Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 10.16.13 – Why I Hate My Smartphone

Ok, maybe hate is a strong word. But, there are a few serious issues. As usual, once I start thinking about something, it takes a while till I’m ready to act. This is the thinking phase. Here are a few reasons my iPhone is starting to wear on me.

1. As a culture we spend a lot of money on technology.

My cell phone bill is $70 per month. We don’t pay for cable, and we have home internet for around $25 per month.  That’s $95 total that we pay that we simply would not have paid 20 years ago. I’m not suggesting we should go back, but if you add the average cable bill into the mix and multiple phones and smart phones, the total bill for this stuff could easily push or exceed $200 for the average family.

I’m on the low end and I hate spending $70. It just doesn’t seem like it’s worth it anymore.  I text, I make phone calls, and I waste a lot of time staring at my twitter feed and getting some sports info.

2. I want to be more engaged.

I want to have the discipline to NOT check the buzz (text notification) when I’m with people. I don’t want to wonder who texted when I’m trying to help my kids through a devotion or a homework assignment. Yes, those are my issues and I realize that. But, I think most smart phone (or even cell phone) users are more distracted and more difficult to communicate with than before the technology was so common.

3. It’s really more cool than necessary.

My contract is up in February, and I really am considering various options. Key to my thinking is what is necessary. I don’t want to pay $70 anymore for something just because I think it’s cool.  Let’s assume I pay $70 over the next 10 years when I could be paying $30 or $40.  I’ll split the difference there and say $35 for a cheaper phone/plan. A plan of $70/mo. for 10 years comes out to $8400.  Obviously, $35/mo. is half that, or $4200.

Over those years, that $4200 difference could mean something like  a significant chunk of owning and maintaining a third vehicle for our children to use, should we decide to do that. A $4200 difference is 210 hours of work over ten years for someone making $20/hr. It’s more hours the less you make.

I can operate a camera and hook it up to a computer. I don’t have to post photos to Facebook immediately. I need to make calls and do a balanced job of managing text messages (as in, NOT feeling like I have to respond immediately). Software can manage tweets and posts so I don’t have to do it on the go. I own a computer and a tablet that can get me web access to write blog entries.

The bottom line: I wouldn’t say the phone controls me, but it’s too close for comfort. Idols give you false feelings of comfort, status, love, functionality, identity, etc. God satisfies.  I’d rather make a move to a less functional phone than jeopardize my ability to give glory to God!

Think. I’m thinking out loud here.  Is this causing you to think? If it’s not a smartphone, what things to you idolize?

Act. Well, duh. Do something about it if you have something that demands your attention more than the most important things.

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