Author Topic: Dumb phone users unite!  (Read 26422 times)

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Dumb phone users unite!
« on: September 11, 2014, 06:42:14 AM »
At the moment, several Mustachians have gotten into a semi-heated discussion why we still cling to our dumb phones. You can find the thread here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/anyone-miss-their-smartphone/

I thought I would move the discussion here so that we can talk about the myriad of reasons why we remain hold outs in a culture in which more and more people are embracing smart phone technology. Two questions to consider:

Do you consider yourself a Luddite?
Are your reasons primarily financial?

As I expressed on the other thread, I, for one, have a $10 a month old flip phone just as much for personal reasons as I do financial reasons. After all, I am paying ca. $30 a month for a (dun dun dun) landline. Why, may you ask, would do I do such a thing? Am I just old?

For me, the reasons have to do with not wanting to be plugged in when I am out and about. I am a stay at home mom who at this point in her life spends most of her time at home. I like the sound quality and reliability of the home phone. It always rings. It never breaks up (at least on my side). My kids can always find the (gasp!) corded phone on the wall of our kitchen.

To be honest, I would do away with the cell phone altogether, but I have three young children and do not relish the idea of being stranded or in a vulnerable position with three dependent beings in tow. Thus, I have a cheap phone for emergency purposes only - a la the 1990s, if you like.

Now tell me your reasons and what your plan is for the future, as the social expectation to have a smart phone becomes more and more acute.

Melf

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 137
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2014, 06:59:21 AM »
I've just never had a strong enough desire for a smart phone that I was able to overcome the reasoning for not getting one.  It would only cost me about $10 more a month over what I pay now to have a smart phone.  I just really don't want to become any more attached to my phone than I already am.  I already hate to be without it since it serves as my timepiece.  I don't want to get to the point of interacting with my phone most every moment of the day like some folks do these days.  I'm sure it's nice to have access to the web at any time you need it and there are some helpful apps out there.  I'm sure I'll end up with a smartphone at some point but I'm not quite there yet.

Marlan

Tai

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2014, 07:03:00 AM »
I have a dumb phone. It has a camera, alarm clock and all of that, but no data. I pay 100$ per year on pay as you go, plus sometimes some extra if my minutes go low. The cheapest plan that I could find. I bought the phone outright overseas for about 90$ a few years ago. I am not a luddite, I like to fix my own computers for instance, but I'm also not willing to pay a premium for apple products. I think I don't have a smart phone because except for the odd occasion I wouldn't use it anyway. I think the main reason people carry them is because of the status, nothing to do with utility. My elderly (and extremely poor) aunt has one that she can't even use just so she can pull it out and show it off. I would no more buy a smart phone for status than I would buy an expensive purse.

aclarridge

  • Guest
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2014, 07:28:11 AM »
I have a "smart" phone that was mid-range when it was released about 4 years ago. I bought it for $200, 3 years ago. However, I pay $10 a month for a basic plan with no data. I do not use any of the "smart" capabilities really - the phone is too slow for browsing the internet or anything. In "emergency" situations though (can't find an address or something) I can use 3G internet on a pay-as-you-go basis, which has happened to me maybe twice.

Somebody my age with my type of job is expected to have a newer model phone, to be sure. I don't mostly because I don't feel I would use any of the functionality and phones are very expensive, so it's not worth it.

The one scenario I could see a newer phone being really worth it for me would be if their cameras could seriously compete with my DSLR. I don't think they are there yet, but in a few years who knows.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14638
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 07:31:33 AM »
My phone has call display, a voice mailbox, and many other features.  It's hardly dumb.  It is however connected by wire to the phone jack in our house.  :P

hybrid

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1673
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2014, 07:32:27 AM »
I did not have a smartphone for many years, and given that I work in IT certainly made me the exception to the rule. For various reasons I now have my first smartphone, a very basic Alcatel that cost $80 and is woefully underpowered compared to the iPhones and Galaxies out there.

I have come to love the thing. It has become my Swiss Army knife without the blade and the corkscrew. My work has an expectation that I can get to email quickly, so having that was a plus. But the notepad, camera, superior texting, access to contacts, access to personal email, and a few other apps I actually leverage have made my phone a cross between a flip phone, a smart phone, and a PDA. Almost a year later I am not regretting the decision to upgrade a single bit, because I have a lot more tools at the handy than I did before.

