Author Topic: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone  (Read 11613 times)

partgypsy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3397
talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« on: November 29, 2015, 10:05:33 PM »
Our current phone situation, I have a talk/text phone for 34 a month, and my husband has a similar phone with higher minutes for 45 a month, which I bumped down to my plan (35 a month) so far so good.

Our daughter who is turning 13, is in some extra curricular activities, also takes the school bus and we feel it is time for her to have her own phone. She says she would like a smart phone but has expressed no other preferences. She did say she would like to play music on the phone.
I started looking a quickly got overwhelmed.
Some thoughts. For what we are currently paying, we can
a) pay a similar amount per person by signing up for Verizon or t-mobile and getting both talk, text and data plans. However that does not include the price of smart phones, which I am figuring will be around 100-150 each.
B) Husband and I could keep our current phones and get dd a cheapish (40) phone and sign her up at freedom pop, which could be either a 0 or low monthly fee. However I heard they do not have good technical support. I am a bit afraid it may end up being a frustrating experience either with dropped calls or not being able to resolve technical questions. 

What are the main benefits of having a smart phone over a call/text only phone? Are there any particular apps that have really improved your lives, functionality? The only thing I can think off the top of my head, is looking up directions, and also looking up things while on the road.  However there may be something that we are overlooking?

Argyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 909
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2015, 10:12:10 PM »
Of course she wants a smart phone because she's not the one who wants to be mustachian.  However, she doesn't need a smart phone.  You could get her a TracFone for $9.99, and around $10 a month for minutes.  If she wants more minutes, you could buy them for her, or let her earn the money to buy them through extra chores, etc.

My son has a TracFone, and I'm sure he's noticed that he doesn't have a fancy phone like most (not all) of his friends, but he's not wheedling for one, because I've talked to him about the crazy expense.

Remember that the real cost of a smartphone is not $150-200 it's built into the monthly payments.  The real cost is more like $600-700.

I also don't see why your daughter's need for a phone means you need to spend extra money on your own phones.  Unless you are just determined to spend a lot of extra money.  In which case you don't need an occasion to do so.

partgypsy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3397
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2015, 10:29:28 PM »
I guess I am wondering, what am I "missing out" not having a smart phone? I just wanted to hear from people with smart phones, what do they use their smart phone for.
If it is to play game apps and check facebook then I can skip it.

She is a very reasonable kid. She asked for one but would be OK not getting one. For school she had a 3 night overnight trip, and an event a couple weekends ago one where she was gone all day in a different city, and I felt uncomfortable having no way of reaching her. I just didn't know if there was a reasonable smart phone with a reasonable data plan, or they are all expensive. Regarding a basic phone, tmobile and Verizon basic phone plans are 15, 30 and 35 a month. The 9.99 tracphone plan has ridiculously low minutes for that price. 
Has anyone had any experience with Freedom Pop?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 10:33:33 PM by partgypsy »

dang1

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 148
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2015, 11:10:26 PM »
I try to manage alot of my life though my smartphone, a 2013 Moto X bought used though eBay, still going strong. no landline, hardly use my Windows laptop. I look at traffic information, other information - one time, replaced my car's serpentine belt by seeing how it's done in YouTube. Access financial services, Mint. It's very convenient to have around.
tmobile has the $30/month, 100 minutes talk, Unlimited text. First 5GB at up to 4G speeds; speeds reduced thereafter.

Cecil

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 301
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Vancouver, Canada
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2015, 11:35:50 PM »
Quote
I guess I am wondering, what am I "missing out" not having a smart phone? I just wanted to hear from people with smart phones, what do they use their smart phone for.

I am going to rant about this - I'm a pretty heavy smartphone user and just bought myself a Nexus 6P. (I know, I know). This seems to be a really unpopular opinion on this forum, but I think smartphones are the wonder of our age, streamline our lives, and connect us all in so many fascinating ways. Going without one is penny-wise, pound-foolish.

In the past week, I've used my phone for Facebook (aka staying socially engaged), messaging throughout the day with my partners, working on the bus, never getting lost, reading books, writing down things I think of, scheduling my life, playing games (I like online chess), getting the answer to any factual question I can think of on the spot, translating text, paying for parking, reading the news, finding out when the bus is coming, finding out which nearest liquor store stocked the wine I wanted, reading movie reviews, counting calories, identifying songs, surfing reddit and MMM forums, watching youtube videos, and even calling my mom!

In other words, it's my communication method, the gateway to my social world, my calculator, camera, video camera, flashlight, music player, notepad, alarm clock, stopwatch, library of books, newspaper, nutritionist, calendar, instant connection to the sum total of human knowledge, stockbroker, TV remote, chess board, and personal organizer.

"Should I get my kid a smartphone" is the 2010's version of the 1990's question "Should I get my kid a computer and internet access?". I'd argue that it's a very valuable technology to become conversant in.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3014
  • Age: 81
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Typical Ghoul Next Door
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2015, 11:50:55 PM »
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/

I.P. Daily recommendations are much cheaper than the standard plans offered by the big carriers or even their knockoffs. MVNOs are the way to go to save big bucks but still have decent quality.

I got a phone (and it was a smart phone) for the first time 3 years ago, and have been addicted to the stupid games and apps ever since, but it is really, really handy to have.

I do use it for checking email, the stock market, coupons for places I shop like grocery store or drug store, and discounts like Target's Cartwheel app, weather, my food and exercise tracker, newsreader, listen to music/podcasts, banking and travel stuff (bording passes/checkin/etc...). And of course for wasting gobs of time reading crap on the internet. Sigh.


I've been with Ting MVNO (one of the ones recommend by Daily's guide) for almost a year, and it's been great. We can use wifi at home/out for data so that keeps our data usage lower, pay for small buckets of usage otherwise (there are levels of voice, text, data). They use the Sprint network primarily, and float to Verizon if the Sprint coverage is spotty.

For two phones that like to talk (we typically are in the medium talk bucket, don't text at all, and average lower bucket on data), we pay about $27/month total with all the taxes and fees that have to be tacked on. The quality is very good in my area (suggest you check their maps to see what the coverage is like, and ask around about any friends/family that have Sprint coverage as they'll be similar).

You can turn off or limit the amount of talk/text/data that a specific phone uses through their website (logging in and accessing your user id), so if you want to limit her texting or have no data at all (she'd still be able to use wifi if connected) then you can do that there. I'm pretty sure most MVNOs do allow this type of control in some form or fashion however.

