Today, I decided to give up my smartphone. Not surprisingly, it was also the day I checked what my latest phone bill would total.
I’d been getting lots of messages and alerts from the phone company about my eligibility for a FREE upgrade, and it occurred to me that maybe I could pursue a free downgrade instead. Turns out, they have no problem with my converting to a “basic” phone without the $30/month data package. You know, so long as I sign on for another two years.
In fact, the “basic” phones available now can do most of what I was using my Blackberry for–checking a little e-mail, using the navigator, maybe a tiny bit of Facebooking–but without the data package expense. Now that I have home internet again, my phone doesn’t have to be my out-of-office web interface.
Yes, I realize that I won’t have the status upgrade that the newest techno-gadget would bring, but the status thing only works if you live someplace where people think having the newest, most expensive phone is cool. I live in a place where the balance of opinion would more likely tip toward “spendthrift.”
But the status thing isn’t really an issue, nor the balance of opinion. It’s more the balance due on my phone bill every month. Smartphones are nifty, but really worthwhile only to a certain subset of the population that will fully utilize their capabilities.
When it comes down to it, I’ll bet a smartphone could be a totally awesome tool for organizing my life–if I was willing to take the time out from my life to figure out how to make the most of one–how to really develop a relationship with my phone.
I’d rather develop a relationship with a person.