As an example, I am in another city this week where there is a truly excellent outlet mall. My son rather badly needs some new shirts. I was able to photograph and text him what the options were and we figured out what he liked best that way. I scored 7 shirts from Aeropostale for $46 and did not have to guess whether he would actually use them or if they would just sit in the closet. So my smartphone turned out to be a rather handy tool in this case, a tool that my old phone could not have pulled off.

YMMV.

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4817
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2014, 07:49:49 AM »
My brother gave me a mobile phone as a Christmas present 12 years ago, and it's still the only one I've ever had.  It makes and receives telephone calls, has a text function, a clock and alarm clock, a torch and a game called Snake for dire boredom emergencies.  It probably cost about £10 with £15 of pay-as-you-go calls installed, I top it up with another £10 about once a year.   I mostly take it with me on car journeys just in case, otherwise it's my alarm clock by my bed and invaluable in emergencies.  It is small, light, robust and holds its charge well. That's everything I want and more than I need, and I have no intention of changing it.  Ever.  If it stops working, I'll find one as close to it as I can.


Caoineag

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 547
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Denver
    • My Journal
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2014, 08:01:00 AM »
I had a prepaid feature phone (aka dumb phone) for 7 years and have only had a landline for 6 months long, long ago. I just got my smart phone last year after much research and finding a plan that was cheaper than my feature phone's plan. I use data about 2x per year only when traveling in the boonies (otherwise I find a wifi spot). People still know that I may or may not pick up the phone or bring it with me while I am out and about. Hyper connectivity is highly over-rated but I am an extreme introvert so no one expects me to be waiting in breathless anticipation of their call. Now if I could get my friends to put down their phones when we are trying to have a conversation in person...

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1063
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2014, 08:05:10 AM »
I started using a cell phone when my son was born.  I own a dumb Doro (Cellular 1) flip phone that will -- make phone calls.  Technically it can also send and receive texts, but my (current) plan doesn't include those, so I don't use them (I do get them via email on my computer, using Google voice). 

I don't really want that much connectivity, but I do see the convenience of the smartphone, and occasionally ask my DH (who's had one for a year or 2) to look something up or take a photo of something, when we are out -and-about together.  Mostly, I don't want to cart something as big as a smartphone around.  I'm kind of obsessive :) about travelling light, and already irritated that I need to cart as much as I do "everywhere" I go (phone, wallet, keys).  So, eh.

forestbound

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 248
  • Location: midwest
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2014, 08:09:03 AM »
I just bought a BRAND NEW "flip phone". I am in love! It doesn't even take photos. It doesn't get data. It is a phone that can text. It was FIVE DOLLARS! Seriously, $5.00. It can be dropped and won't break and it does what I need it to do.

I sit in front of a very high end, very powerful Mac computer all day long. That machine makes me money so I am fully vested in it and will be getting another soon. I am rarely away from the computer. I also have an iPad for at night, it was a gift. When I am away from the office, I don't want to answer phones, I don't want to look at a computer screen. I want to get away from digital devices as much as possible. The phone is for emergencies when I am in my car and to connect with family. Period.

And when I go out with people and they pull out their phones and start playing with them while in the company of a LIVE person, I hate smart phones even more. The only reason I like them is I have stock in Apple. Go ahead and buy those iPhones people, I will be over here thinking, "CHA-CHING".

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2014, 08:16:36 AM »
I jokingly call myself a Luddite.   What that generally means is that I am not just "not an early adopter" ... I'm generally a "very late adopter." 

My feature phone (now unlocked) was a free (or near free) phone from a phone contract in 2005 or 2006.  It still works as a phone/sms device/rudimentary camera -- about as well as it ever has.  It's been dropped hard over and over and is basically bulletproof.

My take here is this:  I am an IT-type guy.  I'm basically in front of a computer all day long.  There are so few hours in the day where I'm not 20 steps or less from an actual computer.  And I'd rather have a real keyboard and a real screen than a tiny touchscreen that is smeared with my fingerprints.   

I also just detest the whole "appification" of the world.  I'm old enough to remember when there was "pc" and "unix" and "mainframe" and ... the damn things couldn't talk to each other for crap.  You had an app that was specific to one and you'd be shit outta luck if you worked on one of the other platforms.  Web based platforms have almost totally removed that barrier.  You have a single front end that makes everyone happy (mostly).  Along come apps that pretty much don't do anything but scrape HTML/XML and re-present it and... voila: we're back in 1992 where everyone has a dedicated app that isn't portable.  (For example: I don't want an app that plays only HBO and an app that plays only Netflix and an app that plays only Amazon and and app...   I want an app that plays a video stream.)