They have a rate calculator that you can play with to see if it would save you any money:
https://ting.com/rates

Ting's smartphones start at $69, and you own them - the price isn't prorated into a contract as there aren't any contracts - you can cancel any time. They come with the SIM card and everything read to go; you just activate it when you receive it. https://ting.com/shop

They have a referral program - if you use a person's referral code (like this one for me: https://z0p1rd31m89.ting.com/) then you get $25 and I get $25. :)

But they might not be the best for your situation and one of the other ones recommended in the Guide might be loads better for your family, so do check out the Guide to see what other options are out there. Ting just happened to work well for my and my husband, and we're very happy with them.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 02:15:15 AM by Frankies Girl »

Argyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 909
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2015, 01:04:55 AM »
Cecil, all those things are very worthwhile, but if you have a computer you already have 99% of them.  You're really talking about the value of the internet rather than of a smartphone specifically.

Left

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1159
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2015, 01:18:34 AM »
A smartphone outside of buying cost doesn't cost more than a non smart phone each month....

If you keep usage the same that is. But people don't if they have a smartphone so that is why it cost more...

I like smartphones because it doesn't cost me anything to use that a non smartphone option wouldn't (buying price). But it is easier to carry. I use it for books, GPS, camera, maps, music, video. All of these are done offline so no additional monthly fees. But the front cost to actually buy said book,gps app, music... all of which I would have done on a different medium anyways. If not gps app, I would get paper maps... but it's hard to carry a nonsmartphone + map in one pocket. Do I need a map with me at all times? No... same with the rest of it, do I always need them, no. But just having them doesn't cost money. Again the paper map would be bought and sitting at home, or it can sit in my pocket

If all you do is text and talk, those plans cost the same on smartphone because the phone company still uses same signal for it. Just like driving on a toll road, doesn't matter what vehicle goes through, same price. The cost difference to own different vehicles is how it is being used but tolls don't care. Phone company doesn't either, they charge you for what you use, not what you use it with
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 01:34:29 AM by eyem »

shelivesthedream

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4801
  • Location: London, UK
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2015, 01:32:28 AM »
Emails anywhere (I work freelance)
Music (iPod now redundant)
Maps (THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT)
Google anything anywhere
Camera

I use it for some other stuff as well but these are the things I would most regret giving up if I switched back to a dumbphone. I found all the apps fun at first but eventually they got too complicated. That said, I think your daughter is too young to have the Internet on her phone. If she's mainly interested in the music, I would buy her a smartphone but get a text-and-minutes-only plan - no data. She can still use wifi.

Left

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1159
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2015, 01:39:14 AM »
Just adding, your $35/month plan... that is expensive for a nonsmartphone... I pay that much for my smartphone on cricket. Yes I can get cheaper if I limit data more... but I don't. Personal choice so it won't apply to you. Just saying why pay $35 if you don't get more out of it than talk and text?

Just those two you can get it for half that price

2Cent

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 652
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2015, 02:31:04 AM »
I think for adults, smartphones can really add productivity. I no longer take notes in meetings on paper. I just write it in my phone. Also if someone draws something on a whiteboard or flipover, I can just take a picture instead of redrawing it. For the rest, when you're in a shop and see a fantastic offer. It is nice to check online if that offer is really a good deal.

Mobile access to all my mails is another extremely useful thing.

The kind of phone you should get for this kind of thing is an old nokia windows phone or for maximum productivity the Galaxy Note 4(slightly expensive, but great at everything).

For a kid most of this is not applicable and you have to consider the negative. All time access to videogames and social media is a huge distraction and could impact school performance if not controlled.
On the other hand, in a few years All her friends (even the poor ones) will have one and use it to manage their social lives, so she will be isolated if she doesn't have one.

For kids a cheap android phone is best. Better an old Samsung Galaxy(S3 neo recommended), than a new chinese one. Maybe start without a large data plan. Depending on where you live, there is enough free wifi around for her to use the phone. And let her pick a good cover to prevent breaking it.

JJNL

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
  • Age: 40
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Zuinigheid met vlijt bouwt huizen als kastelen
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2015, 07:02:34 AM »
I went over to the smartphone side when EVERYBODY in my circle of friends was using WhatsApp and I was missing out - not only on conversations, but also on arrangements for having drinks etc. Now I really wouldn't want to be without it. Things I use it for most:
- WhatsApp. I'm pretty sure this saves money: it's a lot cheaper than texting.
- GPS and Google Maps. I love never ever being lost again.
- Checking my e-mails on the go. I spend a lot of time commuting, it's nice to have something at least semi-useful to do on the way.
- Facebook. I know, I know - but I still like it.
- a lot of handy apps like Buienradar (a Dutch app that shows satellite pics of the weather - so you can time your cycling to avoid rain), some travel planning apps (I use public transportation a lot and it's nice to be able to plan around delays / canceled trains while you're at the station), and things like AirBNB and Booking.com when I am travelling and need a place to stay.

With the cheap data plans around these days, actual usage doesn't have to be more expensive than a 'dumb' phone - for me, it hasn't really made a difference in monthly costs. Using wifi whenever possible does help with this. The big difference in cost is in the purchase price (buy a sim-lock free model and get a cheap subscription) - but you can get that down by a) buying a relatively old model (so the Samsung S3 or S4 instead of the latest model, etc.) and/or getting the phone second hand. Don't you know a gadget freak who frequently upgrades and has a working smart phone lying around that he/she might want to sell to you cheaply?

use2betrix

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1772
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2015, 07:39:14 AM »
I purchased my MacBook around 7-8 years ago. I could count on one hand how many times I have used it in the last few years. I do EVERYTHING from my phone. In the very rare instance I need an actual computer, I use my computer at work.

All my investing, financial monitoring, Internet surfing, etc. All from my phone. In this case, I'm foregoing the cost of other electronics by using my phone.

I'm not saying 13 year olds need smart phones, but I am saying that for adults they can have their benefits and replace other items.

- sent via iPhone, as all my other posts are.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14042
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2015, 07:52:13 AM »
Bahahahahaha!  Facebook is somehow 'socially engaged'?  It's the polar opposite.  Being alone, staring at a screen looking at pictures of what other people have done and skimming the borderline racist/clueless politispam of distant relatives barely known acquaintances . . . that's not social, or engaged.

