7 Reasons NOT To Buy An IPhone, Android, Blackberry, or Other Smartphone
We like to think that peer pressure is something you grow out of, like acne or Boone’s Farm wine coolers. But the astonishing proliferation of smartphones doesn’t bear that out.
(Did you know there’s a Dave Ramsey app for the iPhone? You put in your financial information and it gives you advice. I wonder what the app says if you ask it whether or not you should have bought an iPhone!)
If you’re trying to resist giving in to your desire for a smartphone, here are some things to consider:
1. It doesn’t do anything you can’t do elsewhere.
Unlike a lot of other major purchases (like a car or a computer), a smartphone doesn’t have any functionality that you don’t already have. Assuming you already have a cell phone and computer access, there’s nothing new you can do with a smartphone that you can’t do with those two things.
(Aside from silly useless apps like the level, of course. Apps that people buy and then never use again. Shh, don’t tell!)
2. You’ll have to pay a lot for the privilege of using it.
If you’re like most people, you are already paying for internet access, and paying for cell phone usage. With a smartphone, you will also have to pay a monthly fee on top of your regular bill, just to use it.
Currently an iPhone data plan costs $15/month with AT&T Wireless. That’s $180 a year! Blackberry and other messaging plans are $20/month, or $240 a year!
If I offered to pay you $180 a year to keep using the phone you have already, you’d be stoked, right? That’s basically what you’re doing if you decide not to buy a smartphone.
3. Just buy a laptop
Let’s say you buy an Android phone for $300, then use it for two years (the average contract length) for an additional $15/month on top of your current cell phone bill. At the end of two years you will have paid $660. You can get a pretty nice laptop for $660! And a laptop will do everything a smartphone does, plus more!
4. But what about Pay As You Go plans!
A lot of people protest that they get their smartphones on pay as you go plans, and if they keep their smartphone use to a minimum, that makes them pretty affordable. So why get a smartphone at all, if you’re not using it?
The answer is clear: to impress people, or at least to seem like you’re normal - one of the crowd. Why not take a stand, stand out, and keep using a regular cell phone?
5. IPhones don’t come out of nowhere
Our appetite for “stuff,” and for electronics in particular, is destroying the world. Electronics are made with valuable minerals which are mined under terrible conditions. You may have heard of “blood diamonds.” Well, electronics are made with “blood minerals.”
Then add the ecological toll of mining, shipping, and processing those minerals. And the process of manufacturing electronics, which is one of the most toxic manufacturing markets in the world today. AND the end-of-life handling of your old cell phone, which has a lot of toxic chemicals in it.
This is all covered in fascinating detail in Annie Leonard’s mini-documentary “The Story of Stuff.” You can watch it for free on her website here.
6. Next year everyone’s going to want something else
Within 12 months, the thing you’re lusting over right now will be yesterday’s news. You’ll hardly be able to give it away. All the cool kids will have moved on to something else, and suddenly you’ll look like a grandpa, pulling your smartphone out of your pocket.
Get off the treadmill now, while you still can! If the Joneses want to waste their money on redundant and expensive gadgets, then let them. Of course they want you to keep up with them and buy a smartphone of your very own – it validates their decision to do so.
7. Get the free phone, instead
Almost every carrier offers a free cell phone if you renew your contract. Take a look at your upgrade options, because they can be pretty spiffy! If your current cell phone is getting clunky or dying, check out the free ones you can get. You might be surprised!
And if you ask me, “free” beats “$200/year” any day!
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