Yes, I give up some whizzy, spinny, neato-keen stuff.  It just isn't that important to me.  For someone that is away from a computer all day long: maybe they have a better argument for a smartphone than I do.

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3574
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2014, 10:15:34 AM »
I've never had any cell other than a flip phone. The things have everything I need - alarm, clock, calling, texting, calendar. I prefer not to be available or "connected" when I leave the house.

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1672
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2014, 10:33:21 AM »
I have a 7 year old dumb phone.  It doesn't even have a camera.  It still works.  I love that I can drop it and the worst that happens is the battery cover pops off and I snap it back on.  I love it that I would be fine if it got wet.  If I leave it somewhere, even a public place, it will be there when I get back.  And it is small, just 1 1/2 inches wide.  What's not to love?  I would rather plan my route ahead than have a voice telling me directions as I drive anyhow.  I do have an ipad (Christmas gift two years ago), but I leave it at home. I always chuckle when I go for a walk in the local park and see half the people sitting on benches staring at their smartphones---they don't even see a blue heron taking off.

Lian

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2014, 10:54:18 AM »
I have a dumbphone with a pay-as-you-go plan, which has been sufficient for my needs for several years Ė it is very cheap because I donít use my phone all that often. However, the phone is about at the end of itsí useful life and needs to be replaced, and Iím torn as to whether I want to get a smartphone with republic wireless or other plan, or stick with the dumbphone.

I recently was issued a smartphone for my new job Ė so far the phone has basically been a toy and a small, but unnecessary convenience.  Our phone use is monitored, so I donít want to use it much for personal use, but I like the new toy more than I thought I would.  I figured the work smartphone would help me decide whether I want my own smartphone or stay with a dumbphone, but am still undecided. I will probably keep adding minutes to my existing dumbphone, and eke the last bit of life out of it before I decide.

Bob W

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2947
  • Age: 61
  • Location: Missouri
  • Live on minimum wage, earn on maximum
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2014, 11:27:01 AM »
Just yesterday I was considering buying a new smart phone.  Think I'll rethink that.  Maybe just voice and text is all I really need and want after all? 

enigmaT120

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 390
  • Location: Falls City, OR
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2014, 12:20:19 PM »
I'm planning to get some pre-paid cheap phone, but only because I'm flying to Phoenix next week to pick up my new-to-me car (2004 Insight) and drive it home.  I've never had any type of cell phone, though I do like my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 that I've had for two or 3 years.  But it doesn't have cell capabilities, it's WIFI only. 

I don't think I'm a Luddite, I just don't feel like being that available, nor does it usually bother me to be out of touch with others.  I want a phone so I can communicate with the car dealer who will be picking me up at the airport, and I really don't trust my flight to be on time.  Hopefully I won't be using it on the way home to call a tow truck!


FunkyStickman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 523
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Louisiana
    • Living Outside the Box
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2014, 12:20:59 PM »
I've got a pre-paid flip phone, and a 7" tablet. It's actually cheaper that way. If it ever dies, though... will probably go Republic.

rubybeth

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1402
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2014, 01:02:45 PM »
You know, until last December, I only paid for a dumb phone. I liked my little Samsung slider thing with T-mobile, and only paid $25/mo for it. My job paid for a smartphone. Then my dad basically offered to help me buy an iPhone, so I could give up my work phone and all the drama that went with that. With T-mobile, there's no 'data plan' when you upgrade to a smartphone, unless you want to pay for super fast unlimited nonsense, which I don't. So I got the iPhone 5s and turned in my work phone for better work/life boundaries, and haven't looked back.

Things I miss:
-the little slider phone fit in my pants pocket (I am a lady with small lady pockets and the iPhone doesn't always fit)
-not caring if I dropped it
-no case needed
-simple to use
-good call reception, for the most part (I live in a basement apartment in a brick building, so that was always sketchy and we have a land line, too)

Neutral:
-I still only pay $25/mo. for the plan

Positive:
-having the features on the iPhone help me with work and life stuff all the time, from reminders to shared to-do lists with my husband, to not having to open up our laptop for simple things like checking the weather or managing money with Mint.com
-was especially nice that the iPhone worked on our trip to Europe, as we used WiFi and the Viber app to call home
-not carrying around a camera anymore--I use my iPhone for photos every day--I will probably never buy another digital camera, ever
-I got a FitBit for my birthday to help with weight and exercise management, and it's been awesome

