Author Topic: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!  (Read 4085 times)

MWOverlander

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I finally decided that I'm completely obsessed with my smartphone.  Instead of a having a solid conversation with my wife or friends, we will spat out a few words and look at our phones...sometimes never even taking our eyes off our phones while having a conversation.  I've got a kid coming in a few months and want to enjoy the moments instead of constantly trying to capture the moments.  I got caught in the insta/twit/facebook/share my life with the world craze.  Today is the end...

I switched from my Samsung Galaxy S6 to an LG EnV2 on Verizon.  I still have until the end of 2017 on my Verizon contract.

To note, I'm also going to save a bit of money in the process.

$26 per month by switching to a feature phone and dropping data connection from 3gb shared (with wife) to 1gb for her phone.  I'll end up saving roughly $312 yearly and hopefully gain some of my attention span back.  I should also be able to gain a couple hundred off selling my current smartphone. 

I feel like this is going to be tough for the first few weeks, but i'm going to try and take that new found time and be productive.  I need to start reading more books anyhow.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 09:01:24 PM by MidwestOverlanders »

Daley

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2016, 09:33:52 PM »
Congrats on the leap, you won't regret it long term... especially after you become a parent. Technology is really good at inflating self importance and distracting us from our surroundings by tickling our reward system. Just remember, it's like any other addiction that involves dopamine, don't be afraid to treat it as such.

Next step is to get the wife on board, go on a data diet, and get a read on exactly how much you each use in services per month. It's entirely plausible that paying the ETF on your Verizon account and switching to Selectel could save you even more money long term, especially if you're still this early into a two year contract. It might hurt short term to pay it off, but the long-term savings might be considerably more.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2016, 01:56:59 AM »
I'm surprised you're saving so little, but I guess you've still on contract for the S6.

MWOverlander

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2016, 05:23:50 AM »
I'm surprised you're saving so little, but I guess you've still on contract for the S6.

I haven't actually signed new contracts.  The deal with Verizon is when you purchase a new phone through them at full retail (which I do) they automatically renew your plan as if you've resigned your contract.  I found this out the hard way, so that's def something for people to watch out for.  I purchase all my phones outright with cash.

My wife usually used 1/2gb a month and her plan expires this year.  We will probably ride that coattail and switch her to a "pay what you use" plan.  She's always on her phone, but really good at not using data.   I ended 2015 with an avg data consumption of 5gb month just for me.  So far in 2016 my data consumption looks like this:

Jan - 1.2gb
Feb - .75gb

So i've really made the push to be data free, however I've still got that damn thing attached at the hip with wifi.

The savings isn't great with Verizon.
Line access for feature phone - $20.00 per month
Line access for smart phone - $40.00 per month.
Going from 3GB family shared at $36.00 to 1gb (smallest plan) at $30.00.

They want you to be on that data plan.

MWOverlander

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2016, 05:28:33 AM »
Update:

Night 1

So far, last night was one of the best night sleeps I've had in awhile.  Most of the time I fall asleep with the phone in my hand (usually watching YouTube or listening to a financial podcast) and check it multiple times throughout the night when I "toss & turn".  I didn't reach over to check my dumb phone once last night and actually woke up this morning feeling somewhat rested. 

So far, a win in my book.  Now we'll have to see how the rest of the day goes.  It's honestly kind of sad that I have to look at small things like this as a win with all the things going on around me.  We truly do have a generation of #firstworldproblems going on... 

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2016, 05:37:00 AM »
I'm surprised you're saving so little, but I guess you've still on contract for the S6.

I haven't actually signed new contracts.  The deal with Verizon is when you purchase a new phone through them at full retail (which I do) they automatically renew your plan as if you've resigned your contract.  I found this out the hard way, so that's def something for people to watch out for.  I purchase all my phones outright with cash.

My wife usually used 1/2gb a month and her plan expires this year.  We will probably ride that coattail and switch her to a "pay what you use" plan.  She's always on her phone, but really good at not using data.   I ended 2015 with an avg data consumption of 5gb month just for me.  So far in 2016 my data consumption looks like this:

Jan - 1.2gb
Feb - .75gb

So i've really made the push to be data free, however I've still got that damn thing attached at the hip with wifi.

The savings isn't great with Verizon.
Line access for feature phone - $20.00 per month
Line access for smart phone - $40.00 per month.
Going from 3GB family shared at $36.00 to 1gb (smallest plan) at $30.00.

They want you to be on that data plan.

