Yes, I really do still have a flip phone. And yes I’m eligible for a smartphone upgrade – I have been for years. And truthfully, eventually I will. But for now I’m not falling prey to the culture of constant upgrades: of bigger or smaller, newer or better, colorful or cool.  I’m decidedly choosing to walk against the tide on this one for now, and here’s why.

1.) It still works.

Despite how many times I’ve dropped it – in the snow, on the pavement, on the wood floors – it still works. This includes my 15 month old playing with it often (“Hiyaa!”) and (almost) dropping it in the dog’s water bowl. And when it does, no big loss. No phone insurance needed.

2.) I don’t take it to bed.

Unless a family member is sick, or a close friend is in labor, it generally stays on a shelf in the living room for the night. (Oh, that’s also because the old battery needs to charge pretty much nightly.) But that’s how I want to keep it.

3.) I can change the battery.

Ok, so I clearly need to do this (see #2). But at least I can. Try doing that with your iphone. When I do upgrade, I’ll be checking out IFixIt.org‘s repairability scorecard to guide my purchase.

4.) It’s cheap.

Any deal I come across still has an extra data plan needed for a smart phone. Except for Republic Wireless, so I may go that route when I do eventually get one. But at least there’s no surprises on my monthly bill as it is now.

5.) Life has enough distractions.

Isn’t it hard enough having an internet access to stay focused on the task at hand? I can’t imagine being notified 24/7 every time I get an email, a like, a comment, a retweet, or some other kind of push notification. As it is now I need to take regular unplug breaks, and I’m not even plugged in all the time.

6.) That free phone isn’t really free. It cost the earth every day.

It’s easy to be blind to this one, but it’s the main reason I don’t want to get caught on the upgrade train. Phones take resources – finite, non-renewable resources – to get made. And yeah, you can recycle your phone, but recycling is not the answer. Check out my new favorite website, iFixIt.org, to get up to speed on the impact of manufacturing electronics, recycling them, and then go to iFixIt.com to get psyched to repair stuff!

 

 

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