Negative:
-It was expensive, and my DH got one, too - we won't be upgrading to the iPhone 6 anytime soon, that's for sure
-I have a scratch on the screen that bugs me
-I broke one case, so felt I had to buy another - the phone is so 'precious' that I don't dare not keep it in a case
-time suck of having internet constantly

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14638
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2014, 01:08:43 PM »
As an example, I am in another city this week where there is a truly excellent outlet mall. My son rather badly needs some new shirts. I was able to photograph and text him what the options were and we figured out what he liked best that way. I scored 7 shirts from Aeropostale for $46 and did not have to guess whether he would actually use them or if they would just sit in the closet. So my smartphone turned out to be a rather handy tool in this case, a tool that my old phone could not have pulled off.

I can only assume that your son has been baring his chest for the last few months if you needed to purchase seven shirts for him.

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1063
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2014, 01:15:17 PM »
I have a 7 year old dumb phone.  It doesn't even have a camera.  It still works.  I love that I can drop it and the worst that happens is the battery cover pops off and I snap it back on.

Actually, technically, the battery cover can pop up and slide through the boards on the swimming-pool deck, never to be seen again.  But duct tape works as a fix.  True story.

One other goodie:  I recently thought (wrongly) that I had really, truly lost my dumb phone forever and I was -- calm.  Such a loss would represent a minor nuisance, not the loss of my entire world (as seems to be the case for smart phone owners).

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4013
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2014, 01:18:07 PM »
I'll keep my words brief here and just say that I echo much of what Spork has already said, down to jokingly referring to myself as a neo-luddite sysadmin.

I've written volumes rehashing these ideas in the name of trying to convince others to rethink their dependence and budgets on the things. I like technology to a degree and I strive to apply it appropriately and wisely. Although my own phone would've counted as a low-end smartphone back in the heyday of RIM's Blackberry and the Nokia Symbian platform, by todays standards it's closer to a feature phone with a tiny qwerty keyboard. It does what I need for business use, and it does so cheaply with $5-7 worth of P'tel PAYGO credit a month and I have no desire to replace it. If I were full FIRE, I'd probably axe the account completely and only use the home VoIP account, and probably even turf the laptop. A man can only truly serve one master, and once I reach the point of being able to serve who I want, the rest of the world with their expectations can just feel however they like about me. I only have to answer to G-d, my wife and myself.

My reasonings for doing so are rooted in what I know, and they echo many of the same reasons expressed by others, including Jane.

Embrace and appreciate the true minimalism, my friends. Live your life to your standards, not your neighbors.

hybrid

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1673
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2014, 02:36:47 PM »
As an example, I am in another city this week where there is a truly excellent outlet mall. My son rather badly needs some new shirts. I was able to photograph and text him what the options were and we figured out what he liked best that way. I scored 7 shirts from Aeropostale for $46 and did not have to guess whether he would actually use them or if they would just sit in the closet. So my smartphone turned out to be a rather handy tool in this case, a tool that my old phone could not have pulled off.

I can only assume that your son has been baring his chest for the last few months if you needed to purchase seven shirts for him.

He has reached a point where he needs to start dressing in a more appropriate fashion relative to his age. Trust me, this is money well spent. My son is a long term project.

eostache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 211
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2014, 03:42:32 PM »
I had a Tracfone flip phone for several years ($100/yr) that I used for occasional brief calls and a few text messages. I did cave this spring and get an Android tracfone, a $50 ZTE Valet. It has Android 4.0, its not a fast phone but works surprisingly well for what I need. I go on wifi sometimes, I take pictures occasionally, use the mp3 player. The battery life is quite good, probably because it is so underpowered. I'm happy with it and don't want to spend more than that for a phone. The $80-$100/yr service on this works for me (~$7/mo).

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11861
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2014, 04:26:10 PM »
I remember CP/M   ;-)  Yes, dinosaur territory.  I am not a Luddite, I was one of the first in my circle to get a personal computer (8086 with two floppy disk drives instead of one, which was a big deal, and that is not sarcasm, most only had one).  However, I like to pick and choose my technology.

I have a Samsung, because it has the slide-out keyboard and my DD and I text each other a lot.  I actually prefer the clamshell design as a phone, but my old one was horrible for texting.