Yikes, that's expensive. Do any of the other carriers have coverage, or are you stuck with Verizon coverage? You're still paying $90 a month all up, even with one smartphone and one feature phone, and not a lot of data.

Nice stuff that the feature phone's working for you though :)

Sibley

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2016, 11:45:29 AM »
I'm also going to ditch my smart phone, though I'm not anywhere near as addicted as you are! My contract is up this summer, and I already pulled my previous dumb phone out of the drawer. Hopefully I'll be able to use that one since I already have it.

Good luck with your journey!

MasterStache

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2016, 12:10:46 PM »
Good work. I still use an old flip phone. Apparently it's only 2G as our cell company has informed us the phone will no longer work soon. We have a $35 credit for a new phone and the 3G flip phone is exactly $35. Despite my wife's constant pleading to get a smart phone, I will be getting the flip phone. A general note even my 11 year old has a smart phone (against my wishes). 

MWOverlander

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2016, 03:09:22 PM »
I'm surprised you're saving so little, but I guess you've still on contract for the S6.

I haven't actually signed new contracts.  The deal with Verizon is when you purchase a new phone through them at full retail (which I do) they automatically renew your plan as if you've resigned your contract.  I found this out the hard way, so that's def something for people to watch out for.  I purchase all my phones outright with cash.

My wife usually used 1/2gb a month and her plan expires this year.  We will probably ride that coattail and switch her to a "pay what you use" plan.  She's always on her phone, but really good at not using data.   I ended 2015 with an avg data consumption of 5gb month just for me.  So far in 2016 my data consumption looks like this:

Jan - 1.2gb
Feb - .75gb

So i've really made the push to be data free, however I've still got that damn thing attached at the hip with wifi.

The savings isn't great with Verizon.
Line access for feature phone - $20.00 per month
Line access for smart phone - $40.00 per month.
Going from 3GB family shared at $36.00 to 1gb (smallest plan) at $30.00.

They want you to be on that data plan.

Yikes, that's expensive. Do any of the other carriers have coverage, or are you stuck with Verizon coverage? You're still paying $90 a month all up, even with one smartphone and one feature phone, and not a lot of data.

Nice stuff that the feature phone's working for you though :)

No, we pretty much have coverage from everyone here.  Cancelling and paying ETF is my next possible route.  I just need to make sure that my wife can keep her number on whatever carrier we move too.  She's had that number since 2003 and its tied to too many things professionally for her.  Ive thought of giving services such as Ting a try using their "ala cart" system.  Honestly, it's not so much the money savings as it is disconnecting for me.  I'm not going to get rich off switching services, but if I can gain any and all of my face to face communication back then it'll be a win win.

MWOverlander

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2016, 03:13:02 PM »
I'm also going to ditch my smart phone, though I'm not anywhere near as addicted as you are! My contract is up this summer, and I already pulled my previous dumb phone out of the drawer. Hopefully I'll be able to use that one since I already have it.

Good luck with your journey!

I've been lucky so far with my Env2 so far. I know a lot GSM feature phones with carriers are losing service due to them using 2G and some carriers losing their 2G bandwidths.  I'm not sure how that affects Verizon with their CDMA towers. 

okits

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2016, 09:48:36 PM »
Congrats, from another proud dumb phone user!  It will definitely help you be more mentally present as a parent.  As I.P. Daley says, your phone can be an addiction.  Your always being on it encourages your kid's interest in it, at a developmental stage where reading, interacting with you, or playing with toys is much more beneficial.  Way to go.  :)

yuka

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2016, 10:04:43 PM »
I'd actually theorize that the same thing could be accomplished for less money while using smartphones and while having a camera (which was a big part of my switching to a smartphone in the first place.) That is, find one of the cheap MVNO carriers and get on their little- or no-data plan (which should make it cheap.) Then, when you come home your phone sits on the same shelf/bowl as your car keys. Admittedly this does require that you actually leave your phone by the door, but it could work. Also, perhaps get a slow enough smartphone that you wouldn't be inclined to use it for unnecessary distractions. I would say Republic and their $10/month plan, but in my experience the call reliability went down so terribly in the end of 2015 that it would be silly to rely on them for service if your focus was voice calls. I'm sure there are similar deals.

