In Why I Don’t Own a Smartphone I stated that my decision to not get one was a matter of ethics. Because I believe my faith and ethics should extend to every area of my life, and not only those traditionally viewed as spiritual. So have I reversed my stance? No, and with God’s help I hope to never do so.
But life is an ongoing process requiring continual change and evaluation. And the time had come to re-evaluate. I had not previously made the purchase because I did not need it. I’m home most of the time with a good internet connection, and did not need to be connected when out.
But as time progressed, the need for a smartphone did come about.
My old phone died suddenly; not surprising as it must have been around 14 years old! So I bought another old-fashioned (non-smart) phone. Only to learn that it didn’t work with the cell phone provider I’d been using. It just wouldn’t pick up here in our town, making it practically useless to me.
But at least I was able to convert that into a new (and needed) home phone for us. (Which I will not go into here, as it’s long and complicated.)
Anyway, I had to change providers, and ended up getting a much better deal. Calls to the USA are included in my large amount of minutes, which is a big benefit with all my family over there! And all for only €7 monthly!
Why I got a smart phone
The only problem was that the new phone didn’t like the SIM card, so Hubby and I traded phones and it worked in his smartphone. But then his wouldn’t work in the old-style phone and he needs a phone for work.
To make a long story short, I realized the time had come to get a smartphone.
I thought I would feel bad about it, because I really didn’t want one and had felt quite strongly about it. But surprisingly I didn’t, because there’s no sense in sticking with something that isn’t working!
And because I was able to make the purchase while keeping to my guidelines regarding technology.
Technology and internet should:
1. Empower us – not control us.
Internet and social media, I believe, should not become the tyranny of the urgent for us, but remain useful viable tools, to be used when and as we choose. It’s up to us to moderate their use, possibly by shutting push notifications off. Or even – gasp – just leaving our phone home or off sometimes!
2. Meet real needs – not market-generated wants.
Companies are experts at getting us to buy unnecessary items and social media services at convincing us to be constantly connected. But if we overspend or neglect real-life relationships, we could be hindered in fully meeting the emotional or material needs of those whom God has placed in our care.
3. Constitute a wise and necessary use of money.
Why buy things we don’t really need, or replace things that function perfectly well? Especially when that money could be used for better purposes.
4. Help us fulfill our social responsibilities.
Ethical living is about keeping right priorities and deciding what’s really important.
Limiting technology purchases and connecting less, could enable us to do more for others. So while we want to value our online relationships, let’s remember to also connect in practical, tangible ways to the poor, needy, hurting, and lonely people all around us.
Possibly buying a bag of groceries, lending an ear, or just spending time together. Which can bring a joy that the latest technology (or any item) can never even come close to matching!