Monday, June 10, 2013

Adventures in Simplicity: Embracing the Flip Phone

These are the stories of our family's adventures in living simply. We've had our share of highs and lows in the few short years we've been on this path, but we're loving just figuring it out together as we go along. And now with a new baby in the mix, things are sure to get even more adventuresome!  You can find the entire series, including our reasons for choosing this path, here.

If my minimalist husband had his way, neither one of us would even have cell phones, period, and we would just get a landline, which, while certainly possible (hello 20 years ago), is not something I am interested in doing. I like being able to call Andy at the grocery store when I forgot to add something to the list, and I like being able to bug my friends for directions when I get lost in the car, which is about every other week, on average. If you are interested in going cell phone free, however, there are some great thoughts in this post.

I did once have an actual smartphone, a couple years ago as part of a job and so I know, it's nice. About once a day, I kind of wish I still had one. I'm terrible with directions, so I would love to still have a GPS in my pocket everywhere I go. And I love the idea of always having a camera at the ready to capture little moments, especially now that we have a little one. And every time I find myself waiting in line or sitting in a parked car, I wish I could at least do something productive like check my email.

From my smartphone days. I don't have a photo with my flip phone because why even have it out?
photo by
BUT, also about once a day I find myself very thankful for my obsolete little phone that does nothing more than call and text. Mostly, I like how it keeps my life a little more analog. I like that I have to be intentional about my time online because it means going into another room and using both of my hands.   I like how I'm not tempted to use social media while I'm spending time with my son and I like those quiet times in line or in my car when I have nothing to do but sit and listen and think. I truly believe that  times of forced reflection throughout the day are important to my development as a human being and with a smartphone, I'm not sure I would have them. I even kind of like how easy it is to lose track of my phone completely for hours or days at a time (though I'm not sure my friends and family do), because it's just not a lifeline to me like a smartphone would be. Also, I like how the money we save by using such simple phones helps to make our simple lives possible.

Obviously, some families truly need smartphones to make their lives work. I know that. We may even be one of those families some day, but right now the small benefit simply doesn't outweigh the cost, both to our finances and to our quality of life. So for this season at least, we are smartphone free and loving it.

Anyone else out there embracing the flip phone like it's '05? What keeps you from going smartphone? Any unusual arguments for living simply with a smartphone?


  1. Hey! I've been meaning to write almost this exact same post!!

    I'm also glad I don't have a smart phone . . . most of the time. Like you, sometimes I think it would be nice to have a camera with me at all times. Sometimes, I feel like it would be nice to be on Twitter (which simply isn't worth it if you always have to sit down at a computer in another room to tweet). But overall, I'm glad I don't have that constant temptation to withdraw from my daughter and look at a little screen. It's good for me. I don't have the self-discipline to use a smart phone responsibly. Maybe some day, but not for now.

    1. Yes exactly! For me too, it's mostly about my personal lack of self-discipline, so I don't even want to give myself the option to be that distracted.

      Thanks for reading!