Comfort Babatola is a Nigerian-American whose interests include travel, faith, cooking, sewing, decorating, wellness, and fashion.
Are Smartphones Really That Necessary?
Everyone I know has a smartphone. Whether it's iPhone, Androids, or Droids (what's the difference between those two anyway!), everywhere you turn, people have their heads bowed down to the smart phone god. It's difficult to get the attention of people while they are on their smart phones.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for technology. Without technological innovations and inventions we would not be where we are today as a people or nation. But, are smart phones really that necessary? To a degree, Yes!
There are many for whom the use of smartphones are necessary. Most busy professionals whose job involves making on-time decisions that could be the difference between life and death, loss and profit, may sometimes need their smart phones to effectively do their job. For example, the introduction of Androids phones has greatly improved how quickly, and how effectively doctors can gain access to the vast prescription drug database needed to treat a patient.
Smartphones are also needed tools for those professionals whose job requires them to have on-the-road 24/7 collaboration with project team members, as they can easily work on projects, transact business, access needed data to review, analyze, create, and send reports using the applications available in the smart phones. So, yes for some, smartphones are a necessary tool.
Life Before Smartphones
Before smartphones, there were cell phones. And boy, we did so much with those with plenty of time left over to spend quality time with families and friend!
Now, with smartphones, families don't get to enjoy good conversations and meals together anymore. And, try talking to people you ride elevators with and you might think you're on an episode of Zombie United. As they brush past you without even an 'hello' or 'excuse me'.
Grocery lines sometimes gets held up because someone on it is busy trying to conjure up the smart god of grocery savings on their smartphone while everyone on the same line is kept waiting. Even in church, many are too busy drooling over their smartphones to hear what the good Lord is trying to tell them.
The Cost of Owning A Smartphone
Everyone is so obsessed with owning the latest Smart-phone in the market. Most who buy Smart-phones will usually opt for one of the most popular ones like Blackberry, iPhone, or an Android. But having one of these Smart-phones can be very costly. One Smart-phone can cost as much as $500 or more (or less, with a 2-year contract with the carrier). And there are other costs attached to owning one, such as, activation fee, data plan fee, texting fee etc.
These cost can easily add-up to a nightmare for some, especially for those with teens. For most people, the Plans offered by their carrier are so complicated and confusing, that they end up signing up for a plan they can't afford. Let's take a look at what it will cost to own a Smart-phone with Verizon.
Monthly Cost for a Shared Data Plan Plus Connection Fee for a Smartphone as Offered by VERIZON
Connection Fee (Line Access) Per Smartphone
When Smartphones Are Not Necessary
Many who carry smartphones today have no business having one. Kids in elementary, middle and high school all parading smartphones in school. More and more parents are burdening the school administrators with complaints of stolen smart phones that wasn't even supposed to be with their kids in the first place.
Most students today, believe that smartphones are a must-have, and they often manage to convince their parents, who can't say "NO", to getting it for them. These parents are then burdened with the exorbitant smart phone bills at the end of the month. So, when is a smartphone not necessary?
- When it is used as a way of copping out of spending quality time with our kids. It's a shame that we as a nation have come to a place where 'giving' (gifts/things) to our kids has taken the place of 'being' with our kids.
- Smartphones are not necessary when given to your 80 year old parents or grand-parents, if the intent is so you don't have to visit the grands as often as you should.
- Smartphones are not necessary when you can easily and comfortably do on your personal computers the same things you do on your smart phones.
- Smartphones are not necessary when paying for it takes food off your table, and clothes off your back.
- Smartphones are not necessary when your heart skips a beat when it's time to pay the bills.
- Smartphones are not necessary when all you need is just a phone, and not a million Apps.
- Smartphones are not necessary if after owning one for six months, you still can't figure out how to retrieve your messages.
Why I'm Choosing Dumb Phones Over Smart phones
My dump phone has been through thick and thin with me. It's been dropped, scratched, stepped-on and drowned. Recently, I was in a terrible auto accident where my truck rolled over. I survived, thank God! So did my dumb phone. Found on the side of the road, soaked with a broken battery compactment cover. But you know what, it worked, and still works. It did not bail on me. Can you say that about your "smartphone"? Thought so!
Don't even know where to begin. They are just too fragile. I wouldn't know what to do with them. Press too hard, and you may break something. And you better not drop yours or it'll cost you an arm and a leg. The funny thing is, you have to buy a protector jacket for those smartphones like they might catch a cold or something.
Cost of Accessories
I've only used the ones that came with it. Wall and car charger. That's all I need.
Most smartphones need protective cover, stylus, charger, data cables, bluetooth headsets. All these can be very expensive.
Smartphones? Not Right Now!
Well, there you have it. I said it! Smartphones are not that smart for me, if they are having such a hard time winning me over. Does that mean I don't plan on owning one? For now, at least, I'm sticking with my dumb phone. Maybe sometime in the near future I can think of getting a smart phone. Like when I'm definitely sure that I can't do without those million applications that are beckoning, or when I really have a need to record my own voice on my phone and play it back to myself.