:P

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4017
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2015, 08:51:40 AM »
We have Cricket.  20$ a month per line for unlimited talk and text and 1 gb of data.  I think with 3 lines it would be more per month, maybe 25$ each (we have 5- we share with other family members). They have ~25$ smart phones when you sign up and no contract.  It seems like you are paying a lot for what you are getting now.  They have phone and store customer service which I have found fine so far (used twice).  IP Daley hates them because they are owned by AT&T and undercut other MVNO's and maybe other reasons but that doesn't matter to me.  I am not a tech person and i want simple, they are simple.

What I use a smart phone for in general:

lots of maps
Looking up phone numbers online.  I cannot count how often I am out somewhere and need to call some store to check hours or schedule an appointment with a doctor or whatever.
Finding stuff when traveling like the nearest gas stations, restaurants, etc. 
I listen to podcasts sometimes when I garden or exercise.
I don't typically carry Joanns, Hobby Lobby, Micheals, etc coupons with me (I don't want to be on the mailing lists, but even if I was, I don't always have the ad with me) and you can always pull up a 50% off coupon on your phone
Message apps with people who live in other countries and can't text (whatsApp, etc) use internet, not regular texts.  My sister lives in Guatemala, so we can't just call or text. 
I use it quite a bit in a store to check reviews or check the price on Amazon.  I also take pictures of stuff at stores with the price as a record for future reference (like to show H something I saw, or to reference at home to look up more detailed reviews)
I use it as my only camera, but with a cheap/free smartphone the camera won't be amazing. 
When hiking, we use a gps run/walk tracking app, which on one occasion I can remember helped us find our way out of where we came in (got a bit lost, oops) but is interesting just for data about where and how far we went.  The kids also love to see our average speed when we bike.
Looking up recipes at the grocery store so I don't forget ingredients (yes better meal planning would help but sometimes I'm not perfect)
I cannot count the number of times I have referenced an email, or saved information in an email to be looked up later.  Like the combination lock at the community garden-  I don't have it memorized because I use it every few months, I don't have to keep a slip of paper around with the combination, I just pull up the old email that has it written down, walla!  Times a million different little details that I can't keep track of, I can look them up.
I also check fb and play on MMM, but that isn't why I have one!  Just an added bonus, and handy to have if I forgot to bring a book along and get stuck waiting somewhere with time to kill.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 08:58:37 AM by MayDay »

snacky

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9613
  • Location: Hoth
  • Forum Dignitary
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2015, 08:59:17 AM »
i have friends who have gotten their kids smartphones, but with no data. the kids use wifi hotspots to enjoy the internet connectivity-dependent uses, and can call/ text from anywhere. if they want data everywhere they can pay for it themselves as an add-on. this is the route I will take when my kids get to the age that they need phones (for when they're home alone, commuting to school, etc)

also, buying someone's used, off-contract smartphone is a million times cheaper.

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1620
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2015, 09:10:06 AM »
As the parent of a teen girl, be aware that smart phones bring a lot of angst.  (There was even an NPR story about this yesterday that I heard during my post Thanksgiving drive.). Your post indicates you want to be able together in touch with your daughter...for that get a flip phone that does calls and text messages only.  Someone advised me to not to ever buy my daughter a smart phone, just let her buy one once she had a job.  That's what I did and I am so glad.  That delayed her getting a smart phone until she was 16.  What teen girls do with smart phones:  Instagram constantly...sending and receiving selfies and commenting on them, see catty remarks about themselves and their friends that are circulated to their entire class and cause great anguish, receive sext messages from boys (yes, pictures of that certain anatomy, completely unwanted and unsolicited and sent to all the girls in the class), create pinterest boards of ridiculous "wants", etc.  I had no idea what was coming when I let my daughter get her own phone...I'm just glad I postponed it as long as I did.  Mind you, this is what occurred with my straight A, never got in trouble at school, timid about boys daughter, who is now a freshman in college.  Whatever phone you get her, other good advice I received is that the parent has sole custody of the phone from 2 hours before bedtime until morning.

Cecil

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 301
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Vancouver, Canada
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2015, 09:13:47 AM »
Bahahahahaha!  Facebook is somehow 'socially engaged'?  It's the polar opposite.  Being alone, staring at a screen looking at pictures of what other people have done and skimming the borderline racist/clueless politispam of distant relatives barely known acquaintances . . . that's not social, or engaged.

:P

Perhaps your social circle isn't enmeshed with Facebook, but you can't generalize that. In my social circle, facebook is used for planning parties and gettogethers, chatting throughout the day, messaging acquaintances, sharing and discussing things people have done (which *is* social engagement). Facebook enables many-to-many discussion of things in a way that simple conversation isn't equipped for.

It's not a replacement for socializing - it's an extension of it. It's a qualitatively different kind of communication that didn't exist pre-internet.

Obviously simply looking at other people's pictures isn't being socially engaged. It's the conversation that stems from those pictures being posted in a public social environment, where everyone can see and comment and engage with each other, and from which future in-person conversations flow - that's the social engagement I'm talking about.

partgypsy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3397
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2015, 09:32:13 AM »
This is all good food for thought. I was going to go with getting a cheap phone for dd (but one with internet access so she can stream music- important to her), but this does make me think of things I could use it for:
Directions. Looking up places while on the road. Coupons (our grocery store has e-coupons I cannot use because no smart phone), comparing prices when shopping (can I get those Clark shoes cheaper elsewhere?) getting the app here comes the bus (esp on days it is late). I cannot stream anything at work so would be nice to listen to music at work. I do fantasize about us all having an online shared calendar, someday.

Whether this is worth getting smart phone, I am on the fence. We have a desktop at home.

Right now I am leaning towards trying the freedom pop. I got a free phone from someone who said they used it I think with Ting but ended up getting regular plan because frustration with dropped calls. Unfortunately phone not compatible with freedom pop so I will need to get a new phone regardless.

bacchi

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3927
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2015, 09:53:09 AM »
Smartphones are somewhat of a taboo topic. They're so much of the cultural meme that, even on MMM, you just need to have one!!!!11!!

DeltaBond

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 526
  • Location: U.S.
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2015, 09:59:46 AM »
Ya know, whichever smartphone you're leaning towards, you can always just get a little tablet with that same operating system... if you're leaning towards an iPhone, you can get an iPad... Android phones - they have android tablets, and they have Windows ones, as well.  Before you get into the smartphone world, try a tablet and see which apps you even have a use for.

