Last fall I felt convicted to get rid of my smartphone for two reasons: 1) I felt I was too attached to it and, 2) To save money. Recently I switched back to a smartphone and wanted to share 5 things I learned from going back to a “dumb”phone for a year:
1) Having a nice camera on your phone is a great feature. Yes, I have a nice digital SLR, but it’s not on me all the time. While the quality of the camera on my iPhone is not as nice as that of a digital SLR, it’s still really good (8 MP). Since it’s on you all the time, you’ll have more photos of those you love, plain and simple. There were some missed photo/video ops with my son and other family/friends I know I missed because my other phone simply couldn’t do it.
2) The weather is gonna do what the weather is gonna do. I don’t need to check my phone every 5 minutes. Sure, I can check the weather or sports scores whenever I want, but the reality is that I’m not changing the outcome of those things by checking the status of them. It can wait, and I can stay more engaged with real people.
3) Having group texting is a very nice feature. There was a time this past year when a friend went into the hospital and some friends of ours were texting us to let us know what was going on – on my screen they were coming in as video messages that couldn’t be played. Being able to receive all texts has been a perk of a smartphone that makes me glad I switched back.
4) It’s healthy not to have the latest gadget all the time. I like cool gadgets. However, it was good for me to not have the newest thing for a while. I found that I started to care less about unimportant things and more about important things.
5) Social media is here to stay. While real relationships still take precedence over social media relationships, social media is here to stay and can enhance time spent with people (keeps conversations going after you leave a party, etc.). Most social media platforms are designed for smartphones, so going back has been nice to engage with social media a little more consistently.
With all this said, this was a pretty significant decision for me. I prayed and wrestled with it for quite some time. I really want to be held accountable for being engaged with real people and not being addicted to technology. On the flip side, there were so many positives for my job (especially group texting as we have large teams) and family (camera!) that I felt it was time to go back.
Maybe this post will be insightful for those of you who wrestle at times with how to balance the pros and cons of a smartphone vs. dumb phone. Maybe it won’t be insightful at all – either way is ok with me : )