Great reasons to not have a smart phone

Some people wonder why as an IT person I don’t have an iPhone or another smart phone.  I have thought about it, not being in paid employment is the main factor, but lately I have been thinking a simple type phone has some advantages that sophisticated internet capable phone

1. Cost.   Either a large amount for complete ownership of the handset (£500+)  or having to pay £30-40 or more per month for a contract, that’s a lot of money you could spend on a holiday or many other things.  At the moment, my pay as you go phone on Cellcom IL means my 57 shekels (~£10) worth of credit lasts me about a month.

2. Long commitments.  I reckon people don’t often always think they are stuck paying for this thing for 18 or 24 months (3 years typically in Israel for an iPhone) without a simple way to get out, if the service or the handset don’t meet expectations.  The novelty appeal of the phone may wane way before you are able to get an upgrade or switch to a different payment model.  I wonder if less young people these days will go off traveling, doing volunteer or overseas work when they realise they can’t get shot of the mobile phone plan without an expensive exit fee.    Someone I know who is coming to Israel from the US was paying $106 a month and was struggling to get out of it!

3. Being forced to be doing work stuff when you are not at work.   People I know in the hospital I worked hated their blackberry handsets for this reason.   Employers don’t always plan that staff are doing work without always getting on-call commitments recognised in their actual salary package.

4. Fear of theft or damage.   One of the IT professional web sites I am a member of recently said that in a typical corporate environment, 10% of the phones get destroyed or lost in a year.   I suspect figures for consumers are not that far off.  I have seen many people crack the glass displays on an iPhone, and so therefore your monthly bill may need to have an insurance cost also added on that too.

5. Creditworthyness for getting a contract phone.  This is always checked in phone stores, not everyone qualifies for this.

6. Saying something you later regret online.  More easier to do on a device in your pocket that it is on your regular PC or laptop.

7. Not telling everyone a running commentary of your life’s problems on social media.   Its better to meet up or call a close friend and spill out to them.   Seriously.   Social media provides the tools online for narcissists to talk about themselves all the time too.

8. Enjoying life not being online.  Hiding behind that little device may mean you miss out on some of life’s things like sights of the countryside, getting chatting to strangers in a queue in a shop, and going camping when refraining from anything with an LCD display.

9. Chatting to a friend about a funny story you heard, can be done by A) showing said-item in Youtube or Wikipedia on a phone, or B) using the power of words and acting, in some ways, B can often be more appealing in the same way a good comedian just uses his hands and microphone stand to stimulate the imagination of the audience without any props.

10. Being antisocial in general.   If you are in a party or at a pub, people getting out their phones and then discussing which celebs they follow or what apps they have, are similar to loved-up couples that are too preoccupied with themselves to think about other (non phone obsessed) people around them.  I was watching the popular British motoring TV show Top Gear once when they had writer and actor Stephen Fry on there once, he decides to talk about an app on his phone he uses for gay cruising. geez, keep you nasty habits to yourself please, I used to have a lot of respect for him until this.

Fiddling with a phone in a job interview, theatre/cinema, in church or cell group or also examples of this I have seen being annoying to other people around you.

11. Being technologically unsatisfied.  Some people hop from one model phone to another and regardless of what the features of this and how new it is, are never seem happy.   despite all phones have limitations in one way or another.

12. Metering cost of data.  Its easy to go over the data allowance per month when using data on 3G network, which can make monitoring how much data consumed hard, to avoid any nasty shocks when the bill comes.

Of course, smart phones are incredibly handy for all kinds of things these days, with email, calender, navigation, web, media playback just for starters, but respect that not all people will be associated with the problems above, I have decided I myself would rather just do these things on a regular computer at home.

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