Mobile & Apps

Why I Want a Dumb Phone

This is the T-Mobile 768 phone.I want this phone.

It ain’t smart.

It’s no Galaxy S4 or HTC One S or iPhone 5.

T-Mobile introduced the 768 this year. It weighs 3.5 ounces. The phone features Bluetooth connectivity, an FM radio, a 2-megapixel camera, and it has 3G for faster texting and picture messaging. I can play music on the phone. I can still email if I want.

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I wouldn’t use the phone for facebooking, tweeting, instagramming, or other social networking — but I’m doing that less and less on my current HTC phone so I’m not worried. Besides, I have an iPad for that. If I want to take lots of pictures at better resolutions, I have a camera.

I bought my first smartphone — a BlackBerry Curve 8330 — in August 2006. That’s the last time I owned a clamshell or flip phone. That’s the last time I didn’t need the ability to download apps to the phone — because the phone had everything I needed a phone to have. That’s the last time I paid a monthly fee that didn’t require data transfers.

Technology is not going anywhere and, in my quest to downsize my life and be productive, I don’t want to be tethered to the internet wherever I go. I’ll still take a phone with me when I go out to eat or for a drive and you’ll still be able to call me or text me but if you email me or tweet me and expect a response, you’ll get that response whenever I next use my desktop or other supported device.

I want to return to the living. This is not about discipline and not using certain applications. This is about not needing social networking or cloud applications 24/7. I want to return to the joys of listening to music without the need to hold up a sound app to identify the song. I want to buy a product without instantaneously scanning a QR code to read its reviews.

I do not want to carry a supercomputer operating system in my pocket anymore. Smartphones have their place in people’s lives but I want to take my life back.

I think this is a smart decision.

I’m going dumb and I welcome fellow dumb humans to comment below.

  Discuss This Article

Comments: 14

  • I down graded to a tracfone 5 years ago. I average about $100.00 a year, that is $8.33 a month. I am very selective on when I chose to answer, but I can call and text (it can do the internet but that really sucks the minutes up). Like you said once I get home I can check my messages, and public sites at my leisure. My purpose for this phone was just for emergency use. I am no longer bothered when I go out for dinner, shopping or to the movies. I do still get some of my friends and family complaining that they can’t reach me but I love it. It is not that I am anti social, but I do like having my ME time. I love not being dependent on having a phone stuck to my hand like the rest of society. My next cord to be cut is going to be the cable box. We purchased a Roku box about 3 months ago and there are current TV shows the day after they were on prime time. I can watch at my leisure. And once again get my cost down to $ 8.00 a month for a Netflix or Hulu Plus site. I will say that ROKU was one of the best investments I have made. We were looking at purchasing a smart tv and were directed to give this little box a try. I have so much more free sites available to me on that than my bbf and her smart tv. And best of all it keeps itself current with all the upgrades needed with out assistance.

  • That my friend is a great idea. I too have been considering doing the same for a while now, just waiting for my contract to end.

  • My wife has a smartphone, but I have a Freeform III that serves all my needs. I do HAVE a smartphone, but its SIM card is removed so that I can use it as a PDA or a mini-tablet with wi-fi. This allows me to use calendar features that are too anemic on the dumb phone. I need this to help me with ADD. Otherwise it’s just a toy for my grandkids and a reader for ebooks on those days I get stuck in a line somewhere.

  • Yeah, finally someone else thinking like I do, whether for family or friends, or for business / clients, if urgent,really urgent call my cell or text me, otherwise e-mail and I will respond the very same day may be late but the same day…..
    Enough is enough, can we not wait a little anymore. I remember still the times, when we had to go to the post office public phone booth to make a phone call, or send a card if we wanted to visit a friend….So having a cell phone at all times, should suffice. After all we should all stop and smell the roses, there is so much more to life!

  • I like having my smartphone. I use the GPS on it, as well as many other features. When I don’t want to be bothered, I use a little button on the phone called the power button and just turn it off. Pretty simple solution.

  • SMARTPEOPLE…..DUMBPHONE…..I like. I try to tell that to my wife. I don’t freak out if I don’t miss a call (she does) and if I don’t answer her call she panics. Unfortunately my phone is tied to my hip for business. But I use it in MODERATION when all possible. Her is Tied to her LIP, and when it rings and shes upstairs ….I have never seen some one run so fast to answer her phone nearly falling down the stairs…..I just increased her insurance policy. lol

  • I couldn’t agree more! It’s frightening to see people strolling along city streets and crossing them without ever looking up from their “smart” phones! Nothing smart about getting hit by a truck because you HAD to text someone or update your Facebook page!

    I had to ask my kid not to text when we have our few brief times to talk. If I’m driving him to work, we talk and he can text later. Hopefully not at work!

    I use my cell–a very basic, prepaid one, for emergencies or convenience only. And even on my land line, I love Caller ID and Call Block, so I’m not pestered all day by sales robots, prize patrols or bored relatives!

  • I certainly don’t think this is a bad idea. Smart phones are a luxury that have consumed most of their users lives and hacked their common sense. I’m getting quite tired myself of watching my company spend five minutes of our time to photograph whatever, upload it instantly to social media just to show off and impress their fan base. I don’t need the internal GPS to track every move I make, and going back to the days of using a phone just to answer a phone call would be quite refreshing. I’m hoping someday I reach the point where I can quit spending over $100 a month on a data plan and go back to the simpler way of life. Just not quite there yet.

  • Yes! We are now free of the large monthly bill that came with our smart phone needs and cable television. We too are now using Roku and track phones for trips out of town. I don’t want to be “connected’ 24/7. People have complained about not being able to get a hold of me any time they want to. I simply remind them that my land line works and I do answer messages.

  • I never went the smart phone route by choice and I LOVE it!!!
    I have been laughed at, thrown out of friends circles etc because they cannot whatsapp me, they have to text/SMS me if need be and it is a cost….oh well!
    I rejoice, I love my freedom and I love my choice of being untethered!!!

  • I am the IT Director for a medium sized company (2500+ employees). About 18 months ago I dug out the old Motorola flip phone and convinced Verizon to reactivate it. What a relief! I now dictate my schedule. The constant disruptions are gone. I am actually more productive at work. I do carry an Android tablet when I think I need to be connected. I get 40 emails a day, about 2 a month need immediate attention. The rest can wait an hour or 2.

  • I upgraded my renewal contract to a smart phone but after 6 months, I went back to my previous basic cell/texting phone and saved about $30/month (data plan). I am retired and only need a cell phone for close friends or emergencies. I only give that number to them. I have more interesting things to do rather than walk around constantly with a smart phone in my hand. My basic cell phone has a camera, but I prefer my “point and shoot” digital camera better. I’m happy that I’m not the only “dumb” phone person around town.

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