Thursday, June 21, 2012

Should I Get A Smartphone?

Obviously, I'm not what you'd call an early adopter. I have an old-fashioned LG cell phone that makes calls, receives texts and lets me send back one-word replies by typing on the phone dialing thingy. I can take pictures and video but I can't figure out how to get them off the phone. No internet access. I've had this same phone for at least three years.

You're considered to be a bit odd if you don't have an iPhone. (I realize that even with an iPhone, I'd be odd.) Most people I know have one or something like it. I was recently at a party, and a friend was giving me directions to a restaurant. So she said "take out your phone and I will show you where the place is," assuming that I of course had a phone like that, because everyone in the civilized world does. I wasn't in the mood to explain my  situation, even though she is super nice and would not judge me, so I pretended to be distracted by one of the kids. She ended up walking us to the restaurant.

(We don't have a minivan either, so we're practically living like animals. Our  ten-year-old Ford Focus has squeaky brakes and an unexplained shorts-ruining stain on the front passenger seat. For a while I wanted to get a new car, maybe a BMW mini, preferably pink. But now I sort of love that we have such a crappy car. I find it funny somehow. Maybe it's because when I was growing up, one of the two doors of our Plymouth Valiant was held closed with a rope for years.)

I've cycled in and out of wanting an iPhone. It would be convenient, but there is such a thing as too convenient. (My husband just got an iPhone, and it bothered me when my son started asking Siri algebra questions and she answered them correctly. Do kids use Siri to do their homework?) Also, I didn't even know what a "drop-in" was until I saw the episode of Girls where Hannah is lost at some junk yard with creepy Adam and Marni tells her to "send a drop-in," and she does something with her phone, and then Marni picks them up in a cab. Kids these days have it too easy! Clearly I was out partying in the stone age when getting lost meant you were just screwed. Which I kind of think is the way it should be.

Further, it's hard to justify the expense of a smart phone when you think about the fact that I am rarely out for more than a few hours, and if it is all that urgent I can be reached on my cell. I'm not the Secretary of State. And I worry that I would be one of those people who is constantly texting and looking at the phone when you are out to lunch or trying to have a conversation. I might be checking my comments and the traffic for the blog a lot more often than I already do, and wasting time on Facebook and playing Words With Friends instead of interacting with the real world. And I was just reading about a study that showed that people who spend a lot of time on that stuff are more likely to be depressed.

So that's not good.


  1. I've got to the point that I am (rebelliously) proud of my samsung flip phone. it's so freaking uncool that it's cool. Yes, that's what I (angrily, rebelliously) say

  2. Secretly though, I'm obsessed with my ipad

  3. I still have a Samsung flip phone. I can't justify the expense of a smart phone and I resist and rebel against being that internet dependent.

  4. If it makes you feel better, I don't have a cell phone at all...

  5. If you're dead-set on an iPhone and absolutely no Android will do, you can probably grab a used iPhone 3g off of ebay for $100 or so. If you do that and aren't already enslaved to a cell phone provider, go for a plan from Straight Talk. You would need to buy an activation kit from them for $15, then pay $45 a month with no contract for unlimited talk/text/1-2 gigs of data a month or 100 megs a day. Instructions on how to do it. You may have to/want to/ jailbreak your iPhone; I have no idea how tech-savvy you are but I promise it's not as scary as it sounds.

    Texts will basically replace those quick "Hey, where are you? Are you free?" kind of calls, you will wonder how you lived without being able to get turn by turn directions anytime anywhere, you will be able to delight and distract small children at will with Angry Birds, you will be able to find the nearest tiny Indian place in seconds, and so on.

    Besides, what price can you really put on blending in among the bourgeoise? They will never suspect you.

    1. Thanks, Chris. Those are very specific instructions!

  6. Even though out of all my friends & family I'd seem the most likely to have a smartphone, I was a flip phone wielding holdout also. But this spring I caved and got one.

    I'm not away from home all that much either, but there were boring times, such as waiting in the pickup line outside my kids' school, when I thought, wouldn't it be nice to check email or play WWF or tweet a stupid picture of my shitty DIY manicure right now?

    At first I was like iPhone-or-nothing but then I checked to see what alternatives my non iPhone cell provider offered and went with a significantly cheaper (with rebate) Android based Samsung Galaxy Aviator. It has a larger screen and so far I really like it. My data plan is 5G but so far, even during my recent road trip / family vacation, I haven't even used over 500MB. I haven't been doing any data heavy surfing like streaming music or video, yet. Like the comment above said, mostly during that trip it came in handy for GPS type navigation and googling answers to kid questions, like how much bigger Jupiter is than Saturn.

    As for the being online / more depressed correlation-- I think deactivating my facebook account has done wonders for that. I still had my FB account when I first got the phone, but only tried that App out a few times before I started feeling like an asshole...

  7. Get an iPhone. I can't believe I waited as long as I did and I don't regret getting it and love the convenience it provides.

  8. Sweet Jesus get an iphone TODAY! I got one about a year and a half ago, kept it for 24 hours and then decided I couldn't deal with typing on glass and really just wanted a I returned it.
    A year later I was begging Verizon to let me exchange it again as I had realized the err of my ways (which basically at that point revolved around wanting to utilize the calendar sync-up with my computer so as not to miss another 5-year-old bday party or doctor appointment)...I now have had an iphone for about six months and I LOVE it...that said I use the calendar app but still somehow miss bday parties and doctor's appointments on a regular basis but now I do it while playing Words With Friends and other inane time-wasting apps that feed my soul like chocolate-covered crack.
    Plus, I have three different covers for it, or 'outfits' as a friend calls them, and I dress it up like a doll depending on my mood for the day -- too much information? Have I gone too far? Sorry...but get one!

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