The Upside of Using Old Technology


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?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Like this post? Share it:
  • I tend to be very anti-technology, so I do have an old school phone. And I LOVE it to pieces! Mine does have a qwerty keyboard, which is amazing since I do text quite a bit. I love the fact that I’ve dropped it time and time again with few repercussions more than a few dents. Plus, I hate touchscreens. I have large fingers and long nails, and I can never seem to get it to work properly. We do have a Garmin though (a gift), which does come in handy. Otherwise, I don’t even own an iPod (or anything else by Apple for that matter). We have an old DVD player, but also have a Roku (not having commercials has been amazing). I get frustrated with this push in technology to be ever changing, growing, and “improving”. I wish our culture and society could take a step back and really apply technology where it matters most: in healthcare. I could care less about technology for entertainment, so if that energy was used towards bettering medical equipment and therapies, I feel so much more positive progress could be made.

  • We still use VHS! We have a combination DVD/VHS player which we specifically got because we already had a large collection of VHS and you can get them at secondhand stores for about .25 cents each. We also got chromecast for about 30 dollars to turn our TV into a “smart” TV so we can access online videos and our netflix acct on the TV. We don’t have cable because that little device has given us everything we could want on our TV, so sometimes new technology is good at simplifying your life.

    • My inlaws have a huge arsenal of VHS and they repeatedly ask us if we want to take their “extra” VHS player and their “extra” VHS tapes for the kids. Here’s where I say no more stuff! We have a DVD player that works fine and just a few of our favorite movies for it. We do still use our rental video store because it’s downtown and fun and quirky. We group that with pizza night out on our family Friday nights. Combine that with Netflix and we are all set with screen time.
      There’s one good thing about technology, the Netflix app is a whole lot smaller than a giant roomful of VHS. :)

  • I ditched my generation 4 smartphone when Apple upgraded everything to the new iOS7 platform and it needed recharging twice a day. I have a few months left to pay on the contract though haven’t looked back. The experience in the mobile phone shop was hilarious. The store clerk was so intrigued I explained the reason behind my choice and he told me about how they are discovering physical problems occurring in teenager’s hands from using their 2 thumbs so much and signs of early arthritis. It is harrowing the damage some technology can cause. Others manage moderation with it, I didn’t. Because of the technical problems once I upgraded to iOS7, I had reduced my use of it to 4 things, actual phonecalls, texting, the GPS software I had bought – which road signs, A-Z/maps and making effort to remember road names on way to places I visit regularly have now replaced and an mp3 player, the main reason i used it. For longer journeys, my partner still has his smartphone (which twice a year I admit is helpful). The texting is infuriating if I want to send a long message, so instead I make a brief phone call or shoot a quick email to someone later on, when I’m at my computer. I use online communication for keeping in touch with people and because I need to be at my computer to do it, the quality over quantity of my relationships with people further afield is far better. The basic Nokia I have is far sturdier as you have found with yours and I happily leave it in my handbag when other people are setting their smartphones near to their hands, in cafes or at each other’s homes. I find the attachment to them rather comical now. The sea change has been wonderful and I shall not return!

    • Lou – happy to find another person that found the iPhone just too tempting and has happily jumped a few years back in technology. They can be so handy, as you mentioned for road trips, but like you I have also found it forces me to actually sit down and thoughtfully compose emails more rather than trying to multitask.

  • I grudginly got an iphone almost 2 years ago and I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love that one phone can replace so many little things…but I hate the constant access I have to the internet….the constant need I feel to “check” things. I won’t go back, but sometimes I miss being behind the times.

    • I agree with you on this- I love the fact that the smartphone does everything (especially Kindle app and the camera) but I need to teach myself restraint when it comes to checking stuff!

  • This is a hard one. Whenever we travel I miss having a smartphone. On the other hand I don´t want one at all while at home. I´m going on a trip in april/may and I´m craving a smartphone for music and to look up things while away but… Tough choice. Also when I went on a trip this febrauary/march everyone but me had a smartphone, it was no difference on the trip beacuse I hang with great people, but at the airport waiting to board our flight I was the only one sitting there like a fool. So I don´t know… I have the same problem with text function as you do. Also, all my friends sends little squares to me all the time and I have to text them back asking what they wanted to say with them :)

  • I also have been avoiding the smart phone like the plague! I just don’t need the temptation of the internet all the time, and I know if I had it, I would be on all the time. This also helps me be more present for my children. Nothing irks me more than seeing a Mom looking at her phone when out with her kids. I agree about the cost- I spend 35$ a month for phone and unlimited texting, and I think that is still too much out of my budget!! I see how the phones can be handy, but I will just go without thank you very much.