My phone is my camera, my notebook (love the memo feature), and my music tuner (the only app I have downloaded).

I do not have a data plan - I can check email at home.  Before I retired, I could also check it at work - that was enough.

I am with Fido - I have Canada wide, since I call people who are in 4 area codes.  I have my home phone through them, I have voice mail at home!  Bell would not do that, I am too far out in the country (I am not way out, except by Bell's standards).

austin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2014, 05:03:33 PM »
My phone is much cheaper than a smart phone would be, and I do not need a smart phone. Any thing I can do on a smart phone I can do on my computer at my work desk or at home. I can wait until I reach one of those two.

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2424
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2014, 05:13:09 PM »
All hail the 7-day battery life!

windypig

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 159
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Vermont, Boston, Cape Cod
  • You are what you hate.
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2014, 05:14:53 PM »
I'll keep my words brief here and just say that I echo much of what Spork has already said, down to jokingly referring to myself as a neo-luddite sysadmin.

IP, what kind of Sysadmin work do you do? Im a bastard operator from hell too.

RWD

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3826
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2014, 05:26:51 PM »
I have a 7 year old dumb phone.  It doesn't even have a camera.  It still works.  I love that I can drop it and the worst that happens is the battery cover pops off and I snap it back on.  I love it that I would be fine if it got wet.  If I leave it somewhere, even a public place, it will be there when I get back.  And it is small, just 1 1/2 inches wide.  What's not to love?  I would rather plan my route ahead than have a voice telling me directions as I drive anyhow.  I do have an ipad (Christmas gift two years ago), but I leave it at home. I always chuckle when I go for a walk in the local park and see half the people sitting on benches staring at their smartphones---they don't even see a blue heron taking off.

That sounds a lot like my phone (7+ years old now). I have a Samsung flip phone that has gone through the washer and been dropped on a tile floor. Still works fine. No camera (can't even receive pictures attached to text messages). I love the battery life, the simplicity, and small size. Unfortunately the the network (2G, I think) will be deprecated by AT&T in 2017, so I'm going to need a new phone then...

I am not a luddite. Currently in my house (for two people) we have three desktop computers, four laptops, and a tablet. I am a software engineer and pretty much everyone around me at work has a smart phone. My wife has a smart phone which does comes in handy as a GPS when we're travelling. I don't really see it as enough of an improvement for me to "upgrade" my phone.

Emilyngh

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 892
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2014, 06:20:05 PM »
I have a smartphone, but I think I should still qualify for the club.

It is a $50 palm pixie plus, and my plan is only $10 every 4 months (so less than $3 a mo) through page plus for I think 100 minutes of talk (data uses some minutes equivalent, I don't recall the rates).

So, I usually only use the wifi and use it for the occasional texting and quick calls and spend only the $3 a mo.   However, if I ever want more data or minutes (eg, traveling and want to use google maps, etc), I can just add occasional extra money.   I'm going to back and look at the end of the year at the total we've spent, but I don't think I've added more than an extra $20 since April.

So, my smart phone probably still costs less than many (most?) dumb phones do, and I get the extra capabilities available for the few times they are really helpful.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 06:26:33 PM by Emilyngh »

JamesAt15

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 200
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2014, 06:29:23 PM »

IP, what kind of Sysadmin work do you do? Im a bastard operator from hell too.

Clickety-click!

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4871
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2014, 07:39:54 PM »
My phone makes voice calls. Receives them, too. Full stop.

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4013
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2014, 07:43:51 PM »

IP, what kind of Sysadmin work do you do? Im a bastard operator from hell too.

Clickety-click!

I do the sort of sysadmin work that causes balding.

Mustache Fatty

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2014, 08:53:20 PM »
I tried Republic Wireless for 30 days and decided to stick with them.  I am on the $10 + tax plan and it is working just fine for me.  I talk a lot so my actual talking minutes actually needed an unlimited plan.  The problem is that going with Republic Wireless required that I "upgrade" to a smartphone.  I long for the days of my convenient, light-weight, perfectly adequate flip phone.  I was paying $44 per month with page plus so at $12 with Republic Wireless I feel like the tradeoff of having to deal with a smartphone is worth the sacrifice. 

fantabulous

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • My Crappy Little Blog
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2014, 09:03:23 PM »
I do the sort of sysadmin work that causes balding.

So any and all kinds?

windypig

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 159
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Vermont, Boston, Cape Cod
  • You are what you hate.
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2014, 09:06:50 PM »
I do the sort of sysadmin work that causes balding.

