There are two things I have been expecting to break for the past two months: my cell phone and our car.
The cell phone, despite being dropped repeatedly, chewed and stored in the dusty confines of my handbag, ticks on (so does the car but there are many indications its days are numbered).
It’s startling really. This phone that I bought for $60 or so dollars is about to hit a milestone few iPhones or Samsung Galaxys will ever see. Many of these new phones don’t make it past the two year mark because the owner sends them in to upgrade for a newer model but many more live a short life due to planned obsolescence. Yet, this extremely low-tech model lives on after a beating that would have been the death of anything with a touch screen.
My reasons for owning a very inexpensive cell phone that doesn’t connect to the Internet are many. Cost savings is one. We’ve saved hundreds over the last three years using cheap phones that are pay-as-you-go. I’ve detailed here many times that I struggle with limiting my use of the Internet so my little burner phone really helps me on that front. The other perk: I don’t freak out when one of my kids slobbers on it or drops it.
One change to our old cheap cell phones: my husband has moved to the dark side. Chris got a Blackberry for work. He assured me many times that it would actually free up more of his weekend time because he could check email while out instead of having to be at his computer. After a few months I agree. Having a Blackberry has helped us manage family time vs. work time on weekends better. I can also see that it will be a huge help when we are on vacation. Yes, while we strive for simple my husband has a demanding job that he loves and travels about six weeks a year for along with currently studying for a post-graduate degree.
Of course, the Blackberry is paid for by the company so… it’s actually been a win for our budget. I can’t complain about that either.
The downside to using this old technology: there are many.
The text function, the feature I use the most on the phone, uses a system I learned in 2005.. and then forgot and had to relearn in 2011. Because of where we live I don’t need to look things up like directions or business hours in most of my day to day life (score for small towns) but when we travel off-island, about every other month, it would be nice to have a phone that could help me plan outings on the fly.
Instead, I’m forced to use old fashioned pen and paper and plan and research in advance. Recently I met up with sister in Paris for a few days and I will without a doubt say it was very handy to have her iPhone along with us when we dropped into Crossfit Louvre and then made our way to Poilane for a post-WOD brunch.
Most people I know are not using a phone that sends a 300 character text message in two parts. So I sometimes I get one message over several texts. Writing a long winded reply is frustrating on the tiny screen with no keyboard. Yes, not ideal.
Still, what started as an experiment in living a bit simpler, cheaper and with fewer distractions has been a success. Almost three years in I am still happy with my not-fancy cell phone with no plans to change anytime soon.
Anyone else making do with what antiquated technology? Do you feel pressure to let it go? Anyone still on VHS?