So I've now had an iPhone (my very first smart phone) for a little over a year. I always swore that I would never get a smart phone because I didn't want to spend my whole life staring at a little screen. I've seen all of those phone-shaming ads (which are, ironically, posted on Facebook) where the mom misses her child's first step and the dad his son's game-winning goal and felt morally superior because I didn't own a smart phone so I saw all of that important stuff. But now I've got one.
So after, a year, here's my take on owning a smart phone.
1. I reply to emails and texts a lot faster. Sometimes I would leave my regular cell phone in my purse for several days. I don't get phone calls that often, so I'd forget and leave it in some random place. When I finally found it, I'd see that a friend has sent me a text days ago I hadn't answered her. I also used to check my email on the computer and then never bother to reply because I was too lazy. Now I'm a lot better and almost always respond to texts and usually respond to emails. It's a lot easier to type on the keyboard and I can do it quickly while I'm in the middle of other things.
2. I don't waste as much time on the computer. I would look forward to checking email so much that when I checked email, I would then go and check Facebook and look for other things to do so that I could avoid getting back to work. It would turn a two-minute task into fifteen minutes of time wasting. Now the emails just come all the time so email checking isn't some special thing that I look forward to.
3. I take more pictures and videos. The pictures aren't as good as the ones I take with my DSLR camera, but I do take a lot more of them. Now I can take a quick picture to remember that we went bowling so that twenty years later I can remember that particular new year's day. I wasn't taking any videos before I got my phone because our video camera's battery was never charged. Now I can catch clips of the kids doing cute things and I'm happy about that.
4. I can listen to things more easily. I had an iPod nano that I would listen to general conference talks, podcasts, music, and audiobooks on, but I had to transfer everything manually. Now everything magically updates on my phone, which also has a lot more memory. I listen to music more while I'm cooking dinner because I have my phone on me anyway, and it's nice to have access to my books when I'm unexpectedly stuck waiting for awhile and didn't bring my Kindle. I still prefer reading on my Kindle, however.
5. I can text friends and family much easier. Between iMessage and Facebook Messenger, I can contact anyone anywhere in the world, which is really nice. If I have a question for my mom or my sister or my friend who lives in the US, I can just text them and skip having to deal with emails and we can have semi-conversations. If I'm really committed to the conversation, I can use the phone feature on Facebook or the Magic Jack app on my phone. I used to be tied to the computer to do these things (which meant they mostly didn't happen), and now I can do them anywhere, which is nice.
6. Maps. This is a lifesaver every time I travel. It was great to be able to use my phone for navigation while I was in London and not worry about getting lost. Same for the the US. I even use maps while I'm here, although it's more just to see where I am than to let it navigate me. It really is great to not have to be lost ever.
1. I really do sit an act just like those moms in the shame-videos. Now that I have a constant source of entertainment, my first reflex when I have thirty seconds of down time is to pull out my phone. I've gotten better about not doing it (partly because it turns out that there's not that much that is interesting on the internet anyway), but it is irritating to have Pavlov's bell ringing constantly. Sometimes when I'm on my phone and one of the children are trying to tell me something, they'll trail off after a few sentences, ending with "Oh, you're on your phone. I won't bother you...." Ouch.
2. I'm now stuck with having to update my technology every few years, which is just more money on stuff that will be obsolete. So now I have to update my computer, laptop, table, and phone. That adds up to some serious cash. And when I'm in the US, data plans aren't cheap (although they're cheaper than they used to be).
So, that's my take on having a smart phone. Obviously, I'm okay with it because I haven't gotten rid of it. And just like everyone said, it really did make parts of my life easier. I guess I'll just have to find something else to go and hang my principles on.