I do the beer belly, beard growing kind of sysadmin'ing

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2014, 09:10:51 PM »
I do the sort of sysadmin work that causes balding.

I do the beer belly, beard growing kind of sysadmin'ing

For me, it's the kind that makes you bitter and caustic.

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1799
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2014, 09:51:25 PM »
Technically I own an iPhone.
Its an "obsolete" iPhone 3, with no service.  I use it 99% as a music player.

My cell phone folds in half.  It is water and shock resistant.  The plan is $12 per month, I have never run out of minutes and only once in over a year run out of texts.  It can actually access the internet, and occasionally I check emails in the field if I need some information I forgot to write down at home, or I'm just really really really bored.

I'm not a luddite - I have a Roku and a laptop and a harddrive mp3 based car stereo and traffic-aware GPS, for example.
I just have no need to carry a tiny computer with me where ever I go. 


I never really wanted one to begin with, but having watched what they do to people who own them made me decide I wouldn't accept even if I was offered both the phone and plan for free:



Smart phone users spend an average of 131 mins per day on mobile communication.  Thats out of only 480 minutes of discretionary time (not work or sleep) or about 1/3 of all free time.  And that doesn't even include non-communication apps like games.


The average user checks FaceBook 14 times per day


75% of smart phone users sleep with it on and in the same room


25% have phone on and in reach 24hours a day


80% all but an hours or two


a quarter check while driving


almost a third check during meals with others


almost 2/3 check at least once an hour, even if it doesn't ring or vibrate


20% check their phone every 10 minutes


84% said that they could not go a single day without their cellphones


one in three would rather give up sex than go a week without their phones


A third admitted that being without their mobile for even short periods leaves them feeling anxious




Basically, the smart phone is the opium of the 21st century.  Although I suppose a good drug addiction can cost a lot more than $160 per month, so I guess its a pretty good deal...

Daisy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2166
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2014, 09:53:01 PM »
I call smartphones the conversation-killers.

One of the main reasons is the obvious - when you are meeting up with friends they like to pull them out to post on Facebook and stuff while you are sitting right in front of them.

But more importantly...It used to be that you could go out for drinks with friends and an obscure topic would come up and you could spend hours discussing it with different viewpoints being brought up and historical facts discussed. What happens now is that these obscure topics come up in a conversation and half the group pulls out their smartphones to find the right answer. It's like a contest to see who can get the answer quickest. Instead of relying on our memory, intellects, and debating skills, the smartphone is now the arbiter of discussions. As a conversationalist, this drives me nuts. Itís just another way smartphones have killed the fine art of shooting the breeze with friends.

Does that make me a Luddite? Not sure, but if people had better manners around their phones then maybe it wouldnít bother me so much.

That said - I was a proud dumb phone user until a few years ago when our work provided everyone with smartphones. So now I lug this huge behemoth of a phone, that although designed to be thin, is so delicate it needs a bulky case around it to protect it (because my work has told us if we break or lose it we have to replace it at our own cost - $500ish).

Things I miss about my dumb phone:
-   Battery life was a lot longer than my smart phone
-   It was small enough to fit in my hand so that it was actually usable for a phone call. The new smartphone is a gigantic piece of technology that is harder to single-handedly hold for a phone call.
-   Dumb phone was small enough to fit in my pocket or in a side pocket my purse has for it or in this little hand wallet I had with a pocket for a phone. The smarty-pants phone is too big to fit in any of these.
-   I didnít have to buy a case for it. My smarty-pants phone is nice and thin, but then Iím so worried about dropping it that I needed to get a bulky cover for it. Also at work they threatened us and said if we lose or mess up the phone by dropping it, that weíd have to replace it at our own cost (like $500!!!). So of course I have bought the bulky case, which defeats the purpose of having a thin phone. I say if youíre going to make a thin phone and market it this way, you should make it strong enough to withstand falls, but I digressÖ

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1799
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2014, 09:54:31 PM »
p.s. last weekend up at the cabin, my friends had me walk back from the beach to the car to get my phone, because out of 6 people, not one of their "smart" phones had any reception.  I had full voice connection AND internet data.  For about 1/10th the monthly cost they were all paying.
At least one expressed interest, and I told them about IP's super guide

monarda

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
  • Age: 59
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #39 on: September 11, 2014, 10:16:27 PM »
We have a dumb phone (prepaid) that's usually turned off in a drawer. We pay $10 a year to carry over minutes. Depending on our use (mainly only when we travel in US) we might feed it $50 per year. We use it to receive texts. But sending texts is too hard on the phone keypad. We send textsbfrom google voice on our computer.

expatartist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1807
  • Location: The Big Lychee
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2014, 11:46:16 PM »
My pay-as-you-go "dumb phone" is about 4 years old, bought in a dodgy Bangkok market. It holds 2 SIM cards, which is great when I'm on an extended, multi-country trip. Costs $5-25/month, depending on how much I'm talking and where (roaming in another country).