    Oh, and no on the VHS. But we did get rid of the microwave after one of your blogs, and I LOVE the new counterspace I now have. I don’t miss the microwave at all!

  • I inhetited my great-grandmother’s sewing machine. It is almost 100 years old, sill works perfectly, beautiful to look at, can be also used as a small table, and I have wonderful childhood memories every time I look at it or use it. :)

  • I also have an old phone with a querty keyboard. I love it. For a few short months I had an iPhone because of a free upgrade. I left it on top of my car and never saw it again. I was on it too much, paid too much monthly and even though it was a free upgrade it still made me nervous that I would break it or loose it. Although, when I did break it I was thankful it was gone. I have some of the same downsides but the upsides outweigh them for sure. My husband has a work iPhone so when we are in an unfamiliar place we have his to use.
    We also have a VHS/DVD player. I’ve gotten VHS tapes for as little as 10 cents. When I’ve gotten them that cheap I feel no pain or guilt when I get rid of them.
    I LOVE that someone uses an old sewing machine.

  • If you have to have a smartphone, is it possible to invest in one with a small amount of data and have mobile turn off once the limit is reached? Then you have it for the spur of the moment but the limit will make you evaluate what is important to look at and maybe only have email and other items sync at certain times.

  • Gosh… well, for me a phone is still something that is connected to a plug in the wall. OK, I did finally upgrade to a cordless model, but I’m very attached to my landline. I do have a cell phone, but only for emergencies. Seriously – I don’t even know the number. and the thing gets used maybe once or twice per year – it’s a pre-paid plan of course. I couldn’t send a text message if my life depended on it. Every once in a while the cell phone company sends some very important info via text and I usually have to call customer support on the landline and have someone walk me through how to read it!

    I still have a VCR – back in the 90’s I recorded about 36 hours of my favorite yoga show, and still use the tapes every day. I don’t have an mp3 player – I still use my CD collection, or my cassette tapes (yes – I still have a boom box for my cassettes.) I have a desktop computer – have never had a laptop… they still strike me as newfangled contraptions. I did get a tablet for my birthday last year but I have to admit the thing is sort of a pain in the rear to use, so it seldom gets turned on… and storing information in “the cloud”? this makes me nervous… I have no idea how to use an e-book – seems like WAY too much trouble. If I want to read I get a book from the library.

    I have a car, but use it sparingly – under 1000 miles per year. I mostly walk or ride my bike. I’ve never used GPS – and can’t really imagine wanting or needing to… maybe if you were lost in the wilderness? I haven’t been on an airplane or train in over 20 years, nor have I been more than about 100 miles from my home in that time. Seems like way more trouble than it’s worth. Don’t have cable TV, but do LOVE my Netflix. Don’t have FaceBook or Twitter, or Pinterest and what the heck is Instagram anyhow? I have no idea what “hash tag” means… something to do with a pound sign I think, but beyond that, I have no clue. I’ve never shot a video on any device – though I think my camera can do it… and I’m considering trying to figure it out…

    OK… it’s true, I have officially reached dinosaur status, and I’m not even 50 yet. I shudder to think how behind I’ll be by the time I’m 65!

  • While I certainly agree that smartphones can be useful sometimes, neither my husband or I will get one because we know that it would be too tempting to be on it all the time. We still have old cell phones (we don’t text, either), and we are very happy with them. I’ve been having issues with mine, and will probably need to replace it sometime, and it seems likes it’s becoming difficult to find these phones. I’m sure that in the not too far off future, they probably won’t be available at all.

    We did without internet at all until a couple of years ago, when we moved and my husband went back to school. We seriously considered continuing without it, but decided that it would be too inconvenient for his schoolwork, since most of it was done online. I still sometimes wish we didn’t have internet – I had way less distraction, got more done during the day, and I looked forward to my once-a-week “getaway” to a coffee shop to relax and read blogs. Now, I have found that I turn to the internet far too often when I find myself with a few extra minutes, or when I’m frustrated and want to relax for a minute. I recently decided that I would not use the internet when my kids are up, and that boundary has been so helpful for me! Technology really can be such a tricky road to navigate!

