I received an email from Verizon Wireless awhile ago, and thought I would share it today. Note in particular the message - apparently I am settling for a "basic phone" and missing out on the good life that comes with a smartphone. Right now my husband and I both have basic phones with a decent talk/text package for $52.
This ad is not the only place that I have encountered surprise when we reveal that we don't have smartphones. I hear people talk about how they cannot live without theirs, and agree that they are able to do quite a number of things. But despite these advantages, there are also a lot of costs to having a smartphone that, well, aren't so smart (at least for us):
1. We do not need them. Yes, we might miss out on having that crucial shot of a child to upload to Facebook right as it's happening, but we really do not need them. For us, phones are for communication. I am largely at home with the kids and my husband is at work. I have wi-fi, and we both have texting capabilities as well as phones - do we need any more?
2. $50 more a month is a big deal to us. As we patiently hack away at our debt, $50 helps us afford other things in our budget that many people think are unaffordable. $600 a year could mean better homeschooling curriculum for our kids or adding more raised beds and fruit trees to our backyard. It could mean affording some tools to build our own furniture, or building up our food stockpile for emergencies. And that's not to mention the cost of new phones.
3. It would be just one more way to be distracted. I already struggle with having access to the internet at home when it comes to being present with my kids - I don't need the added stress of distractions when I am out. This thought was echoed in a great piece by journalist Jacob Carr where he wrote of the freedom he felt when he went back to a dumb phone in the Atlantic Monthly. And really, we already have "smartphones" in our iPad mini and iPod touch, which are basically iPhones without the phone platform.
What about you? Do you still have a basic phone, and if so, why?