I'm not a Luddite: like many here, I'm not too keen on having a computer in my pocket, since I work with one quite often during the day. But later this year I'll break down and DH will get me a smartphone: it'll be a great help with my Chinese, and taking quality photos on the sly.

nz

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 112
  • Age: 55
  • Location: New Zealand
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2014, 01:26:46 AM »
I don't use a cell phone at all!

I used to have a dumb phone a few years back but in my humble opinion the cons ( cost, carrying it, charging it, etc) out weighed the pros.( instant communication)

These days I use email on my  iPad mini and a landline for communication. It is truly liberating to be without a phone, people who know me used to tease me about it but I have noticed a number joining me.

Spartana

  • Guest
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2014, 01:35:59 AM »
I haven't read all the replies but I have a dumb phone. A Tracfone pay-as-you-go flip phone. Costs less then $10/month, has a terrible camera, and I can get internet and e-mail but slowwwwwwww. I got to admit I sometimes get embarrassed by my little phone when in the company of others but now I've learned to embrace it just for the shock factor. The stares and gasps of shock from friends is worth it :-)! Even thought of going "Zoolander-ish" and getting the tiniest flip phone imaginable to whip out next to their giant sized new I-Phones.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 01:41:46 AM by Spartana »

Ian

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 364
  • Location: South Korea
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2014, 05:04:27 AM »
I'm actually irked I need a $9/month plan here - in Tanzania I could go for months on a few thousand shillings. While I don't think all the features offered by smartphones are useless, I spend enough of my time within reach of a computer that I generally feel like they're just weaker alternatives.

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2014, 07:07:37 AM »
I'm loving all these answers. Thanks everyone! Maybe like Spartana, I'll start to flaunt my tiny phone. It was mocked yesterday on Facebook, but that was my husband doing it tongue in cheek during a discussion of the new iPhone.

Out of curiosity, he looked yesterday on my Virgin account, and I have over $100 banked. That's how rarely I use the thing, but I have to "top off" $10 every month. I would love to see how low I could go and be like some of you who spend much less, but now I feel stuck with Virgin, since I'd be "losing" all that money.

This thread has also inspired me to stop using the term Luddite altogether to describe myself. Normally it's my deprecating way to describe behavior that is so out of step with the norm these days, but screw that! I'm going to own it. Like others, technology permeates my life. I love my kindle, our DVR and Roku. We have (cheap Chinese made) tablets, digital cameras, video game devices, etc. I just can't stomach the tiny computer. I'm sure I will get one some day, but I will enjoy being a hold out for as long as I can.

I thought Daisy's post was particularly insightful, and this line was great: "Itís just another way smartphones have killed the fine art of shooting the breeze with friends." How true!

mudgestache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2014, 07:18:16 AM »

Technically I own an iPhone.
Its an "obsolete" iPhone 3, with no service.  I use it 99% as a music player.

My cell phone folds in half.  It is water and shock resistant.  The plan is $12 per month, I have never run out of minutes and only once in over a year run out of texts.  It can actually access the internet, and occasionally I check emails in the field if I need some information I forgot to write down at home, or I'm just really really really bored.

I'm not a luddite - I have a Roku and a laptop and a harddrive mp3 based car stereo and traffic-aware GPS, for example.
I just have no need to carry a tiny computer with me where ever I go. 


I never really wanted one to begin with, but having watched what they do to people who own them made me decide I wouldn't accept even if I was offered both the phone and plan for free:



Smart phone users spend an average of 131 mins per day on mobile communication.  Thats out of only 480 minutes of discretionary time (not work or sleep) or about 1/3 of all free time.  And that doesn't even include non-communication apps like games.