I learned that with tracfone, you can transfer minutes from a dumb phone to a smartphone, but not the other way, so realize that before making a switch.  If you want to change back, it might be a neusance.

partgypsy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3397
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2015, 10:08:42 AM »
I have ambivalence about introducing smart phones into our household.
Here is an article that touches upon that. But I don't know if I'm being a luddite and need to get with the times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/27/opinion/sunday/stop-googling-lets-talk.html?_r=0

JJNL

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
  • Age: 40
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Zuinigheid met vlijt bouwt huizen als kastelen
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2015, 10:39:54 AM »
Well, I wouldn't want what the article said either. But could you not prevent these negative effects from happening in your household by having a set of agreed upon rules for phone use? Like:
- no phones at the dinner table
- no phones from an hour before bedtime (the light from the screen can disrupt sleep)
- maybe have a cell-free day, like Sunday?

Etc. etc. Your kid is going to buy a smartphone of her own anyway in a few years' time. You might as well teach her how to use such a device wisely, right?

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8011
  • Location: United States
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2015, 10:52:31 AM »
I don't know which one he got, but my husband's new android cost $70.  We have a pre-pay plan that is $45 a month, unlimited talk and text, and enough data that I've never hit the cap. (And if we run out, it's just out... which is really nice.)

Personally, I have to have a smart phone for work; but some benefits I see:

-internet browsing. It's just nice for more than one of us to be able to access the internet.  Also, internet browsing on the go- this has saved me money by checking prices in store.
-Does your phone do maps?  We no longer have a stand alone GPS that we have to pay to update, nor buy maps when traveling. This is a huge benefit of a smartphone. Especially since it can be programmed ad hoc; so if things change, it is really flexible.
-Camera.  I often use this to take a photo of where I park my car when traveling for work. Also good for photos of events when I forgot a real camera and that I can put into albums or frames later.
-Games.  Really helps kill time. I've had a ton of doctor's appts lately, and I appreciate that.
-Other apps. I have quite a few I use regularly; kindle app (no need to buy kindle), weight tracker, target cartwheel (when I actually shop there...), nest thermostat, netflix, chromecast, LG remote.
-Calendar.  It updates automatically with my office's outlook program. Supremely convenient.

I could understand skipping a smart phone if your regular phone saved you a lot of money; but it seems like they would cost pretty much the same.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 11:51:27 AM by iowajes »

hops

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
  • Location: United States
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2015, 11:18:07 AM »
What teen girls do with smart phones:  Instagram constantly...sending and receiving selfies and commenting on them, see catty remarks about themselves and their friends that are circulated to their entire class and cause great anguish, receive sext messages from boys (yes, pictures of that certain anatomy, completely unwanted and unsolicited and sent to all the girls in the class), create pinterest boards of ridiculous "wants", etc.  I had no idea what was coming when I let my daughter get her own phone...I'm just glad I postponed it as long as I did.

My parents were completely unprepared for what happened when they got my sister (then in her early teens) a smartphone, primarily the "completely unwanted and unsolicited and sent to all the girls in the class" photo bonanza. She also had friends who sent revealing photos to boyfriends they naively trusted, and of course those messages were promptly forwarded to half the school. These were kids most adults would agree normally exercised great judgment, but smartphones and hormones were a recipe for embarrassment.

This is all good food for thought. I was going to go with getting a cheap phone for dd (but one with internet access so she can stream music- important to her), but this does make me think of things I could use it for:
Directions. Looking up places while on the road. Coupons (our grocery store has e-coupons I cannot use because no smart phone), comparing prices when shopping (can I get those Clark shoes cheaper elsewhere?) getting the app here comes the bus (esp on days it is late). I cannot stream anything at work so would be nice to listen to music at work. I do fantasize about us all having an online shared calendar, someday.

My Tracfone smartphone, an LG Ultimate 2, cost $75 to purchase but the service runs about $9 per month. (I'd note that Tracfone's customer service is awful and I.P.'s guide probably offers better alternatives.) That's with extremely low data usage and minimal phone calls, though. I'd never used a smartphone before and have been pleasantly surprised by how infrequently I have to enable data. More stores offer free wi-fi than I'd realized, so data usually remains disabled when I use apps like Cartwheel at Target.

Argyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 909
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2015, 11:29:50 AM »
Just to note that my TacFone dumbphone has a camera too.  It's quite common.  You don't need a smartphone to get a camera.

The question seems to have morphed from whether the OP's daughter should have a smartphone to whether the OP should have a smartphone.

As for whether the daughter needs one: no, she does not.

As to whether the OP should get one.  It depends.  There are some things about them that are advantages.  Cost is a disadvantage.  In a way it's like whether to travel to work via car or via bicycle.  "But my car has so many advantages!  It's much warmer!  It's easier!  I can just relax!  It has a radio!  It plays music!  It has air conditioning!"  Etc. etc.  And it's a bigger drain on finances.  Your choice.

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2223
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2015, 11:32:36 AM »
My son has a TracFone, and I'm sure he's noticed that he doesn't have a fancy phone like most (not all) of his friends, but he's not wheedling for one, because I've talked to him about the crazy expense.

I might agree if smartphones were crazy expensive, but these days I don't think they are (of course relative). What the OP pay per month for just talk and text is more than I pay for 500 MB of data on H2O ($27)! OP; you're on the wrong plan

A brand new moto G is $250, and last years model or used you can get one for ~$150. That's not going to break the bank for most people. Yes I think getting a $700+ iphone for your tween is crazy, but a <$150 Moto G or E, and a $30/month plan, I think is pretty cheap for an amazing device. Now, do a 13 year old need one? I have no opinion as my son is only 1.. But as someone else here pointed out, I think there might be some value to your child being well-versed in modern technology, and also not a social outcast.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8011
  • Location: United States
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2015, 11:50:49 AM »
Just to note that my TacFone dumbphone has a camera too.  It's quite common.  You don't need a smartphone to get a camera.
I haven't had a regular phone in awhile- are they producing good quality images that can easily be printed and enlarged.  They didn't used to; but I suppose they could now.



Quote
As to whether the OP should get one.  It depends.  There are some things about them that are advantages.  Cost is a disadvantage. 
Based on what the OP said s/he pays for a regular phone, I don't see how cost is a disadvantage. I pay about that for my smartphone. And I know I don't have the cheapest plan available, because I use Verizon and not a low cost carrier.

Argyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 909
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2015, 12:41:01 PM »
Well, if we assume a $150 smartphone as the poster above mentioned, and $30 per month, and one new phone every three years, that's $2100 over five years.  ($1950 if you keep the same used phone for the five-year period.)  For my $9.99 TracFone at $10 per month, over five years it's $609.99.  So about a $1490 difference.  Whether that's a significant difference, or worth it to you to get smartphone features, is up to you.

