For a long time I prided myself on owning, what I affectionately referred to as, “a dumb phone.” For awhile, this was an honest position. I didn’t see any need to put the world in my pocket (or let the world follow me in my pocket.) But overtime, it became a fancy way of saying, “I can’t afford a smartphone,” (distrust of the NSA is still a solid excuse.)
Finally, push came to shove. Over the course of several months four of our five phones at AT&T died. We bought them ‘refurbished’ a year or two ago, and mine, especially never quite worked–the battery wouldn’t stay charged more than a few hours. My sister and her boyfriend had long replaced their originals, and then those replacements died terrible, terrible natural deaths (as natural as a phone can ever die.)
I dragged my feet hoping someone else in my family would do the research for me. Eventually, a classmate did. Thank you, James from Communication in Organizations. He suggested we try out T-Mobile. AT&T had some attractive deals, but it’d cost us another $40 a month. Since we’ve already established I don’t have enough money for a smartphone, that wasn’t an option. T-Mobile, on the other hand, has some attractive deals going on.
The most attractive one being cheap family data plans. For five lines you can pay as little as $110. You read that right. 500mb data plans for each line, paying a total of $110 a month. That’s about $90 less than AT&T’s offering. Even with two years worth of monthly payments, we’re paying $12 less a month than our deprecated AT&T plan, and nearly $70 cheaper than an equivalent AT&T plan.
Having held out for many years, I have to say, I’ve waited too long. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than content looking up phone numbers at home, printing off maps, and searching for businesses on my desktop (or, if we’re going ‘way’ back, a phone book.) But the sheer convenience and helpfulness of it is astounding. I would have loved a smartphone in D.C. for the March for Life rally. Boy would I have loved to have a smartphone in D.C..
The convenience is astounding. As much as I’m afraid of losing the skills I’ve learned in finding information the ‘hard way’, I’m now able to save a ton of time by just whipping out my phone and asking it a question. Thank you, Google Now.
Keeping in touch with friends and family has never been easier. That, of course, has some of its own problems, but we’ll get into that later.
For now, though, I’m in an amazing wonderland of information, accessibility, and convenience all because T-Mobile had the business smarts to realize that not everyone can afford spending half their paycheck on data. I’ll check back soon.