Minimalist Monday: Trying To Avoid The Smart Phone Trap

meditation-44421290538027JHYMinimalist Mondays are dedicated to finding love, adventure, and joy in everyday living through the pursuit of a more simplistic lifestyle. By allowing only what is useful and meaningful into our lives and letting go of that which ties us down, we are better able to live a life of purpose, both for ourselves and for others.

Happy Monday, Everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I had a great time snow shoeing with my family. As much as I love to hike, I have never used snow shoes before. It was a total blast. A great mini adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park.

My Cell Phone Dilemma:

  I am always a little bit behind on technology.   Between laptops, smart phones, tablets, and home entertainment systems it is easy to spend thousands of dollars on electronic devises. Not just once as an investment, but over and over again in an endless need to upgrade as current technology becomes obsolete. I, for one, need to pick and choose which electronics are the most beneficial for me and as well as fitting into my budget. Last year my old phone ( which was maybe two years old at the time) died.  Evidently, most people accept that a phone costing hundreds of dollars is not meant to last more than a few years.The decision needed to be made as to what kind of phone would become my replacement. Up to this point, I had only used my phone for phone calls and texting and was not looking for a smart phone. However, T-mobile was offering no contract plans with unlimited phone, text, and 4G web for 50 dollars a month. Much better than any other non-smart phone plan on the market at the time. So, I bought a T-Mobile phone for 200 dollars and for about 7 months I was happy. I knew my phone was not as fast or fancy as other smart phones but all I really wanted was access to Google and my bank account. Ok, and Facebook too, I’ll admit it. Besides, it was cheaper than my old non-smart phone plan.

Recently, my phone started acting funky. I kept getting messages that my memory was low and I could not update my applications that I actually did use. Since I never download new applications I  did not understand why I was having storage issues now and not several months ago.  After talking to Best Buy and T-Mobile I received an answer. Ten short months ago my  phone had plenty of memory for m;y  applications. However,  the automatic updates for the applications that came with my phone require more memory than my phone can hold.  I spent over an hour trying to uninstall or disable dozens applications in order to avoid spending money on a new phone. I believe I have momentarily succeeded until the next round of updates kick in. I spent some time on-line looking at my options. It seems I can get another no contract phone for around 200 dollars.  I am guessing that would keep me going for about another year before I run into the same problem I have now or I can get a phone with 16 GB memory and spend 27 dollars a month for the next two years and be under contract again. I don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with the fancier phone but memory would not be a problem.  I think it goes without saying that after the contract ends in two years I would have to replace that phone right away if I chose to go that route. I suspect phones are programmed to die within a month of the contract ending. Why do I feel like either way I lose?

I know for the next several months I will keep the phone I have and make it work. I also know that access to Google and my bank accounts has been invaluable when I am traveling about, so I do want to stay with some kind of smart phone. I have to admit I have worried that if I get a fancier phone will I become infatuated with all it can do and start thinking 500 and 600 dollar phones are necessary for survival. In the midst of my inner debate I was reflecting on my day and how nice it was to be in nature without cell phone service. I do not have a lan line so eventually I  knew I would need to acknowledge my aging smart  phone again but for 6 hours it was me, my family, and nature. No Google, bank account,  or Facebook. A mini adventure full of joyous memories and lots of love. Best of all no phone in my pocket. A little like heaven, I imagine.

How about you? How minimalist are you when it comes to your phone? Do you think smart phones are a necessity for your life or your job? I would love to hear your thoughts on smart phones and other electronic gadgets we seem to need in our modern world.

Until next time,



  • My wife just dumped her smart phone and we are going with page plus cellular $12 plan. 250 mins, 250 text 10mb a month. We are buying two $18 flip phones from them. Knocked our monthly bill from $190 to $24
    We are keeping our iphones and when traveling, wil just find wifi service and hook in 🙂


    • Hi Anne Lene, Congratulations of your Liebster Award 🙂 Thank you for nominating me that just made my day!

      I have wondered about using a smart phone with my blog. You never know when inspiration may hit. I can see where that may come in handy. Thanks for the input and thanks again for the nomination!

      Have a good week!


      • Can’t wait to see what fun stuff you come up with on questions and answers 😉

        Yes, now that I’ve used a smartphone for years, I don’t think I would ever go back to just a “regular” cell phone, I think I would feel “lost”, I use it for all sorts if things, like answering this 😉


  • I tend to want the best new gadget around but of course I am only a dreamer 9th minimalism not an actual adherent to the practice. I use my phone for calls (minimally), texts, email, blogging, Facebook, pinterest (virtual hoarding is my thing over physical hoarding), a few games and magazines as well as Internet searching and book reading. My phone just about replaces my computer, home phone, physical magazines and books and board/card games all in the palm of my hand so sort of minimalist. It is not the worst monthly cost but also not the best. I did get it cheaper than my husband got his phone. My kids have an iphone 4 each which are older and unlocked so spend very little each month on pay as you go.


    • Pay as you go is a great option! I can see where your phone would just about replace your computer for many things and the compact nature of a phone is nice. Thanks for sharing 🙂


  • Solution: get a cheap, dumb phone (phone and texting only) and plan from Walmart. Then, get a Kindle HD tablet for all the other things. Dumb phones last for years, in my experience, and the Kindle HD does everything else, on the go, and has lots of stamina. Son, Albert, uses Virgin Mobile with great satisfaction. Or, you can try Cricket (but the company was recently bought by AT&T, an illegal monopoly buy in my opinion).


  • I have a smartphone but with a no-internet plan. I love the ease of a tactile menu, but want to be disconnected from constant distractions on social networks and emails. As well as the bad effects of internet waves constantly pumping through my body. i connect to wifi if i need to but my phone, even if it’s a smartphone, is for calls and texts only.


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