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2223
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2015, 01:02:02 PM »
Well, if we assume a $150 smartphone as the poster above mentioned, and $30 per month, and one new phone every three years, that's $2100 over five years.  ($1950 if you keep the same used phone for the five-year period.)  For my $9.99 TracFone at $10 per month, over five years it's $609.99.  So about a $1490 difference.  Whether that's a significant difference, or worth it to you to get smartphone features, is up to you.

Actually yes, $1500 over five years is not bad. I'd say that's worth it to have the world's information with me at all times, and never having to use a GPS unit again.

And I don't think the comparison is totally fair. The plan you listed has 60 minutes per month! That's not a whole lot. My $27 plan has unlimited talk & text, and international texts as well (my parent's live in europe so I care about this). There are $10-20 smartphone plans too with limited talk, text and data I'm just too lazy to deal with counting minutes and MB. Moto E only using wifi and 60 min/month I bet a smartphone wouldn't cost a whole lot more than what you pay.

How do you navigate, did you count the cost of a GPS unit? :) Remember to include the cost of live traffic, store opening hours and map updates too..

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2015, 01:11:26 PM »
How do you navigate, did you count the cost of a GPS unit? :) Remember to include the cost of live traffic, store opening hours and map updates too..

Once in a blue moon, I wish I had a smartphone for the above uses, but for the most part, I look up directions and hours on my laptop before I leave the house.

DeltaBond

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 526
  • Location: U.S.
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2015, 01:19:09 PM »
How do you navigate, did you count the cost of a GPS unit? :) Remember to include the cost of live traffic, store opening hours and map updates too..

Once in a blue moon, I wish I had a smartphone for the above uses, but for the most part, I look up directions and hours on my laptop before I leave the house.

This is what I do. 

You can get a smartphone and use it like a tiny tablet with a good camera and never get phone service on it.  So many places have free wifi, you might never feel the need to use any mobile data through your  phone carrier.  Why pay that much just for the service when you don't have to?

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2223
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2015, 01:38:33 PM »
How do you navigate, did you count the cost of a GPS unit? :) Remember to include the cost of live traffic, store opening hours and map updates too..

Once in a blue moon, I wish I had a smartphone for the above uses, but for the most part, I look up directions and hours on my laptop before I leave the house.

This is what I do. 

You can get a smartphone and use it like a tiny tablet with a good camera and never get phone service on it.  So many places have free wifi, you might never feel the need to use any mobile data through your  phone carrier.  Why pay that much just for the service when you don't have to?

That's my point; the price difference is so small these days I don't see the point. Value outweighs the cost, IMO. Years ago I thought it was too expensive so I didn't have a smartphone, but I now have the opposite opinion due to the lower prices.

You can get a $10/month plan mentioned above with 60 min of talk, or for $20 get unlimited and 100 MB data. See my post above. More than enough to get directions to that restaurant or store you just learned about while on vacation or a million other uses. Much harder to make such spontaneous plans if you need a computer to check directions. Vacations maybe has some of the best time saver/convenience use cases for smartphones. Time that is very precious so I like to avoid wasting it. I'd say that's worth $120/year. Others are of course free to disagree.

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2015, 02:01:28 PM »
$20 is more than twice what I currently pay for my flip phone. I totally understand that other people find utility in it, but I just don't have a burning desire for it, so why more than double my plan? I'll think about it once in a while, and then I'm just like, "Meh." And then I forget about it for another 6 months. I think I use my flip phone 10 times a month. Tops. I don't even text, since the vast majority of my friends use FB messaging from their smartphones, which I do from my laptop at home.

My 75 year dad is about to get a smartphone, though, so I know that the writing is eventually on the wall.

DeltaBond

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 526
  • Location: U.S.
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2015, 04:24:08 PM »
Scandium, if that's what's best for you, then great.  I don't see the need, and I simply don't live that kind of lifestyle anyway.  The less time I spend looking at a screen, and the more time I spend living my life, the happier I am.  You're happier having a screen nearby all the time, so you'll keep that smart phone plan economy going, I guess.  I'm just confused as to why habitual smartphone users can't just leave those who don't really want a smartphone alone without being pushed.  That was mentioned on another thread, too, someone who's pushed often by people who use smartphones all the time to 'hurry up and get with the times'.  It has nothing to do with "the times", and more to do with habit.

Are smartphones mustachian... maybe sometimes, but will it save you money, probably not that often, if ever.  I can't think of a single time my smartphone saved me money when I had it.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 04:26:26 PM by DeltaBond »

hybrid

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1673
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2015, 07:30:57 PM »
For a very long time I resisted the siren song because, even though I work in IT, I did not require mobile email in my previous job.

In my new job it was an expectation and my firm essentially pays for the data and grants $100 every two years toward the purchase of a phone. So I bought an iPhone 4s from Gazelle for $150 and haven't looked back. Uses:

Work email
Personal email
Texting (voice to text is amazing, makes this slow texter faster than the kids)
Camera (surprisingly handy in so many situations)
Facebook (for many of those pictures)
Maps very occasionally
Browser very occasionally
A few specialized apps

Oddly, no games at all. It is a productivity tool for me, and a real asset.

reader2580

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 219
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2015, 07:26:33 AM »
I have a smartphone from work.  I resisted for several years, but my flip phone finally broke and I was given a smartphone.  I really like having it and wish I would have gotten one earlier.  I don't use it as a replacement for a PC, but I like having instant access to email and other apps.  I don't do social media so I don't have that on my phone.  If I had to pay for a smartphone and didn't need it for work I might do without.  I don't run my entire life through my smartphone as many do.

I still use a laptop with a real keyboard for most of my stuff.  A lot of websites are missing critical features in the mobile version and typing on a real keyboard is way easier.  I don't access any forums on my phone.

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2223
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2015, 07:35:35 AM »
Scandium, if that's what's best for you, then great.  I don't see the need, and I simply don't live that kind of lifestyle anyway.  The less time I spend looking at a screen, and the more time I spend living my life, the happier I am.  You're happier having a screen nearby all the time, so you'll keep that smart phone plan economy going, I guess.  I'm just confused as to why habitual smartphone users can't just leave those who don't really want a smartphone alone without being pushed.  That was mentioned on another thread, too, someone who's pushed often by people who use smartphones all the time to 'hurry up and get with the times'.  It has nothing to do with "the times", and more to do with habit.

Are smartphones mustachian... maybe sometimes, but will it save you money, probably not that often, if ever.  I can't think of a single time my smartphone saved me money when I had it.

