem?... we are totally satisfied with our dumbphones.

We are both resisting the whole idea of smartphones and having to always be connected... having the interwebs at your fingertips every second of every day... "needing" access to your messages all the time, having your eyes glued to a screen while waiting in line at the grocery store, playing games on your phone instead of talking with your kids while waiting for the dentist.
I just think it's gotten all out of hand.
It's not that I'm opposed to having that ability... I'd like to be able to find an address last minute, or to check facebook or play a game when I'm stuck in an airport for hours...

But so many people are so all about their phones that it has totally turned me off and kind of makes me want to avoid being any part of that at all.
I know that not everyone is so bad and absorbed in their little screens all the time.  But it drives me a little bit crazy to look around in public and see how many people have their phones out in front of their faces or at the very least, in their hands, ready to look at a moment's notice.  It drives me absolutely batty to see kids who don't know how to wait without a game in front of their face.  And it makes me really sad to see a family of four sitting at a restaurant table, each with their own phones on the table in front of them not even interacting with each other.
It's just so rampant.
(really, you might not notice if you're one of the ones with your phone handy all the time... but stop and look around sometime and see if the number of phones out astounds you as it does me.)

And here's the other thing.
It makes me cringe to think about the amount of money spent on things like that... so many having to have the latest and greatest, dropping hundreds of dollars on new phones just because.  (That always bugged me with the regular phones too... why do you need a new phone when the one you have works just fine??)
We've never spent much money on a cell phone.  We've always had nice, perfectly ample phones, with keyboards and everything, by simply sticking to our plans, renewing our contracts when needed, and picking out new (free) phones accordingly.
So the thought of going from spending nothing or maybe, maybe, $20 on a phone, to $200 or more??  In my mind that's cray-cray.  Plus the difference per month for a data plan.  Yuck.

Ryan and I both have an iPod touch, (but still, two out of three were gifted to us).  We do use those a lot like smartphones (minus the phone part)(but you can skype and chat on it, so almost same difference?) but obviously only at home or when we're somewhere with free wi-fi (which is actually almost everywhere now).  This is also how we are able to spend our evenings playing Wordswithfriends and Trivie with each other... ;)

So our dilemma is this:  Ryan's cell phone is as close to ka-put as you can be without actually being dead.  You can't see his screen anymore (which makes texting difficult!) and sometimes it doesn't ring.  My phone is fine (although I'm thinking it doesn't always ring when it's supposed to either), but we are in between contracts right now, our phones are a good four years old, so not only does he need to, it's probably time for me to get a new one as well. (I think my current phone is only #4 in the past 12 years.)
Neither of us really want a smartphone.  Or more accurately, to pay for a data plan.  We kind of want to just get regular old phones again.
But it would be nice to have it all rolled into one... to have a decent camera with me at all times, to have the apps, etc.
Where we're having a hard time is not needing or wanting to be connected all the time... I don't want or need access to all of that stuff all of the time.  And I don't want to pay for it.

What we really want is a smartphone without the data plan... so it's like what we have going on now -a phone and our iPod combined-... a phone for emergencies and communicating and then the ability to access the internet and interactive apps when possible and/or necessary (i.e., at home, at starbucks, at the airport.) and not have to pay for being connected 24/7.

So this is seriously how it's gone for the past couple of weeks:
One day we decide we'll stick with dumb phones.
The next we say screw it, it's simpler to just get the smartphones.
And then we look at them and think, no, we really don't need more than we need.
But then we think, if we don't get smartphones now, while we need new phones, we'll be stuck with dumbphones for the duration of a new 2-year contract.
But I don't really want a big, doesn't really fit in my pocket smartphone.
But can we function practically with a dumbphone for two more years in this crazily connected internet world we're growing into??

So what would you do?
I realize we're not the norm here... it's more and more rare to find other dumbphoners like us.
But tell me... would you upgrade to just a new phone or a new smartphone?  And try not to be biased already having a smart phone in your possession. ;)

How to we stick to simplicity and practicality??
And not pay an arm and a leg for it. :/


Jennifer Cowan said...

My opinion... get the smart phones. In the long run you will appreciate that decision. Based on your beliefs you will limit your use and not be glued to it (Drives me crazy too to see everyone's nose in them too).

Nicole said...

Its hard for me to not be biased, but I'll try.

Mind you, pre-iphone I was a complete "cheap-dumbphone-user" as well. I was never ever one to pay for a phone, when mine broke or I COULD upgrade (which I really only did once or twice because my phone broke)... I got whatever phone was available FREE through my provider. I wasn't about to pay $200+ for a PHONE.

However. The iPhone. I love it. I do. My calendar is on there, which syncs with Ryans. My emails are there if I need to get info from an email, an address from a client etc etc. I also find myself using the camera a lot more than I ever thought I would and it is so darn convenient. It really feels simpler, and I know that if I leave my big camera behind I always have some sort of camera with me, which makes me feel alittle bit more in the moment rather than worried about photographing every darn moment with my big camera.

Since you'll be stuck with whatever new phone you get for the next 2 years, I'd say get a smartphone for sure. You already use the features of your iPod, and you use a camera daily, and you have a cell phone. No sense not to wrap it all up in one. :) I agree with Jennifer on the fact that your beliefs will limit your use on the "fancy features" and you'll be fine.

beanski said...

even though i DESPISE what smartphones have done to america and relationships, i don't think i could live without my iPhone now that i have it. when i get lost, when i'm sitting at the doctor and can read my kindle, all of it. i am conscious of when i'm using it because my husband used to REALLY hate them. but then he got one from work and i catch him on his more than i'm on mine. they are really useful.

Heidi said...

I noticed the "nose stuck to the phone" when Gabe and I went out for dinner for my birthday on Saturday. We were trying to have a nice dinner (without our lovely son) and i-phones were going off at the next table. They had to have the phone on the table in front of them. When did phones become more important than the people we are with?
That to say, Gabe and I do love our androids and highly recommend them if you don't want an i-phone like everyone else!

Christina said...

When you guys were here last, we were dumbphoners along with you. Just this month we each got a Galaxy 3s which are Droids. John needed a new phone to stay connected with work, and his new job pays for it. Because we are a family plan, and overdue for new phones, we got one for me too, and it turns out we are paying less than we were with our dumbphones. I know we are in an ideal situation there with his work helping out so much. I too, however am very sensitive to the overuse of the phones in our culture. I have noticed it even more since getting one myself. But, because I am conscious of it, I actually think I'm not an overuser. yes, I am enjoying it...love the camera, being able to listen to music or sermons while working out on a machine at the gym (unless I have a friend working out next to me, which I still prefer), having different apps that help with my budget, my food intake, exercise, a calendar, grocery lists, etc. I have only put a few kids learning games/activities on my phone for very specific situations. Anyway, it has been nice, but I definitely don't want it to be an idol in the least.

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