The average user checks FaceBook 14 times per day


75% of smart phone users sleep with it on and in the same room


25% have phone on and in reach 24hours a day


80% all but an hours or two


a quarter check while driving


almost a third check during meals with others


almost 2/3 check at least once an hour, even if it doesn't ring or vibrate


20% check their phone every 10 minutes


84% said that they could not go a single day without their cellphones


one in three would rather give up sex than go a week without their phones


A third admitted that being without their mobile for even short periods leaves them feeling anxious




Basically, the smart phone is the opium of the 21st century.  Although I suppose a good drug addiction can cost a lot more than $160 per month, so I guess its a pretty good deal...

Wow..somehow, despite having a very smart phone, I don't do any of those things. We don't allow phones at the table. We don't use them when we're with live people. If a "dumb" phone meets your needs and you're happy with it, I think that's great. I wouldn't bash anyone for not having a smart phone. It might be nice though if you didn't assume that all smart phone users are "always on" and glued to their phones all day. My phone has an off switch just like your dumb phone. I even have a fancy setting where the only call/text that comes through is from my kids or my husband.

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4013
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2014, 07:31:54 AM »
It might be nice though if you didn't assume that all smart phone users are "always on" and glued to their phones all day.

Mudgestache, the thing with many of Bakari's usage statistics are that they're industry averages from real world usage reported by mobile carriers. (That's right, the mobile industry actively keeps track of how much you actually fiddle with your smartphones beyond talk, text and data statistics.) Just because you don't claim to use your smartphone that way doesn't mean the majority does. You are an outlier, not the norm. Deny it all you want, but there's clearly a large scale problem here, and it's tied directly to the device in question.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 07:33:59 AM by I.P. Daley »

hybrid

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1673
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2014, 07:57:58 AM »
It might be nice though if you didn't assume that all smart phone users are "always on" and glued to their phones all day.

Mudgestache, the thing with many of Bakari's usage statistics are that they're industry averages from real world usage reported by mobile carriers. (That's right, the mobile industry actively keeps track of how much you actually fiddle with your smartphones beyond talk, text and data statistics.) Just because you don't claim to use your smartphone that way doesn't mean the majority does. You are an outlier, not the norm. Deny it all you want, but there's clearly a large scale problem here, and it's tied directly to the device in question.

True, just like consumption and lack of savings are the norm and Mustachians are the outliers. I agree that smartphones are loaded with issues, it still does not make it an inherently poor idea to own one. I feel perfectly comfortable with the Swiss Army knife phone I have, the fact that it is so underpowered means that staying glued to it is nigh well impossible (streaming and surfing are impractical).

The issue I have with IPs arguments boil down to a tendency to supplant his value system onto others. Everyone has a different circumstance they are dealing with (in mine, the refusal of the family to get on board with ultra-frugal plans and our eventual compromise on a far less ridiculous plan). To me the argument is rather like cars. Gosh it would be nice if everyone could get rid of their cars and smartphones like MMM did (except he did neither). Since that is often impractical how can we, as consumers, best use these tools. For those that don't need or want a smartphone I say kudos. To the rest the question becomes are smartphones tools or hindrances or something in between.

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4013
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2014, 08:10:45 AM »
The issue I have with IPs arguments boil down to a tendency to supplant his value system onto others.

You will note, I have never discouraged smartphone ownership where it can be justified as an actual useful tool. However, knowing the actual functionalities, the average needs of most people, and the industry statistics that I do... there is clearly a far higher risk to benefit ratio in ownership for most people when you factor human nature. As such, I make a point to club people over the head with the idea that they don't actually need it. We're in a community centered around people who have primarily already embraced frugality and deliberate choices in living. I am not going to sugarcoat reality for you guys, because I expect you to be rational, intelligent adults already on board with this sort of thinking. After all, communications budgets are one of the top five recurring monthly costs in the average household next to food, shelter and transportation. It's low hanging fruit to gut those costs if you take the same larger philosophy and apply it to your communications needs.

mudgestache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: Dumb phone users unite!
« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2014, 08:44:17 AM »
I understand that, I really do, but what I've noticed are that those people that are glued to their smartphones are the ones that used to be glued to something else. I think the smartphone is just the current medium. Personally, I disappear with a good book. I guess my main point is, it's not the phone. Dumb phone people are not superior to smart phone people and I kinda wonder what some of the dumb phone people are glued to instead of a phone. Not everyone is like that, I know. I'm a people person myself. Oh, and my parents taught me these things called manners that I'm not sure are considered part of normal society anymore. ;)