I don't believe I've done any "pushing"? I offered reasons why one might want a smartphone; useful and they're not that expensive. I believe that was the request in the OP so I thought it was kinda the point here.. I see any equal amount of pushing from the smartphone-haters here anyway.

The way some of you talk about smartphones as if they're a heroin habit, without actually owning one in many cases even, is frankly hilarious. Some of my favorites:
"..happier living my life"
"You're happier having a screen nearby all the time"
"  keep that smart phone plan economy going"

Do you think everyone with a smartphone is some mindless bejeweled junky? It is actually possible to use a smartphone responsibly, and usefully. Many of you sound like people who blame TV for the downfall of civilization, or people who burn judas priest albums for their corrupting influence. It's just a tool. People who make bad choices will do so no matter what they have or don't have.

As I pointed out, having quick and easy access to information, especially when in strange places, have allowed me to avoid bullshit and actually spend more time living my life. Sometimes I think one difference is that the smartphone haters are people with more spare time than I have. My wife and i spend 10+ hours per day with work, have a child, dog and house to take care of. Great for you if you can do all your computing at a leisurely pace at home, but for us it's great when I can research stuff, or read (you know; learn..) while waiting in line or sitting on the buss.

Are smartphones mustachian? Yes at this point I'd say so. The cost is minimal, and the convenience and timesaving, and thus happiness, is considerable. (With the iphone 1 and $100 plans, no I didn't think so). Hell, MMM himself has one so it can't be that bad..

FLBiker

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 985
  • Age: 43
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2015, 07:40:52 AM »
As a "feature" phone user, I read this thread with interest.  To be honest, I only enabled text message on my phone a month or so ago.  And I only did this because I felt that my new position at work (in a supervisory role) meant that I should be able to receive emergency messages from our campus alert system.  Almost immediately I got tons of pics / messages from my immediate family (the only people who knew) and I disabled any dinging / vibrating alerts.  I thought about turning them off again, but my lack of participation seems to solved the problem.

Personally, I really dislike having constant access to text messages / email / the internet.  I don't find that it adds "connection" to my life, but rather distraction, making me much less deeply present to what I'm actually doing.  And I don't think I'm alone, judging my the number of people I see staring at their phones when they are ostensibly out to dinner with their family, driving a car, in a meeting, etc.  Recently, my wife and I took our daughter to the pediatrician and she commented that we were the only people (including the kids) not looking at phones / tablets.  True, it would be handy to have maps every once in a while, but everyone else has them, so you can always ask someone.  In general, I just look up directions before I leave.

And while it's true that they make it possible to work from anywhere, I absolutely do not want that.  I'm salaried.  I don't get paid more if I answer work email during my commute or on the weekend.  Many of my colleagues do this, but I don't, and it has never affected me negatively.  In fact, I was recently promoted.

And just to give a fuller picture, I'm plenty tech savvy.  While now a manager, I spent years doing website / database development.  I'm not remotely intimidated by smartphones from the tech (or even money) side.  It's the constant distraction that I'm uninterested in.  I never look at or think about my phone if it isn't ringing.  It's great.

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2015, 07:59:45 AM »
@Scandium, I don't really have a problem with your argument, but your overall tone is weird, as is the implication that people without smartphones are people of more leisure than you. And that one's ability to learn on the bus or in line is somehow dependent on a smartphone. My magazine or book works just fine. I'm not saying anyone should ditch their smartphone, but come on, let's not create arbitrary divisions or perceptions of people and their lives based on whether they have one or not. You yourself were even arguing against doing that and the stereotype of the mindless game-playing smartphone user. You can't get irked by stereotypes while at the same time creating them. I guess you can, but it's not very consistent of you.

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2223
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2015, 08:14:09 AM »
@Scandium, I don't really have a problem with your argument, but your overall tone is weird, as is the implication that people without smartphones are people of more leisure than you. And that one's ability to learn on the bus or in line is somehow dependent on a smartphone. My magazine or book works just fine. I'm not saying anyone should ditch their smartphone, but come on, let's not create arbitrary divisions or perceptions of people and their lives based on whether they have one or not. You yourself were even arguing against doing that and the stereotype of the mindless game-playing smartphone user. You can't get irked by stereotypes while at the same time creating them. I guess you can, but it's not very consistent of you.

Perhaps. I guess I just got frustrated with the superiority complex of people who are too good for smartphones. This was in response to the argument I've seen here that "smartphones are stupid, nobody needs them, it's just a corporate manufactured habit" etc. Which by the way never addresses, or even acknowledge any utility in smartphones. I find this silly, and not very convincing. Just the person above you go on about how people stare at their phone in restaurants blah blah. This isn't a feature of the phones, it a well-known feature of people being selfish jerks. It existed before 2007 too.. Actually people used to complain that everyone was texting and playing snake, so smartphones weren't even required. Guess we should go back to phone booths.

My wife and I have rules of no phones at the dinner table, or around our son in general. And we'll snap at each other if one takes the phone out in a restaurant. I can't remember either of us doing that in a long time.

My point about (some) anti-smartphone people have more time was more a theory, since the argument against them so often is "just do x" where X is something that require more time and effort, like getting directions or yelp reviews at home, carrying a book around, checking prices beforehand or what have you. Great if you can, but it save my precious spare time.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4017
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2015, 08:21:54 AM »
I am a bit puzzled by all you who said you just look up directions before you leave.

I used to do that (got my first smart phone 3 years ago exactly, so well after they became quite common).  It fucking sucks.  I go a lot of places that I don't go to super regularly, so i don't remember exactly where they are.  I tried keeping a notebook of all the old directions I had looked up, but might need again someday.  If you try to go to a variety of places in one outing to save gas, you are inevitably coming at the place from a different direction than the time before, and your directions are useless.  Or oh hey!  Construction, road closed, find a new way, good luck.  Detour signs are not common around here.

And forget travel.  I don't have a desktop or laptop with me when I travel, and if I did it wouldn't work in the car.  When we did long road trips pre-smart phone, I would spend hours looking up the route, then mapping out possible restaurant stops along the way, emergency playground/mall stops if the kids were going insane, etc.  Smartphones also tell you if there is a big accident and a different route is faster.  Then once we get somewhere, we had to look in the tourist brochures for info, rather than looking up options online and finding well-reviewed stuff and coupon codes and reading menus.

