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One Year Without A Smart Phone

  August 28

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Right before I moved to Grenada a little over a year ago, I made the traumatic decision to turn off my iPhone. Imagine me kicking and screaming calmly making my way into the store and asking them to shut ‘er down. They really tried hard to keep me, especially because I lost my unlimited data that I was grandfathered into. However, I prevailed. I said no. I turned it off…

…and I spent nearly every day for 6 solid months reaching for my phone to look up something online. Alas, the smart phone habit was very, very hard to break, but I have come out of it a champion!

Admittedly, it was a lot easier for me to go without one since I moved to a small tropical island and really only use my phone to text the hubs. (I’ve also gone over a year without eating McDonalds, but that’s another story for another day.)

However, for those of you who spend around $100 per month on your smart phone and are contemplating what else you could do with that $1,200.00 every year, here’s a list of reasons why I enjoy going without it:

1. I use my time more wisely. I read a book or talk to a friend while waiting in line instead of playing Angry Birds or texting aimlessly.

2. It is so much cheaper. I pay $20.00 US per month for my pre-paid tiny little phone.

3. It’s peaceful. There aren’t a lot of sounds and buzzes from e-mails, picture texts, video messages, and whatnot. It just simply makes a noise when it rings and when I get a text.

4. It’s cheaper to fix. These little phones cost about $30, whereas fixing an iPhone is a several hundred dollar expense.

5. I was able to sell my iPhone to a friend here, making a little bit of a profit.

So there you have it, a real in-the-flesh 25 year old who is surviving this modern world without a smart phone. To be honest, I’m actually a little surprised that I made it this long without one. I won’t claim that I’ll shun smart phones forever, but it’s working out just beautifully for now.

So how do you feel about your smart phone? Are you attached? Could you live without it? Or, are there any folks out there with a regular ol’ cell phone? I can’t be the only one…

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23 responses to “One Year Without A Smart Phone

  1. CAT- you’re right on so many levels about giving up your smart phone- although I didn’t have an iPhone- I had an android, and I often reach for it to look something up quickly, instead of pulling out my computer and making sure the, ahem, unreliable internet will choose to work for once. 🙂 haha.

  2. I use my smartphone now because it helps me get to different job sites in the city (GPS), and that’s essential for me. But other than that, I do try to put it down as well. It wasn’t that many years ago that we didn’t have cell phones at all, and everyone seemed to get along okay! But now people almost expect you to have one and that makes it really hard because when you don’t, people get annoyed. It’s a lose-lose situation sometimes.

  3. Smart phone are one of those things that once you have them, they are tough to give up. I think of it like when you move up from a twin sized bed to a “grown up” sized full or queen. Stepping back down to a twin seems so much smaller and you wonder how you ever survived. =)
    But I bet the long distance charges on calls between the states and Grenada made it easier to give up. I had a pay as you go phone that I used mostly for texting and receiving calls when I was out of the country… didn’t even want to know what roaming charges might be!

  4. I’ve had a smart phone for about 2 years now. Since my work pays for it, I don’t have the HUGE bill. But I do make a point of turning it OFF on vacations, which makes them much more memorable and relaxing.

    I think you have done a unique thing, and applaud you for breaking the mold 🙂

  5. I only just upgraded a month ago from a text-and-calls only phone and now have a feature phone. I like being able to check my email on the go, or look at a few sites while waiting for a train, but I don’t feel the need for all the extras of a smart phone. I think I’d just waste a lot of time with it. And saving somewhere between $100-$150 per month is not shabby!

  6. If I’m on vacation, my phone is off, or at least I will not return any messages if they are not important. In my recent vacation trip, I didn’t have access to my cell phone as I was out of the country. It was great!

  7. I’ve never technically had a smart phone. I have a pantech link and it does pretty much everything that a smart phone does, but I have never bought internet for it and can’t realistically browse on it. Saves me lots of money!

  8. A whole year! My wife JUST finally got a smartphone. For all this time, she was holding off because she didn’t want to pay the high price. But necessity finally got the best of her, and we caved. You are right that life is probably simpler (and cheaper!) without it.

  9. Girl, you are an inspiration. We can unlock our iPhones this week, and I am so excited for that. I feel that this dinky phone keeps me from texting in any sort of reasonable manner/time. Now, that may actually be a good thing, because I’m definitely sending less texts, but it’s very annoying because I tend to text over calling if it’s something quick. I honestly don’t even care about the data plan, I just want my touchscreen QWERTY keyboard back! Typing that, I know how spoiled it sounds/legitimately is. I’m working on it!

  10. That’s awesome, I think there are a lot of things that I use that I could go without if I had to like cable tv, iphone, etc. But once you get into the habit it’s hard to get rid of it, I commend you. Now what you should do is buy the iPhone 5 when you’re eligible for your free upgrade and sell it 🙂

  11. I washed my husband’s smartphone a couple weeks ago, and I’ve never had one. It’s really tough to break the habit! Combining that with not having internet at home because we just moved, and it’s been so strange to not have access to email and the like at our fingertips when we’re not at work. Last weekend we forgot to check the address and directions to a party before leaving work and we had to troll around looking for unsecured wireless for our iPod (unsuccessfully)!

    I am going to get a smartphone soon, and my husband will replace his when the craziness from moving calms down, so this isn’t a permanent situation. It has been nice to be forced to take breaks from the constant connectedness we usually live in.

  12. I don’t have a smartphone, and have absolutely no plans to get one. I, like you, enjoy not being “connected” every waking minute. My friends with smartphones seem absorbed in their phones – many times to an unhealthy point!

  13. Congrats on making it without a smart phone 🙂 I’ve been a fan of prepaid for quite some time. I was a huge fan of Net10 for quite some time but have recently switched to T-mobile’s prepaid. I’m curious, what prepaid company are you using?

  14. I think it’s great if you can live a life where you’re not always plugged in! Unfortunately, that’s not my reality. I’ve never really used my iPhone for games, etc. but I am sooo thankful to have it for quick searches, etc. when I’m out and about. The Maps app helps me plot out driving routes (or bus routes) in big cities I don’t know, I have checked in to multiple flights with it and, as crazy as it might sound, I have used the level to level out more pictures than I can count! lol. So, yes… you could say my iPhone and I are attached 😉

  15. I do not even have a cell phone. But I do have a desktop computer. The problem with all these phones or mobile phones is that they are a great distraction constantly.

  16. Nice to find a kindred spirit. My family and I have been on a simplistic journey for the last 5 years and I blog about it. I found you through my yoga teacher Rebecca, who also lives on Grenada.

    I had one of the very first smartphones back in 2007, the Palm Treo, and while it was critical for work, I didn’t like how connected and reachable I was. So I went back to just a phone. My husband and I share a plan and pay $70 per month for both of us. I’m the only one who texts and I have a $5/month texting plan. We have never felt the need for an iphone or android. I enjoy watching my son’s soccer games vs. sitting there surfing the web like the other parents. It’s not only peaceful but it allows you to be present and enjoy making memories.

    I have a new job and am required to get an iphone because we use it for work, and I am a little excited, but also terrified.

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