  • I am a recovering Iphone Addict 😉 Kidding but almost. I gave up my iphone 6 months ago and switched to an Att Go Phone. The great thing about is that is cost $50 unlimited talk and text which we love. It also is a “smart phone” that is WiFi only. It has been SOO amazing. I love having access to the internet on my phone when Im home, at work, and at my usually places and its FREE! I has also helped me cut down on using the phone when I am out with family and friends because I can only use the internet features if the places as WiFi. Although I do sometime miss the ease of having the internet in my pocket I don’t think I’ll ever go back :)

  • I’ve never had a smart phone and am quite happy with my ‘dumb’ Samsung that I bought maybe five years ago for $30 on ebay. I feel a little sheepish explaining to friends why I didn’t see the photo they just texted me. I try to make long phone calls at home on our VOIP land line– the sound is much better. I just lost my charger while traveling and had a moment of panic, but they still make the chargers and sell them on ebay.

    I, too, am a bit of an internet addict and am already in front of my computer all day long at work, no desire to carry one with me.

    My compromise is that I do have an iPod Touch, which we use for streaming music at home, etc… It’s handy for traveling, as well. Not quite as handy as an iPhone because you do have to be somewhere with wireless, but if you can duck into a cafe w/wifi, then you can use every function you would have on an iphone. Makes me feel less cut off from world if I don’t want to bring laptop with me (then again, maybe being cut off from the world is the point of travel?)

    For 5 years (pre iPhone era), I lived in LA w/no car– if I still had the mass transit lifestyle, I would definitely have a smartphone, the apps for travel times, schedules, bus tracking, etc, are so good now.

  • I have only had a basic cell phone with texting …never the internet but am considering upgrading. I moved to a new city and all the people I have met and I am trying to make friends with using group texting…which I cannot open and read. It is really frustrating to not be able to read messages. Also, my grandfather went in the hopstial and my mom has been group texting updates…which I can’t get. Does anyone else know how to solve the problem without upgrading to a “smart” phone?

    • I use an iPod and free wifi for Internet on the go. It takes care of the ‘smart phone’ aspect and there is no monthly fee.

  • We mostly use Google Voice, most of our conversations with others happen online in some form or another. The kids love when they get an invite to a Google Hangouts from a family member. The thing I miss about having a smart phone is the camera. I will most likely buy myself another smart phone so that I can have the camera and just use it to connect to wifi at home or one of the places that I go so I can use Google Voice. We also have two dumb phones, as our teenager calls them, that we can use to get a hold of someone if we don’t have access to the internet and a laptop or tablet. We paid $30 total for both and spend around $200 a year for airtime for both of them. We also have a VHS player. Our local library has a lot of videos that are on VHS still and the children love checking out videos from the library.

  • This is a hard one. I had a cell phone until 2010 when we cancelled our plans and went back to a landline to save money while my husband started his Masters. Honestly, 95% of the time I have no regrets and really enjoy not being tied to my phone and the pressure to have to respond 24/7 to texts, etc. The cost savings have been totally worth it. And I feel that I am much more present to my children and the world around me without a cell. An added bonus is I never have to worry about turning my phone off in class or other similar situations.

    Occasionally though I really miss a cell phone and the simple convenience it brings i.e., knowing when and where to meet someone and whether or not they will be late or unable to make it. I also wonder in the wisdom of placing oneself in a position where one cannot relate to the world around oneself in one way or another. At 29 I am pretty young and as people around me adapt to rapidly changing technology in the form of i-phones, etc., I am aware of how removed I have become from that world. Although I definitely do not want to keep up with the Joneses and value simplicity on many fronts, I also feel that it is important to be able to on some level remain relevant to the world around me. Is a smart phone the answer… I haven’t decided yet, perhaps there is another simpler, less consuming option. I am definitely not in a hurry to buy one at this point- so far the advantages of life without a cell phone far outweigh the cost of owning one.

    • haha. Just to prove my point about keeping up with technology, my husband pointed out that i misspelled iPhones. Something I would never have noticed. oops.

  • My husband and I have simple flip phones that only text and call. We use them for emergencies and for keeping in touch when we’re out and about. We pay as we go and I think we only pay a couple of pounds a month most months. If friends send me a text message I am most likely to respond via email since it takes me a while to write a text (even with T9) and email is free (included in rent). We use Skype to keep in touch with our distant family. Our other technology is limited to two laptops, a Kindle, and the cheapest, oldest MP3 player you can imagine. We don’t even own a TV. When we travel I still do research before leaving and I actually enjoy reading a map. :) I am quite happy that my children can grow up experiencing life without an addiction to screens. My three-year-old likes to pretend that she’s on the phone but I still think that’s better than her actually getting to use one for several hours a day! All in all, we’re quite content with limited technology and it has been a conscious choice. It saves us money and time and I find that I’m more aware of what’s going on around me and am better able to enjoy life.