Now, if you don't travel to new places, or you live in the same place your whole life and just know your way around, then none of that may apply.  I moved here 3.5 year ago and still rely heavily on maps/gps/smartphone to get around- and in those first 6 months before I got the smartphone, I got lost several times when I ended up outside the boundaries of the metro area map or the county map that I carried with me.  And even with the map, driving alone in the car, I would have to pull over and check the map, which is annoying and/or dangerous if there isn't a way to pull over and I am trying to check while driving. 

^^ all that applies to a regular GPS too, but most people weren't talking about that, they were talking about looking up directions before leaving. 

I was a GS hater when it first became common, because I knew how to get places dammit!  I was smarter than that stupid thing!  But dude, my life has been changed, I am a believer, I save so much time and effort just letting the magic box tell me where to go.  All you map looker-uppers should really consider just trying it and see if it adds value to your life, before writing it off.

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2015, 08:28:53 AM »
Scandium, I agree with you that we shouldn't accept or reject a technology on a macro-level just because some people lack self-discipline and tend to use their phones in inconsiderate ways. There are plenty of "good" smartphone users. And, yes, I recall vividly in 2000 pre-smartphone having a friend who was constantly texting with other friends while we were out together.

I guess I know my own ability to be distracted and would prefer not to add another layer of distraction to my life. That's why I use FB messaging rather than texting, so that when I am out with friends or in public, I don't have to deal with communications with people at all. In that way, maybe some people who reject the technology accept that they have greater weaknesses than others and are attempting to mitigate them.

What really irks me is how often I get mocked by my closest friends for not having a smartphone. It's a running joke in our friend circle that my husband and I don't have one. And I'm not exaggerating. There was a whole thread on Facebook about it, replete with pictures of archaic phones from the early 20th century that supposedly resembled the one in my pocket. Haha. Very funny guys. But why the fuck do they care so much? And when did it become socially acceptable to joke about people like that? I guess they do it to me, because obviously they know it is a conscious decision and not because I can't afford it. I don't expect a pat on the back or praise for eschewing societal norms, but I would prefer not to be mocked for it. 

Back to the OP, I dread the decisions you are up against, and they are only a few years away for my family as well. I don't want my kids to be made fun of or made to feel lesser if they don't have a smartphone. If my friends make jokes and they are in their 40s, imagine what fodder a flip phone will be for tweens or teenagers. In that sense, I am tempted to get them a cheaper or hand me down smartphone but make them pay for the monthly charge.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 08:30:32 AM by justajane »

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14042
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2015, 08:35:02 AM »
Bahahahahaha!  Facebook is somehow 'socially engaged'?  It's the polar opposite.  Being alone, staring at a screen looking at pictures of what other people have done and skimming the borderline racist/clueless politispam of distant relatives barely known acquaintances . . . that's not social, or engaged.

:P

Perhaps your social circle isn't enmeshed with Facebook, but you can't generalize that.

Yes I can.  In fact, if you re-read my post, I did just that.

In my social circle, facebook is used for planning parties and gettogethers,

Planning parties/gettogethers isn't social.  Actually going to the parties is.  The method of notification of the party can be anything, letter, engraved invitation, email, etc.  None of these delivery methods are themselves social.

chatting throughout the day, messaging acquaintances, sharing and discussing things people have done (which *is* social engagement).

This is social engagement in the same way that masturbation is sex.  The quality of random posting, messaging, and humble bragging about how awesome you are isn't real social engagement.  It's meaningless time wasting.  If you honestly think that doing this makes you socially engaged with a person or group, I feel kind of sad for you.


Facebook enables many-to-many discussion of things in a way that simple conversation isn't equipped for.

I have never seen Facebook used as a respectful, well thought out place for deep introspection and stimulating conversation.  Were you to describe Facebook that way to most people though, I suspect that they would have to work hard to suppress a giggle at such a silly notion.  It's possible that Facebook has the potential to be what you're claiming it is . . . but unfortunately it's populated by people.

People are generally dicks online.  When you take away the inflection in someone's voice, reduce the quality of his or her writing (as is typical of online communication, 4 reel lolz!!!11), remove any sort of face to face nonverbal indicators, and reduce any real life repercussions for acting infantile this is an inevitable consequence.

It's not a replacement for socializing

Agreed!

- it's an extension of it.

Eh . . . I guess?  I mean, writing letters is an extension of socializing too, but most wouldn't say that a person alone in a dark room scribbling some stuff on a pad of paper was being particularly social.

It's a qualitatively different kind of communication that didn't exist pre-internet.

No it's not.  You could always write notes to your friends.  Sheeeit, I used to spend an awful lot of time passing notes back and forth in my grade 9 science classes.  The internet just allows you to pass the notes further (with more advertising) to people you know even less.  Fundamentally it's exactly the same kind of communication that always existed.

Obviously simply looking at other people's pictures isn't being socially engaged. It's the conversation that stems from those pictures being posted in a public social environment, where everyone can see and comment and engage with each other, and from which future in-person conversations flow - that's the social engagement I'm talking about.

Yeah.  That's what I'm calling bullshit on.  Because the quality of conversation on those posted pictures usually goes something like this:

*Pic of drunk dude posted, holding a beer, with palm trees in the background*
- nice man!!!!!11111
- r1ght on, YOLO
- dayum, is that mexuco
- take sum of those immigrants jobs 4 1ce
- nah man, it's morokko
- iznt moroko in mexico????
- YOLO!!1111  Lern geografy
- Jay, this is your grandmother.  How do you turn on the printer?
- Spring brake 4eva!



^ Not social engagement.  Pretty typical of Facebook.

Left

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1159
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2015, 08:35:34 AM »
I dont mind the joke, it's no different than not having a car in high school before... I was happy to keep riding the bus :D

besides, if that is the best joke they can make about you, your rep is fine for school

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14042
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #45 on: December 01, 2015, 08:41:22 AM »
Perhaps. I guess I just got frustrated with the superiority complex of people who are too good for smartphones. This was in response to the argument I've seen here that "smartphones are stupid, nobody needs them, it's just a corporate manufactured habit" etc. Which by the way never addresses, or even acknowledge any utility in smartphones. I find this silly, and not very convincing. Just the person above you go on about how people stare at their phone in restaurants blah blah. This isn't a feature of the phones, it a well-known feature of people being selfish jerks. It existed before 2007 too.. Actually people used to complain that everyone was texting and playing snake, so smartphones weren't even required. Guess we should go back to phone booths.

Of course there's some utility in having a smartphone.  Getting directions, looking things up on the internet, using them as a communication device, taking pictures, video, playing games when you're bored, using them to extend work productivity, etc.

