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Was Getting a Smartphone a Dumb Decision?

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I joined the iPhone world in September 2012 and my husband got one shortly after in February 2013. Our monthly phone bill went up 50% since both of us got iPhones because we now had data plans. Since we moved to Canada temporarily, our international plan allows us to talk/text within Canada and the U.S. but we can’t use our data plan. We only have internet access where wifi is accessible. The past 4 months with this phone plan have led my husband to question whether he wants to keep a smartphone when we move back to Michigan this winter. Conveniently, I recently saw this video about smartphones that made me both laugh and sigh from this sad truth.

For me

Since I took a break from dietetics and currently work for Starbucks, each 8-hour day allows me two 15-minute breaks along with a 30-minute half hour. I spend my 15-minute breaks taking care of emails and reading articles from fellow dietitians, finance blogs like this, and the Gospel Coalition all on my awesome Bloglovin’ app. I really enjoy the luxury of having this app. Before I had an iPhone, I’d spend an hour or two after work writing my own articles or for this site, reading and commenting on other blogs, and checking out the latest research in the dietetics field. I hated that because time on the computer meant time not spent hanging out with my husband or friends. Now I can get things done throughout the day and not need to be on my phone when my husband gets home in the evening. If only that’s what actually happened…

For him

My husband can’t find a good reason why having an iPhone is better than not. He too reads articles during lunch at work and catches up on emails, etc. Lately he’s voiced to me that he’s annoyed by how much he’s on his phone when he’s home in the evening. Whether it’s watching CrossFit competitions or fail compilations on YouTube, reading more articles, or checking his newsfeed on Facebook, it can quickly eat up precious time. I can’t put all the blame on him for wasting time- if he starts watching You Tube videos, instead of voicing that we should go for a walk or do something productive I view that as my opportunity to turn into a zombie on Pinterest or Twitter!

So what now?

I’m planning on keeping my phone. While I can admit that I don’t NEED it, I find that it actually does make me more productive (most days). My husband on the other hand is fairly confident he’ll get rid of his. We’re given 1440 minutes in a day that can’t be bought back and we don’t want to waste all of our time staring at a 4-inch screen. While we can’t put a price on the time we’ll save from not being glued to a phone, I’m confident it’s a decision that we won’t regret.

Have you thought about “downgrading” from a smartphone in order to not waste time? Can anyone relate to the video?

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AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

18 Comments

  1. I couldn’t imagine having a smartphone before I got one and I can’t imagine not having one now! The whole reason I got one is because Virgin Mobile only has plans with data plans and are still cheaper than just voice and text with AT&T!

    But I also don’t have internet at work, and, between commute and work, I can be gone 12+ hours in a day. By the time I get home, some days I just don’t want to turn on the computer. At least with a smartphone, I get SOMETHING done.

    • I agree as a blogger- having a smartphone lets me tackle things as they come up instead of letting it pile up for more work in the evening!

  2. I think you should ask yourself first if you really need it. If not, then you can just use a regular phone. Though, having a smartphone has a lot of advantages just like what you said there, because you can easily browse, watch and interact with a smartphone on your palm.

    • It’s funny how something like a smartphone can feel like a “need” and not a “want” right? In my husband’s case, there’s really no need for it. He got a free upgrade but it seems to just be more of a distraction from life like the video showed.

  3. A smartphone is very essential for entrepreneurs on the go. I think I’ll find it difficult to work without one.

    • I agree. Many businesses could not grow the way the are without the use of smartphones!

  4. Smartphones are pretty incredible. I must say, though…I can’t wait to ditch it and not have to look at it. Just came back from a smart-phone-less summer. It was awesome.

    • I bet that was a nice retreat and you enjoyed a lot more! I feel the same when I’m gone all day without service or my phone. It’s refreshing.

  5. This is very interesting! I got my husband an iPhone for Christmas a few years ago and it’s the best thing I ever gave him. He still thanks me for it. And most gifts I give him end up in a closet or a drawer for two years before it gets thrown out.

    He didn’t even know he wanted an iPhone until I got him one. One reason he loves it? He can get his fantasy football/baseball scores and doesn’t need his laptop open.

    This means we can go out to dinner or do other activities and don’t need to plan around games. He can check his scores in the car or in between commercials when we are watching TV. 😉

    So silly, but it kind of makes it nicer on me, too.

    We, do, however try to pick one day per month (on a weekend) when we go unplugged. No TV, no radio, no computer, no Smartphone. It’s glorious.

    • I like your “unplugged” day idea! As long as your husband isn’t checking scores WHILE you’re on a dinner date I guess that’s ok 😉

  6. Sounds like you have a pretty specific situation there Jessica. Tough decision.

    For me, I couldn’t imaging going back to a dumb phone. I often check my website emails as well as my day job emails – which are obviously very important. Having GPS anywhere I go is also nice.

    • GPS is a huge factor for me. Even if Dave got rid of his iPhone I think it would be wise to keep mine for the GPS. I remember the early days of printing Google map directions for a wedding weekend- home to rehearsal to hotel to church to reception to home… What a PAIN!

  7. No, I would not want to downgrade. My wife and I try to keep it in perspective and put the use of our phones aside when we’re with each other or our families. When we get ‘sucked in’ (as we refer to it), we depend on the other to pull us out of the abyss and keep us honest 🙂

    • It’s great having teamwork as long as you both don’t get sucked in! We try to do the same. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. There is no way I’m downgrading.

    I actually have a friend that is totally used to his old phone, that isn’t a smartphone. He has even bought another one off ebay of the same model as a replacement, instead of upgrading. I actually found it hard to imagine that he knew nothing of apps and everything that is part of owning a smartphone. We don’t want cause frugality to cause us to get out of touch!

  9. I have a dumb phone! (there I said it =D ) and honestly, am quite okay with it, havent found a reason, yet to dump my faithful dumb pocket friend, if anything, I find smart-phones distracting and expensive to maintain in terms of data plans etc.
    That said, each should weigh their personal and financial situations before making the switch.

    • How do you keep up with tweeting so many other blogger posts without a smart phone?? Smartphones are expensive to maintain! It’s a bit ridiculous. You’re right about evaluating personal/financial situations…these phones can be both helpful and distracting within the same hour!

  10. I did plant to get a smartphone especially now that almost everyone are having it. But then again I realized it is really not necessary for me to have one since I am just staying at home and I am working on the computer most of the time.


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