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In Defense of the Low-Tech Individual
Old 03-16-2016, 07:38 AM   #1
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In Defense of the Low-Tech Individual

I don't have a cellphone. You probably don't need one, either.

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But these preferences have nothing to do with living in the moment or being deep. As I see it, history warns against scapegoating modernity for timeless problems. Starting with Socrates a guy who thought the written word was bad for your brain Luddites have been needlessly conservative about what it means to think deeply and live well. Not having a phone won't make you better, smarter, or longer-lived. It's like waking up early: Founding Fathers and faulty science aside, there's no good reason to be holier-than-thou about it.
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:17 AM   #2
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I lived for decades without one. I still love my smartphone now though for the access to information, navigation, entertainment, and more.
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:35 AM   #3
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I lived for decades without one. I still love my smartphone now though for the access to information, navigation, entertainment, and more.
+1. I was slightly late to the game, but as expected, would hate having to go back.

Funny story. My fiftyish brother-in-law is a Qualcomm chip designer and was heavily involved in their "latest and greatest" that is being snapped up by high end phone manufacturers. He has never owned/carried a smartphone; given the success of this project, he's planning to get one, which is kind of like having a Ferrari as your first car.
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:00 AM   #4
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To me, modern phones are the Star Trek Tricorder. Sure, you could get by without it, but aside from cost, why try?

I'm pretty sure they pay for themselves anyway.
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:48 AM   #5
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Shortly after stopping work about 7 years ago, I ditched my mobile phone (a relatively dumb phone). Went without a cellphone for the next 6 years and barely missed having one. About 6 months ago, I got back on board, with my first smartphone, a 1st gen Moto G from Republic Wireless, for a whopping $10/month. I really like having it, but would have little problem managing without if I needed to. I don't know about others, but I tend to adapt to whatever my current circumstances are quite effectively.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:24 PM   #6
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You can do without a cellphone...

and internet service, and cable TV, and home heating, and a car, and electricity for that matter.

But who wants to live that way when you can have these things. These are the things that truly make life better.

For What it's worth, I have a TracFone which costs ~$6.67/month.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:28 PM   #7
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If having a smart phone is the default among the people you interact with, you will lose out over time if you don't have one. I found this out. My other big use, beyond social connection is local transit. Instead of standing in the wind for an unknown period, I show up at the stop just in time, and the buses/trains are tracked to show updated itineraries.

A smart phone is much cheaper than a car.

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Old 03-16-2016, 12:28 PM   #8
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I second the 1st gen Moto G from RW @ $10/month. I'm always asking it questions which is lightening faster than googling. I feel the amazing efficiency of texting was invented for me as there are very few people I like talking on the phone with anymore, and I find email is just an inefficient in comparison.

I couldn't be happier with the phone or with RW.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:32 PM   #9
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I'm 36. I don't know anyone my age who is less "tech" than me. I don't own a TV. I've never owned an Apple product. Never used or owned an mp3/I-pod, Ipad. Never used or owned an X-Box/Playstation. All I have is a basic laptop and a Tracphone. It is a smartphone since I need GPS for work but it only cost $100 for the phone and about $100/yr for service, minutes, and data. Sure, i'd own more tech stuff if I had the money but i'm not going to work more/longer to have all that stuff.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:35 PM   #10
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To me, modern phones are the Star Trek Tricorder. Sure, you could get by without it, but aside from cost, why try?

I'm pretty sure they pay for themselves anyway.
+1
I'm picking up a nicer smart phone than the one I've had for 2-3 yrs for $29 and plan to unlock it, then use it on my $100/yr carrier.

I really like the usefulness of them, but don't walk around texting , can ignore it's ringing, and would not want to spend $80+ per month on services.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:46 PM   #11
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You can do without a cellphone...

and internet service, and cable TV, and home heating, and a car, and electricity for that matter.

But who wants to live that way when you can have these things. These are the things that truly make life better.

For What it's worth, I have a TracFone which costs ~$6.67/month.
I definitely agree that there are some conveniences which make life better/more convenient, but we probably each have a slightly different personal list of exactly what those things are. For my own part, I have little use for cable TV and living in a fairly densely-populated area, my bicycle and some public transport get me around with greater convenience and joy than a car would (no need to worry about finding parking).

Internet though, is a different matter. For the high degree of utility, as well as informative and entertainment value, the relatively low price is a bargain, in my opinion. We all differ in our wants and needs, but I think all of us have a list of basics that we wouldn't want to go without. That first cuppa joe in the morning sure helps too
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:46 PM   #12
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Ok, maybe I can get a suggestion here. Dad has struggled with his first smartphone for months now. It's a Samsung Galaxy Avant, set on easy mode. He still is not able to text or retrieve voicemail. He wants a fancier phone, thinking that will solve it. He hasn't been able to learn to do voice commands. He wants to get on the Internet on the phone.