None of those are really necessary for a 12 year old though.

There is some truth to the fact that given the distraction, many people will use it if it's there.  That's why we have so many folks out on the road staring at their phone.  It's why it's so common to see people ignoring one another to play with their phones at dinner.  Sure, you can make special rules about it to try and combat human nature . . . but that's the exception rather than the norm.

FLBiker

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 985
  • Age: 43
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #46 on: December 01, 2015, 09:45:41 AM »
Just the person above you go on about how people stare at their phone in restaurants blah blah. This isn't a feature of the phones, it a well-known feature of people being selfish jerks.

Absolutely.  There is nothing inherently good or evil about smartphones.  But we as humans tend to be prone to novelty / distraction / look at that new and shiny thing, and smartphones appeal to that impulse to a much higher level than feature phones, or books, or rocks, or whatever.  Personally, I see this addiction to distraction (be it phones, movies, shopping, gossip, whatever) as a problem, and something I want less of in my life.  I'm not perfect, and rather than test myself constantly, I frequently try to reduce temptation.  For example, there have been times where I was really into playing videogames.  In my house now, we have a PS2 (my wife's prior to me) and an N64 (from my childhood).  I have no trouble resisting these, so it's fine.  That said, I haven't yet (and may never) bring a newer system (PS3 / 4, Xbox) into my house because I feel that the temptation might be too great.

While people absolutely could own smartphones without giving into the temptation to distraction, I haven't seen a lot of people do that.  And, for me, it isn't worth it.  If it enabled me to run my business from anywhere or something like that I'd absolutely be down.  But as someone who is salaried in an office, the "more productivity" thing doesn't matter.

I am a bit puzzled by all you who said you just look up directions before you leave.

I used to do that (got my first smart phone 3 years ago exactly, so well after they became quite common).  It fucking sucks.  I go a lot of places that I don't go to super regularly, so i don't remember exactly where they are.  I tried keeping a notebook of all the old directions I had looked up, but might need again someday.  If you try to go to a variety of places in one outing to save gas, you are inevitably coming at the place from a different direction than the time before, and your directions are useless.  Or oh hey!  Construction, road closed, find a new way, good luck.  Detour signs are not common around here.

And forget travel.  I don't have a desktop or laptop with me when I travel, and if I did it wouldn't work in the car.  When we did long road trips pre-smart phone, I would spend hours looking up the route, then mapping out possible restaurant stops along the way, emergency playground/mall stops if the kids were going insane, etc.  Smartphones also tell you if there is a big accident and a different route is faster.  Then once we get somewhere, we had to look in the tourist brochures for info, rather than looking up options online and finding well-reviewed stuff and coupon codes and reading menus.

Now, if you don't travel to new places, or you live in the same place your whole life and just know your way around, then none of that may apply.  I moved here 3.5 year ago and still rely heavily on maps/gps/smartphone to get around- and in those first 6 months before I got the smartphone, I got lost several times when I ended up outside the boundaries of the metro area map or the county map that I carried with me.  And even with the map, driving alone in the car, I would have to pull over and check the map, which is annoying and/or dangerous if there isn't a way to pull over and I am trying to check while driving. 

^^ all that applies to a regular GPS too, but most people weren't talking about that, they were talking about looking up directions before leaving. 

I was a GS hater when it first became common, because I knew how to get places dammit!  I was smarter than that stupid thing!  But dude, my life has been changed, I am a believer, I save so much time and effort just letting the magic box tell me where to go.  All you map looker-uppers should really consider just trying it and see if it adds value to your life, before writing it off.

I guess.  I lived in China for a year, taking two month long bike trips, w/ no phone or GPS -- just maps and asking directions.  And I just went to Hungary.  It was great, and I had no trouble using a map.  My wife has a smartphone, and the GPS is pretty good, but not amazing.  Plus, if I'm planning a route for interest / efficiency, it is MUCH easier to do this ahead of time w/ a map or computer than on a tiny screen.  And I do own a GPS, and I've used it on road trips.  It has been useful sometimes, misled us other times, and left us high and dry once when it (for no reason) lost a signal and we didn't have a map.  I have nothing against GPS, but I still like to have a map around.

partgypsy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3397
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #47 on: December 03, 2015, 11:06:34 AM »
Well to give you an update, was going to get a phone my brother recommended (htc desire 626), it was rather expensive to find in a GSM unlocked version.
I ended purchasing a Motorola Moto G for her (unlocked GSM) and will be using P-tel's $20 a month unlimited talk and text (with limited data). So she will be able to do the fun smart phone stuff in wifi areas, and she will not feel restricted in calling or texting us.

My main motivation is that I wanted a standard new phone that would have tech support, and going with a phone provider that has been around and also has phone customer support.

Ptel's pricing seems very competitive. Right now I pay $30 ($34) a month for 1500 minutes and I can't remember how many text messages (straighttalk). In contrast I can get on ptel's unlimited talk and text for $20 a month. However my phone is a "locked" phone (cheapy I got I don't know, 4, 5 years ago). I actually like having a phone that has buttons since all I do is talk and text on it. Ptel's cheapest phone I like is 29.99, so that should pay for itself in 2 months if I decide to go that route.
However I will wait until she gets her phone and phone service before make that decision.   

I know some will say this is too expensive a phone for a 13 year old, but in general I would rather pay a little more upfront that will last longer, than something that has things that are annoying and the person will not want to keep long term. Also I have the ulterior motive she can be the early adopter in our family, and then teach us how to get the most out of a smart phone. For example she's the one who figured out how to stream a bunch of stuff for free I didn't know about, plus wants to be able to do pictures, videos.

The only concern is that she had a preference for a phone on the smaller side. This is not a small phone. I figure if she really doesn't like it, I will take that phone and we will find something smaller for her.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 11:14:03 AM by partgypsy »

seattlecyclone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4981
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Seattle, WA
    • My blog
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #48 on: December 03, 2015, 11:46:03 AM »
Smartphone technology has gotten to the point where you can get a pretty capable new device for $100 or less, and a used one for even less than this. You can also use these devices on voice/text-only plans, having data access when there's WiFi nearby (more often than you might think!) and going without otherwise. This is what I do. I find the ability to do web searches, email, mapping, etc. on the go to be worth the small extra device cost.

partgypsy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3397
Re: talk me into (or out of) a smart phone
« Reply #49 on: December 03, 2015, 12:22:22 PM »
Now I am second guessing myself and wondering if the Moto E would be a better choice. I will talk to her tonight and if she wants to I will see if we can change the order.