MWOverlander

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2016, 06:20:25 AM »
I'd actually theorize that the same thing could be accomplished for less money while using smartphones and while having a camera (which was a big part of my switching to a smartphone in the first place.) That is, find one of the cheap MVNO carriers and get on their little- or no-data plan (which should make it cheap.) Then, when you come home your phone sits on the same shelf/bowl as your car keys. Admittedly this does require that you actually leave your phone by the door, but it could work. Also, perhaps get a slow enough smartphone that you wouldn't be inclined to use it for unnecessary distractions. I would say Republic and their $10/month plan, but in my experience the call reliability went down so terribly in the end of 2015 that it would be silly to rely on them for service if your focus was voice calls. I'm sure there are similar deals.

I wont disagree with you, but the camera is again part the "living in the moment and not trying to capture moment" deal for me.  Too often am I trying to take a picture of something rather than just soak it in an enjoy it.  YMMV, but for me eliminating the option is the best route for myself. 

MWOverlander

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2016, 04:26:17 AM »
Ok, so 7 days into smartphone less world...I've realized how much I actually used my smartphone in day to day activities other than social media. 

1. I asked a previous coworker of mine to text me a phone number.  Without hesitation he sends me the .vcf file and I realize that my life wasn't that simple anymore.  I had to explain to him that I needed him to actually send me just the phone number itself.  Not a huge deal, but in a world where everyone simply attaches a .vcf it was mind boggling to him.  Same thing happened again when my wife tried sending me the contact info for our newly acquired pediatrician.

2. Wife and I needed to pick up a few items at REI for an upcoming overlanding trip.  REI was on the way home from our day hike, so no wasted trip here.  I'm a cheap ass or a smart consumer in some regards.  I'm constantly checking Amazon prices for items in B&M stores.  I quickly realized that I no longer had that capability.  Thankfully my wife understands what I'm trying to do and was more than happy to check prices for me.  This will just be something that I eventually "get over" and purchase without thought...or will it?

3. I had to go downtown yesterday to help a friend setup some heavy equipment in her art gallery.  I avoid driving downtown like the plague because I can't stand the traffic and my truck is a PITA.  So, we decided to take my wife's much smaller SUV.  I quickly realized that I didn't have access to GPS and was heading into downtown during 5PM rush hour.  OMFG... There are two things here that I would normally not have issues with (1. My truck has built in GPS; 2. I would've planned the route at home prior to leaving), but we were leaving the woods from a day hike when I got the call, so no prior planning was available.  I could've just went with the flow and tried to figure it out, but my road rage and a 28 week pregnant wife wasn't going to mesh.  Again, luckily she just pulled up Google Maps on her phone and we found a route to the area that took 20 mins and avoided a lot of the traffic.

4. My wife and I use a combination of Evernote & Google Drive for our day to day activities.  She makes the grocery list in Evernote and sends it to me to go to the grocery store.  Not a big deal, I got the list and printed it out.  YAY, winning!  At least I thought so.  I quickly discovered when I got home that she had updated the list while at work prior to me going to the store.  I had printed the list the night before in preparation.  I missed a few items that she was really wanting.

5. Amazon Prime Now - This was a service and app that I greatly took advantage of.  This saved me a lot of wasted gas and time driving around town to pick up items.  If you aren't familiar with Prime NOW, its a 2 hour same day delivery service in specific markets.  There were plenty of times where I needed something that day for a project and was able to hop on Prime Now and have it delivered within a few hours for free (we can argue this, but I pay for Amazon Prime and it's apart of the service...so it's included).  The downside to Prime Now is that it's only available through their specific app and not their website. 

These are all #firstworldproblem hurdles to overcome and nothing that wont fix itself as we get accustomed to it.  Nothing to steer me away from the task at hand.  Just felt like sharing some updates on how this is actually going.  This isn't for everyone.  Smartphones are amazing tools when you don't let them rule your life. 

For those that say they don't, I post a challenge to either set your phone to Off or turn off all data (data or Wifi) on the weekends and after work to just see how much that little pocket computer takes advantage of you. 
« Last Edit: March 15, 2016, 04:33:41 AM by MidwestOverlanders »

dandypandys

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Re: Ditched the smartphone, brought back the feature phone from the dead!
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2016, 05:41:32 PM »
I never did upgrade to a smart phone, just bought a new flip and went over to Ting oh my goodness cheapness!
But, I solve all your above problems by having an iPad mini, it is only wifi, but if i am out and about i can always get a connection in public or a coffee shop to download a map, check a price.It is cool that you can set up the map to give you directions in the wifi spot but once out on the road the wee blue dot still follows you even with no network, wow technology!
 For me it is worth the one time cost for all the free apps and convenience  ( eg- birding apps like Merlin <3 love that!)