  • “Basic phones” (as Verizon calls them) for us too! I’ve resisted the Smartphone movement for a couple of reasons – cost (we are on a tight budget) and frankly, I don’t want the distraction. My hubby had one for awhile through work, and I was shocked at how distracted he was – checking FB and email and sports scores when we were out even though it wasn’t important at all. When he changed jobs and gave back the phone I was so relieved, and realized how distracting those darn things are! Sure, I’d love to have access to directions, mobile coupons, etc. But, I’m a good researcher, planner, and I have a pad of paper and a working pen, so I can handle it! And I have enough trouble paying attention to my children, I don’t need one more thing! :) So happy to hear we’re not the last ones on the planet without Smartphones! :)

  • I’m a techie (graphic designer/web developer in training) who is anti-tech. I am the only one in my peer group (mid-30s) who doesn’t have a smart phone. I had an iPhone for a week, returned it, tried a Samsung smartphone for a couple of months, then sold that. I’m home with my twin infants so I didn’t need a smart phone – I bought a new Samsung flip phone from so I wouldn’t have big bills (I never text, and just want a phone for emergencies)… so far so good, my bills are about $15/month. I miss landlines and rotary phones… those things just wouldn’t quit! I remember playing with them when I was a kid. Now our cordless phones break every year or two, it seems. Or we’re constantly looking for them in the house… LOL. I hate how people are so attached to their smartphones. Even my parents, in their late 60s, are addicts… staring at them off and on even when visiting their grandchildren.

    • I do not have a cordless phone. I will only buy a landline that doesn’t require electricityv (and amazingly also the cheapest option). Since most of my telephone use is via the cell phone, I needed a landline that will work during a major emergency. For example, I had telephone service during Hurricane Sandy despite no cell or electric service.

  • Until four months ago we didn’t have smart phones, tablets, or laptops. All we had was a three year old net book and a 6 year old desktop, and one tv for the whole house. Even the net book was only used when my husband travelled (he is one the road for most of the year for work).
    Around Christmas we upgraded the computer, bought two tablets, and DH has a work smart phone. It’s been different, we have share screens less, and compromise less, which I don’t like. I am learning *not* to check emails and texts the minute the little beep sounds.
    The plus side: it makes my quest to be paperless so much easier. All my notes, ideas, grocery lists and other bits floating about my desk and house are contained to the iPad. Even sketches for new product ideas are electronic now. But paper is my clutter problem, so this really helps.
    I also use it for my ereader, gaming during long rainy camping trips in a small trailer ect. But I don’t have cell service for my iPad, and no cell phone, so a little planning is still needed for texting while on the go,
    Over all the new technology has simplified my life more than not.

  • I actually am still using the cell phone I purchased in 2001. It doesn’t have a camera or a colored screen. The battery I had for it lasted 9yrs before I decided to replace it, because it couldn’t hold a charge for more than a day. Other people use to laugh at how old it is, but now they think it’s pretty cool and are surprised I only have to charge it once every three days. I’ve decided to use it as one of my childhood ‘bucket list’ items and am trying to get in the Guiness Book for the longest owned and continuously used cell phone.

  • I reluctantly got an iPhone a year ago but have never looked back! As a fellow minimalist Mum I love how it stores all the info I used to keep in a Filofax. I have a smaller handbag as a result! I do have to be disciplined and make sure I keep it in the same place at home to make sure I’m not carrying it around with me and checking it twenty times a day, but on the whole I couldn’t be happier. In addition, as a result of having more easy online contact with distant friends and family via Facebook I’ve ditched Christmas cards too. Hooray! I thoroughly recommend a smart phone in the ongoing minamalist journey : )

  • Hi Rachel, I finally upgraded to a smartphone in December. At first it was wonderful because it was the summer holidays (I’m in New Zealand) and we were going away and it was so helpful having access to the internet easily. Also really useful for finding out the cricket score while I was at work (I teach the flute in secondary schools and have no computer access…and when our captain was about to score 300 runs I really *had* to know what was going on 😉 ) but recently, now the novelty has worn off, I have decided to use my smartphone like an *old* phone, and my day is so much calmer! I am loving not feeling the pressure of having to update my twitter or facebook or instagram just because I could, and loving the reduction in interruptions to my day. Yes, I can turn the data on if I desperately need to find something (like a map and I’m out of town!) but I will continue to emulate my old-fashioned phone for now. Also, we are not planning on updating our TV until it completely dies. As nice as a fancy one that connects to the internet would be, we just don’t watch enough TV to warrant it! Though I’m not giving up my Sky subscription…without it there would be no cricket…sniff… There is so much temptation to be *entertained* and to disengage from life (especially when it gets hard) but I find that I learn so much more and cope so much better when I am not plugged in so much :) Great topic!

