More on Cell Phones

I’ve posted about cell phones a few times now.  And I’ve established that the technology has passed me by.  I’ve gotten some good advice each time about how to find the best rates, and which phones I should buy.  I’ve searched and searched for the best rates & phones.

I still haven’t made any decisions, but I’m starting to realize that the reason it’s so hard for me to make a decision is because I simply don’t think I value mobile data accessibility enough to pay the going rate.  Even with the 19%  discount from Verizon my employer provides, I still can’t find any plans at a price point that make me feel really good about it.

I’m probably just expecting something unreasonable (like my wife, who pays Sprint only $30/month and gets unlimited everything – although her phone sucks too much to really take advantage of it…).

I’ve never had a cell phone with data access, so I’m sure I don’t know what I’m missing.  I guess I’m just a little skeptical right now that I would really benefit from a data plan, which is why I’m hesitant to pay for it.  I feel like I should value data access – everybody that’s anybody has a data plan these days, right?

anyway, I still hate the cell phone industry.

7 comments to More on Cell Phones

  • I do think this is one of those things where you might not feel 100% positively about it, but you'll need to just jump in anyway. I don't have a data plan; I got Sprint's unlimited messaging plan, which includes all the minutes I need and lets me do texts and picture mail as much as I want. So far I haven't gone the next step and purchased an everything plan, though my phone could support it. I bet that if you do go through with this, though, you'll never want to go back. And communication is something you probably just have to pay for if it's something you find valuable. Maybe the price point you had in your head is just not matched with the world outside it (like how I thought I could get a good mattress for $300). Just something to think about!

  • @Stephanie – I'm sure you're right. Once I get data, I'm never going back. I'm sure it's a lot like back in 2003 when I was one of those "cell-phone-holdouts" that refused to get a cell phone. I finally took the plunge when I realized it wasn't a question of "if" I was going to get a cell phone, but "when." Obviously, someday everyone will have a data plan. But am I ready for it, yet? I see friends with iphones, and I think they're cool, but then I realize how much they pay for it each month and I think, "Is it that cool?"

    Part of my problem is that I am very rarely not within easy reach of a plain old computer. I sit in a cube all day at work, and my computer at home is always on & ready to go. That's like 90% of my life….

  • I don't have data access on my phone. I'm too cheap to pay for it! I figure I can use my laptop or text Google if I need to get some pressing information and I'm out and about. I, too, am within easy access of a computer a majority of the day.

    I don't really know what I'm missing either, but I think I'd become obsessed with my phone if I actually had data access, checking my email all of the time, buying new apps. It would end up costing me more time and money in the long run. Hence the reason I don't upgrade my phone and plan.

  • I don't do data, either. And even if it is inevitable for larger society, I don't think that means it's inevitable for you or me. There are always curmudgeony holdouts, and I'm happy to be one of those. I already feel too plugged in with everything that's available on my computer. It makes it too easy to distract myself with needless information and works against my desire to live intentionally. I don't want all that in my pocket, too.

  • Andrew Guzman

    I have an uncontrollable urge to weigh in every time you post about this.

    If you decide to buy something, go big or stick with the phone you have now. Don't settle for one of those 2nd tier smartphone/iphone knock-offs just because you can get them for cheaper. You'll just be frustrated with them, but you'll be paying the same monthly price you would be paying if you had just gotten a real smartphone. Droid, iPhone, Pre, NexusOne – stick with those.

    And just to get someone angry with me – stay away from BlackBerry.

    As for a use case of why someone like you might want one, let's say you're somewhere unfamiliar but want to go on a bike ride. You have your lovely smartphone on you, with Google Maps, which you can use to look up safe bike routes in your area.

    While you're on your bike ride, something catastrophic happens – the world appears to be ending. You can then use the phone to take photos of this event and post them directly to this blog. Dolphins begin to flee the planet and everything is falling apart before your very eyes.

    Suddenly, you find yourself on a Vogon ship, listening to awful poetry, and… blah blah blah the meaning of life is 42 you get the picture.

  • @Kara Garbe – HEY KARA. So turns out you've been blogging for like 2 months now and I didn't know about it 'til now. I also worry about whether data will just totally distract me. …but I also sometimes appreciate the distraction that I get now from cell phone tetris….

  • @Andrew Guzman – yea. I think you're right. I was considering some 2nd tier knock-offs. You're right that it would be a mistake. I may stick with the old RAZR for a while longer…