Yeah, yeah, yeah! I know there's so much more I can do with a smartphone if I have one. Like tweet on Tweeter, pin something of interest on Pinterest, play tag on Facebook, watch CNN etc. Most of that I already do on my computer. Plus, who needs another distraction. Hubpages gives me enough of that, and I'm still praying for deliverance. So, for now, smartphones can wait. I need to improve on my people skills. Maybe I'll start at the grocery store.
Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on May 26, 2019:
This is an excellent article and I agree that smartphones shouldn't be for everyone. In Thailand, many young people have smartphones because the knockoffs you can buy here are cheaper than what you pay for a smartphone in the States. The young use them for social media applications like LINE and WhatsUp.
Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on January 30, 2017:
@Ludovicus - Simplifying is definetely the way to go. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Ludovicus on January 16, 2017:
I agree with You, and now we are in 2017... My iPhones, iPod Touch and iPads are killing me, destroying all my time. So I'll use a simple Nokia feature phone, trying to simplify and reduce the chaos
Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on March 13, 2014:
@ndc - Thank you so much for your input. Greatly appreciated.
ndc on March 13, 2014:
Smartphones are just stupid. If you need that to help you through your day then you're just an idiot. Oooo I can use the internet on my phone. BFD. You can do that on a computer too. Unless you plan on being stranding in the middle of nowhere often then this is a useless product
gazz007 on October 07, 2013:
You're most kind, CB, but you nailed it perfectly yourself with your excellent piece. I just thought the comments section needed an 'Angry Dad' rant! :P
Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on September 22, 2013:
@gazz007 - I couldn't have said it better. You got it down pal. I should have had you write this hub. That was so funny. Thanks for you insightful comment.
gazz007 on September 21, 2013:
Smartphones: The device many people can't live without it seems. Wherever they go they take it with them. Problem is, they also take their friends, family, anyone else who knows of them only in passing or through someone else, in fact even the world and his dog tags along.
Their Twitter pages tell everyone what they're up to 24/7, their Facebook page tells everyone what they're up to 24/7. What the hell do they all talk about when they get together down the pub?
"Hey guys, guess what happened to me in work today......"
"we know, we read it on your facebook......"
"Ah, ermmmmmmmm............. what did you guys get up to? ...... Actually, I already know that too from reading YOUR Facebook pages........."
After a short but awkward pause, almost in unison, they go back to their phones and the table falls silent again. Do they even know what colour wallpaper they have in their local pubs?
Long live the smart phone, RIP the art of conversation!
Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on May 19, 2013:
@Onlinestrategies - You are quite right. One can do more with a tablet or laptop. More screen space etc.
Thanks for your comment. Well appreciated.
Onlinestrategies on May 19, 2013:
I own an ordinary QWERTY phones as I used to send lot of messages. For me, a smartphone is out of questions at least for now. I would prefer carrying a tablet or even a laptop as they provide more freedom to work than a smartphone that makes it difficult to do many of those tasks.
Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on May 04, 2013:
@Vinaya Ghimire - My husband, due to the nature of his profession, have one too, but he's not fond if it either. He would rather do most of his work on a Palm Pilot, which is being fazed out. So Smartphone it is, 'cause necessity demands it.
My dumb-phone hardly even get used except for texting and taking calls. So, unless I want to fall for the 'status' thing, I still think dumb-phones are okay.
Thanks Vinaya for stopping by, reading and commenting. Very well appreciated. :)
Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on May 03, 2013:
I have a smartphone, but I'm not fond of this gadget.
I agree with your points.
Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on April 20, 2013:
@Daveyj - You're right. But I have to admit that the emergence of the cell phones has made it easier to get the word out there in case of emergencies, reporting crimes while it's being committed. Cell phones have changed the way we communicate. I just don't buy into the need for a 'smartphone' as they're called. A regular cell phone with a camera will do.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Appreciate it. :)
Daveyj on April 20, 2013:
I bet ten years ago there were people saying " back in my day we didn't need no fancy cell phones! All we had was our regular home phones and we were better for it!"
Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on March 06, 2013:
Thanks Victoria. I can't understand why people are so infatuated with the idea of a smartphone. It's okay to have one if its needed for work, but most who have it don't need it.
Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on March 06, 2013:
I love this! and I totally agree! I have a really dumb phone from Straight Talk. I don't understand why people love their phones so much. And the monthly bill is so expensive for smartphones. I'm not sure why I would need or want one, really. Sometimes I think that after I pay off my mortgage, maybe I'll spurge on one. Or maybe not. Great hub! Voted up and all the way across!
Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on March 05, 2013:
Hey bill, we're smarter than most who have one, they just don't know it yet. My old 'dumb' phone still works well too, so I'm sticking to till I can't make out the numbers on the key pads. lol
Thanks for stopping by and giving me a reason to laugh :)
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 05, 2013:
I don't have a Smart phone but I think it's because I'm not smart enough. LOL Seriously, I was one of the last to even get a cell phone, and my old one works quite nicely for me.