  • I have a smart phone, but it’s an old model. I paid about 200$ for it without any contract or strings attached. Most of the time I don’t bother getting data (wifi is everywhere) and I’m pay as you go. I pay 10$ a month to have basically unlimited text messaging, and I put an extra 5 on to use when I (rarely) used the phone to talk on.

    when I do need data, it’s only for email and emergencies, so I put a 10$ data plan on it and I keep it off most of the time. I never use it for anything other than email and the very occasional map. If I need real internet I find a starbucks and use the WIFI.

    At school and one of my workplaces we have WIFI, and the other work place both doesn’t have WIFI and blocks gmail, so I cave and buy data when I am working full time (which is only a few months a year).

    I have the advantage of having internet access when I need it (on vacation, we use wifi at the starbucks) but without the large bills that come with smartphones (at most i pay 25$ per month, usually closer to 15). Occasionally something happens that i have to talk on the phone more, but given that I save so much 90% of the time I just throw on some extra minutes and don’t sweat it.

    what is causing you the most grief is not planning on the fly, and not having a keyboard – both of those can be corrected by getting a second hand smart phone and just not getting data, but only using WIFI (just make sure you turn the data off or it will burn through your balance pretty quickly). I am on android and don’t know if it’s as easy on an iphone, but financially it makes more sense to buy a used android anyways. pop out the sim from your dumb phone, put it into your new (old) smart phone, and you’re on your way.

  • We don’t have a phone from 2005 but we do use ours until they die which is generally 4-5 years when the keys are falling off or they don’t hold a charge. They have all (between my husband and I) been the “cheap” variety but last. However, my newest switch already shows signs of poor quality and seems that it won’t last as long…We finally did away with our VHS which served my minimalist tendencies tremendously; streamline TV that takes up less space, no pile of wires, no giant pile of VHS tapes…But, it’s only been a year since the switch.

  • I haven’t switched on a mobile for 2 years now. I only ever had an old-fashioned PAYGO, but decided not to have a phone at all.

    People have survived for millennia without one, so I decided to go without.

    It is incredibly liberating, although I do have a laptop at home.

    I find it incredibly rude how people stop everything to answer their phones. It’s a whole new world of bad manners that people have not noticed.

    I would recommend ditching the moblie phone altogether.

    • Also, we haven’t had a television for 8 years now.
      I LOVE your blog. It, along with a couple of other minimalist sites) has changed my life and our family life.
      Thanks to your blog, we are moving abroad. I am going to be a SAHM. We have got rid of so many possessions.
      We are all happier. THANK YOU!

  • I still use my low-tech cell phone I bought back in 2009. I have never felt the urge to upgrade to a smartphone, Ipad or whatever. I don’t use my phone much and very few people have my number. Just the hubby, my daughters and a handful of friends. That’s enough.

  • I have a smartphone but I have curtailed my usage dramatically once I cut my contract with Verizon and switched to Ting. I felt like I was being swindled with Verizon – charges from data amounts that I never even met – which is what prompted the change. Since Ting is pay as you go, I only hop on the web when I have access to wifi. So, this kills 2 birds with one stone – lessen my smartphone usage AND save money. :)

  • Many times I’ve wished I hadn’t ever gotten an iPhone.

    Now that I’ve had one, I can’t do without it!

    I am still using the laptop that was purchased for me 5 years ago at an old job, though. So there’s that.

  • The kids and I got smart phones a couple of months ago. They are very good, but as with everything there are downsides i didn’t have with the old basic phones. I realized that if the screen gets sticky/ dirty, and you are in a hurry to text or touch a key for a call, then its hard to make it work until you clean it really good. The battery life is wayyy shorter as some apps are open and they suck the life out of it unless you remember to shut them off. The kids have access to things in the internet that I otherwise would have been able to block in a regular cellphone and it worries me what they see in it. Well, I think that was a pretty long list considering I’m not half way done, but will stop here as I have to remember I love being able to see emails and open pictures as big as my other phone wouldn’t allow it. OHH and a big plus, I can use it for coupons without having to clip paper coupons ever again. I have this amazing app called GeoQpons that allows me to find a lot of savings in any area I’m in.

