• Back Here in the Stone Age

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    This is a post from Make Love, Not Debt staff blogger, Abby.



    Image: Martin Abegglen

    In many ways, I have traditional, some might even say old-fashioned, tastes. While this has often served me well (my clothing stays largely in style, and should for some time), I’ve lately noticed that my reluctance to upgrade to more recent technology in a particular instance in my life has begun to show. Namely, my electronics. My name is Abby Dalton, and I don’t have a smart phone.

    For some time, carrying around a plain old cell phone on which I could only type out the most basic text messages seemed like a non-issue. Only early-adopters and people with important jobs carried iPhones and Blackberries. Even if they seemed fun, I had no need for one, and could commiserate with friends about how our plain little phones worked just fine. But overnight, I seem to have been left in the lurch. Suddenly, I’m excluded from work conversations about the best apps and iPhone cases (to be fair, I’m very partial to the selection J.Crew has available). Verizon is sending me mail on the daily, extolling the virtues of the smart phone, and why I need to enter the modern era. Friends who once joined my whining over the ridiculous expense of a data plan can’t hear my judgment over the sound of their fingers clickety-clacking on their Apple screens.

    I have my reasons for sticking with my simple little model. Unpopular opinion time! I have, and still do, find the expense of an iPhone unnecessary. I sit at a computer for nearly all of my working hours, and then am rarely far from a computer should I need to check email. I’m exceedingly organized, and can print out directions and phone numbers well in advance of needing them (my trips are organized weeks in advance, and restaurant outings so planned that a last minute reservation is unheard of in my house). I don’t need to spend money on a new phone, and a monthly data plan, when there’s so little need for it. This isn’t to say I won’t spend my money on ridiculous things (oh, the stupid things I spend my money on – another post for another time). Bottom line: I have literally no need for a smart phone, and know many people who don’t, either, despite their insistence that it’s the greatest thing ever. Are you frequently away from a computer, or unable to plan your life more than an hour in advance? Then by all means, the smart phone is for you.

    I’ll also pull out my curmudgeonly behavior for a moment – I hate how often the people I’m with redirect their attention to their smart phones. Chatting in a bar, grabbing a coffee at work – one moment we’re having a lovely conversation, and the next they’re responding to messages and checking scores. “It would be rude not to respond,” they say, and I smile and silently lament the end of common courtesy.

    Will I eventually end up just another member of the masses, squinting at that glowing iPhone screen and talking about how it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever purchased? Probably. Eventually I won’t have a choice – when my little cell phone dies (and it’s on its way), I know I’ll have a hard time tracking down a cell phone that doesn’t require a data plan, that the lure of those pretty little J.Crew iPhone cases will be too much to resist. But for now, I’m happy to pay my minimal monthly phone bill, drop my phone repeatedly without consequence (no shattered screen for me), and silently glower when my husband checks basketball scores at dinner.

    Are you a member of the smart-phone owning masses? Is the expense worth it, in your opinion?


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