Are there any fancy-looking smartphones that are easy for someone who is low-tech? Like I said, it's been months since he's tried working this fairly easy phone.


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Old 03-16-2016, 01:50 PM   #13
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............For What it's worth, I have a TracFone which costs ~$6.67/month.
Such luxury and excess. I pay $2.50 a month for my PagePlus service.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:59 PM   #14
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Ok, maybe I can get a suggestion here. Dad has struggled with his first smartphone for months now. It's a Samsung Galaxy Avant, set on easy mode. He still is not able to text or retrieve voicemail. He wants a fancier phone, thinking that will solve it. He hasn't been able to learn to do voice commands. He wants to get on the Internet on the phone.

Are there any fancy-looking smartphones that are easy for someone who is low-tech? Like I said, it's been months since he's tried working this fairly easy phone.
The phone is not the problem here. The issue is that your Dad either does not want to learn how to use it, or is afraid to try, perhaps based on fear of change or cognitive decline. He is not alone.
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:32 PM   #15
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True. I was hoping I have been wrong about that, but it's good to get another opinion. Thank you.


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Old 03-16-2016, 03:53 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
You can do without a cellphone...

and internet service, and cable TV, and home heating, and a car, and electricity for that matter.

But who wants to live that way when you can have these things. These are the things that truly make life better.

For What it's worth, I have a TracFone which costs ~$6.67/month.
Would like to know what plan you have. We have a TracFone that has no texting, etc., and only use it for car emergencies. Buy an annual $99 card ($8.25/per month), but have never seen anything offered to get to $6.67/month.
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:05 PM   #17
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True. I was hoping I have been wrong about that, but it's good to get another opinion. Thank you.
I second Meadbh's opinion.
My mom was like that. Afraid to touch anything for fear of breaking something.

What worked with her (at least to some extent) was sitting with her and prompting her to use a phone (or a computer, same thing).

"Try something"
"What should I press?"
It doesn't matter, just try anything you think might work. You can't hurt it, and if you do I'll be here to fix it."

Repeat until the lesson begins to sink in.

HTH.
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:52 PM   #18
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Would like to know what plan you have. We have a TracFone that has no texting, etc., and only use it for car emergencies. Buy an annual $99 card ($8.25/per month), but have never seen anything offered to get to $6.67/month.
The $20 refill card gives you 3 months of service. That works out to $6.67/month (or so). The $20 card gives 60 minutes of air-time that roll-over when you refill. When I bought the phone they had a triple-your-minutes promotion. So with a $20 card I get 180 minutes which is way more than I use. I think I have over 2000 minutes on the phone right now.

My phone does voice/text/ and very limited "Tracfone internet". Texts cost one third of a minute for either incoming or outgoing. However if you share attached photos to your text they charge a number of minutes each text depending on photo file size. Internet without Wi-Fi is same as voice, ie. per minute connected costs a minute of use. I usually only use the "Tracfone internet" when I have a Wi-Fi connection. You can get news and business news/stock prices and sports scores/news. All other mobile internet applications are so challenging I have given up.

My phone is similar to this one (which is shown by the link below for $9.99 reconditioned):
Tracfone Site Session Expired. You could get one of their $10 phones for texting if you want. I believe that all of your minutes will transfer to the new phone.

I have used my TracFone sucessfully in a number of states and once in ports in Mexico on a Mexican cruise. The phone worked in two of the three Mexican ports but not the other one.

People that have the latest smart-phone love hearing about your $7/month cell-phone bill (not!) Be sure to share that with everyone you meet
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:05 PM   #19
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............For What it's worth, I have a TracFone which costs ~$6.67/month.
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Originally Posted by Travelover
Such luxury and excess. I pay $2.50 a month for my PagePlus service.
Yeah, maybe I should switch when I run out of paid days. I used to have STI-Mobile which only cost me about 90 cents a month plus 8 cents a minute. My monthly charges were usually just over a dollar. They piggy-backed on the analog Sprint network so service was usually good.

But the analog network went away to give way to digital networks so they stopped letting me re-charge so eventually the phone and the service were useless. TracFone was an easy switch. Porting my STI_Mobile cell-phone number to TracFone was easy to do.
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:08 PM   #20
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I second Meadbh's opinion.
My mom was like that. Afraid to touch anything for fear of breaking something.

What worked with her (at least to some extent) was sitting with her and prompting her to use a phone (or a computer, same thing).

"Try something"
"What should I press?"
It doesn't matter, just try anything you think might work. You can't hurt it, and if you do I'll be here to fix it."

Repeat until the lesson begins to sink in.

HTH.
Very kind and clever approach. She is lucky to have you.

Ha
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