I’m Gonna Be a Smart Phone Drop-Out

I invite you to join me on my adventure.

I have been reviewing my household budget, and one place that makes me grind my teeth is the monthly AT&T and Verizon Bills. (Yes, I am naming the guilty culprits.) Our stupid smartphones are costing the three of us – wait for it – $450 bucks a month. And I Hate Talking on the Phone.

I break down my bill. Believe it or not, I am being charged $60 bucks a month for the pleasure of AT&Ts company, $20 bucks a month for texting, and $30 bucks a month on my line – which began as a business line, hence why it’s not with the rest of the family – for “data.” This is required because I am a smartphone user. Which magically = $150 bucks a month. Yes, I know, that’s AT&T math.

Now that text charge? It turns out AT&T returned to the stone-age of billing where texting is some magical super power that isn’t included in the basic charges. I know not to remove the text charge, because that was an older fight with AT&T that quite frankly I lost. So I raised the white flag and so long as I’m with AT&T that one stays. But that is not the end of the story.

Think about this. If you’re like me you have the following devices:
1 Home Computer (2 screens, 1 huge)
1 Office Computer (2 screens)
1 Laptop – No, I still haven’t bought a tablet. Whatever, I don’t care.
1 Kindle with all the Apps I could ever want, music etc.
Coming soon: GPS with off-road trails for my Jeep.

Dialectic & Synthesis
So why on earth would I ever want to surf the web on my dinky phone?
A: I don’t. And I hate talking on the phone, so there we are.

So why do I have a smart phone again?
A: Because that seems to be standard.

Do my other devices cost me this much money?
A: No. They sit there quietly until I want to use them. And when I ignore them they just go to sleep.

The dawning realization settled in on me: I don’t actually want a smartphone anymore. I don’t want it, I don’t use it, I have four other devices that it’s much more pleasant to do anything on.

I thought about when I gave up the landline, and how freeing that was. Now I thought about putting the landline back in – and I thought of the old days, where mom would call the house, not expecting me to be there, and leave a message. I admit to nostalgia. And realized, my husband and family really do need to be able to get a hold of me. And the bad side of those days was sitting on the side of the road with a flat tire. Giving up the cell phone is not entirely an option. But maybe just the smartphone?

I mentioned this to my husband. He looked at me like I have four heads. He said to me: What if you can’t get your work emails? I explained to him I never linked my new phone to my office emails because I used to get asshole opposing counsel email bombs, like during dinner. In all fairness, I’m sure they didn’t want to be in the office at dinner time sending me nasty emails but I seem to inspire that behavior. So I stopped receiving them because there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that couldn’t wait until the next day and if it really was that important – let’s just say a client is getting arrested for parental kidnapping, even then there’s really nothing I can do until morning anyway because I’ll never post bail.

Besides, no one actually uses email anymore. On my personal accounts I have one lone hold-out who refuses to use Facebook. After that my emails are pretty limited to my poem-a-day subscription, some other random subscriptions, and the occasional travel itinerary. So access to poem-a-day and American Apparel sales notifications are costing me $150.00 a month? In the words of my father: This is stoo-pid. How long is left on my contract? Holy jesus. I haven’t even worked up the guts to ask how much to quit.

Here’s the plan: I’m going to become a smart phone drop out. I’ll keep you posted on how this works out for me.

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