The Benefits of NOT Having a Smartphone

According to the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of US citizens have a smartphone. But what about the other third? Are they too poor to afford such a device? Or are they wise enough not to get one?

In this article, we’ll explore the (many?) benefits of not having a smartphone. And yes, this is ironic if you’re viewing this post on a smartphone right now.

Benefit Number One

The ability to actually unplug. At home, there’s always a computer running. At work, there’s always a computer running. So what’s the need to have a computer running in the palm of your hand 24/7? Sometimes it’s stress relieving to NOT be able to check your email every second of the day. Productivity guru’s such as Tim Ferriss say it’s healthy to unplug sometimes. He only checks his email twice per day. Why is it you feel the need to check yours all the time? Perhaps you should prioritize your emails. Or get an email handler.

Benefit Number Two

The cost savings is great. When you have a non-smartphone, it’s actually called a feature phone, not a ‘dumb phone’. Feature phones are cheap. And running them is especially cheap. Instead of paying for data, you simply pay for voice ¬†– and maybe text if you’re feeling fancy. What you can do is take all calls at home via Skype or Google voice. Then you only need voice/text while on the road. If that’s not too often, a feature phone is definitely for you. You can use a feature phone for as little as a few bucks per month!

Benefit Number Three

Inverse productivity hack. You may think a smartphone makes you more productive. But that’s not the case for many people. For instance, many people spend hours playing games on their phone. Or they search for new apps, wandering aimlessly through the vast collection of time-wasters.

Wasting time on apps is a pretty obvious downside to having a smartphone. But here’s something that’s less obvious. This idea is cited in many productivity hacking books. It’s the idea that you should not focus on how much work you get done, rather the quality of work you get done. Tim Ferriss has talked about this as well. With a smartphone, you can work nearly 24/7 – but that doesn’t mean the quality of work is very good. Furthermore, sometimes the amount you produce is less, the more you work. Sounds counterproductive, I know. But think about it like this… If you were told to create a budget in 16 hours, how hard would you work on the budget every hour? Probably not very hard. You have so much time, it becomes silly to work extremely hard. This is called the Parkinson’s Law. You do the task with the time you have. Essentially, if you only have an hour, you’ll get that budget knocked out in an hour. Having only one hour means you’ll save those extra 15 hours if you would have allowed yourself to work that much! How about that!

Final Notes

  • Many people have other reasons for not getting a smartphone. They are reasons like:
  • So people don’t wonder why you haven’t ‘liked’ their Facebook pic yet
  • Or why you haven’t been closely following a friend’s tweets
  • Or no need to constantly worry about upgrading to the next best phone
  • The list could go on…

Do you live without a smartphone?

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  1. Kathy says:

    We just got smartphones this summer because our old ones were so old they were not going to work on the new “G” network so we got free ones. Like our old phones, they are turned off, stored in our cars’ consoles so they are available for emergences. Only thing we’ve used data plan for was to check emails when we were on vacation. People just don’t understand why we don’t have our phones glued to our hands at all times. Personally, I spent so much time on the phone at my workplace pre-retirement, I hate using it now..

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