Unless you’ve been living deep in the African jungle for last 10 years, you probably own a smartphone and use it every single day. Let’s face it, there’s nothing more convenient than carrying around a computer in your back pocket, one that can connect you with the Internet, help you call your mom, take pictures, guide you to where you want to go and play games when you’re bored (and much more).
But with smartphone data plans averaging $150 a month when you include the surcharges, taxes and other fees, you’re looking at $1800 a year to use something that you probably already have at home; a computer with an Internet connection.
If you were to replace that smartphone with an unlimited talk and text plan/phone, which average about $55 a month, the savings would be over $1100 a year when compared to a smartphone. That’s a huge chunk of change that could go towards paying down debt, growing your retirement funds or funding an emergency account.
Yes, technology is improving and data rates are dropping, but still the cost is exorbitant and, when you think about it, unless you rely on your smart phone, with its data and Internet connection, for work, most people could simply rely on their home computer to do just about everything they do with a smart phone besides make phone calls.
Chuck your smartphone, increase your productivity
Even if saving money and paying down debt aren’t your only goal (and for most people they should be), there are a lot of ways that your productivity will increase, and the quality of your life, if you get rid of your smartphone.
We know, “Heaven forbid!”, right? But in all seriousness, many of the things that people do with their smartphones reduce their productivity greatly even though they think they might be getting more done. Take a look at the things that most people do with their smartphones during the day. You’ll probably see quite a few that you yourself are doing without even thinking about.
1) Checking social media like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and more constantly
2) Taking pictures of everything you do rather than actually enjoying what you’re doing and who you’re with
3) Constantly worrying that you’re about to go over your monthly data allowance
4) Paying more attention to your smartphone than to the person sitting across from the lunch or dinner table from you
5) Missing all the important points of a meeting because you were looking at your smart phone the whole time
6) Sending short messages rather than having an in-depth conversation with people you care about
7) Checking your email, and then checking it, and checking it, and checking it all day long
8) Disrupting your sleep, as studies have shown that it’s harder to fall asleep after you’ve been staring at illuminated screens before bedtime
As you can see, even if saving $1000 a year (or more) isn’t extremely high on your priority list, actually enjoying your life and engaging with the people around you can greatly increase your productivity and your contentment.
Ludicrous? For some, maybe, but for many the fact is that smartphones haven’t made their lives better, but instead a bit more lonely and disconnected.