  • I applaud your resolve! I have been debating for a couple months about getting rid of my iphone and going old-school again. I’m just stuck on the fact that I’d need to buy a camera and a planner, and I’d struggle with navigating since I use my GPS most of all. Not sure what I’ll decide but I enjoyed this well-timed blog. :)

  • I still have a texting phone – the non internet connected kind with a slide out keyboard. I kind of want a smart phone but not the bill that goes with it. I’m thinking of going with a newish company in our area that uses WiFi when it’s available and cell technology when wifi is not available. Switching is seamless and the monthly fee (if you go with 3G) is $25.00 for voice and data, which is less than my current voice and texting . My son has one and it’s going well for him so far. I could use the maps and directions function and occasional internet access when I’m away from home. I don’t think I’ll get addicted to internet access, because I can’t read on those little screens much anyway! My eyes are too bad. :)

  • I still have a super old phone, I think its going on 9 years now! Really who can say that now a days? The battery lasts about 6 days (I do switch it off at night though). It has survived lots, even being dropped in the pool twice. It is also super cheap, I use a pay as you go system and actually do most of my communication via email at the office (my boss doesnt mind personal mails during lunch, teatime etc), honestly I only spend about $6 a month. Emails and skype (on home PC) are my preferred communication methods. I have a desk job so am usually reachable quickly via mail.
    Having said that every now and then I do wonder about a smart phone. I can see that it might be convinient once in a while and i am tired of people sending me MMS pictures and then I have to explain I cant receive those. I have also found that some people are so used to instantaneous replies they get irritated when my response sometimes takes a bit longer. However nothing irritates me more then being out with friends and having them glued to their screens so it looks like I will keep going as is until my phone completly dies (fingers crossed not in ages!).

  • I have found a way out of this smartphone dilemna. I’m in Canada and I outright bought a smartphone (Nokia Lumia) for $100 on sale. I got onto a pay-as-you-go plan, so my only fixed cost is $5 a month for a text add-on which works for me as I mainly text and barely ever make phone calls. I have no data plan so I can only access the internet where there’s free wi-fi. I have an app called HERE Maps, possibly available only for Nokia/Windows phones, where I download maps onto my phone so I can access GPS even when not connected to the internet. Cheap; not internet connected 24/7; GPS, camera, MP3 player; calls & texting; works for me! I have to say though the only reason I got a smartphone was because I lost my old Nokia phone!

  • I love what you said about setting your own limits on internet use by not going with a smart phone. I feel the same way! Yes, it’s sometimes tempting when everyone around me seems to own one of these, but I try to keep it in perspective. My goals/desires/priorities may be different than these folks. It’s nice to hear that someone else feels similarly. :)

  • I’m all for newish technology. We never buy tech that is brand new, we buy the almost new in the wake of the new release. The discount is -huge- and the difference between the two models doesn’t seem worth the cost. Staying up-to-date and relevant in modern tech is so useful though. Just like a wardrobe, invest in a few moderate pieces, take good care of them, and put them away nicely. =)

  • Personally I use a flip phone that uses T9 for texting and has no internet. A lot of my coworkers are surprised because I work as a software developer for one of the largest communications companies in the world. At least half of our video collections are on VHS. At home I have a home phone (an old western electric model 500 rotary dial phone) that connects over voip to google voice. When I work from home I make most of my office calls on that. For my home PC I have an old Pentium PC with a CRT monitor that runs DOS and Windows 3.11 (circa 1993). This is really a matter of nostalgia and preference. I wrote my own recipe software for it that I use to make grocery lists and whatnot. I still use floppy disks.

    I think one of the best things about using old technology is that it is so cheap. If I go to the used book store, I can find VHS movies for 50 cents a piece. At the same book store I can find a lot of books for less than a quarter of the price it would cost if I bought it on an amazon kindle. When I bought windows for my computer I think it costed 15 dollars online (the computer itself was about 40 dollars; the monitor was free). My home PC runs faster than my work computer because DOS and Windows 3.1 are so simple compared to Windows 7/8/10.

    I have never had a smart phone so I’m not hooked on the constant internet access. It allows me to be more present and attentive when I am with my friends, my wife, my kids, etc. I also have more time to work on the house (which I love to do) and to grow my vegetable garden. My mom’s side of the family is Amish and Mennonite, and I have taken after them in their simplicity of living. I strive one day to be self-sufficient in growing my own food.

Comments are closed.