Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why I'm Done with Smartphones

Smart Phones, Tablets, Apps, Movies &Music. With every new form of entertainment and technology comes new ways to get sacked with charges from cellular networks. The biggest problem; unlimited data is nothing but a fairytale now. Even Sprint (who prides themselves in “truly unlimited” data plans) will throttle heavy users. T-Mobile begins throttling after about 2GB of data. Verizon & AT&T, well, they just rape you with additional charges per gigabyte.

The latest news comes from AT&T, who have devised a scheme to charge iPhone users extra for using FaceTime on a 3G network. For those who don't know; FaceTime is the default video chat application that Apple devices use, meaning it's on every new iPhone, iPad and Mac (plus iPod Touch). Now, you're already paying for the data, so why pay extra to video chat? Answer: There's really no f*cking reason. Cellular companies, like AT&T, run on a fuel known as “greed”. It's reasons like this why we're still years behind on technology compared to other countries (like Japan, Korea and even China). How will we ever catch up to them if we can't afford to use any of these “mainstream” features on our mobile devices?

My experience with AT&T over the past year has been O.K. They haven't caused too much of a problem except for the nearly $100 phone bill I now have to pay in order to keep my iPhone afloat. However, hearing things like “charging extra for people to use FaceTime” makes me sick to my stomach. I feel like I'm supporting a crooked company. I'm stuck though. Bound by the two year contract and glory of the iPhone 4S...but my patience is nearly gone.

Most people who know me, know that I'm hooked on sharing every aspect of my life. I love using social media apps, thrive on taking mobile photos, and enjoy catching up on random news through my phone. So what I'm about to say may come as a complete shock to some; I want to leave the world of smartphones. Yup. I'm done. Done with the rising cost of apps & using apps. Done with the unnecessary, inexcusable rise of data plans. Done with supporting money-hungry companies like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Data is becoming as precious as gold in this “Information Age”. I'm sorry, but the Information Age is dying, and the Stone Age is coming back.

Unless something changes in the next year or two, when my contract is up with AT&T, I'm leaving the smartphone world. I'll resort back to basic phones with Call, Texting, MMS and limited web. No more contracts. No more pouting about the lack of service. No more getting bent over by cellular networks. No more jealous upgrades to the latest & greatest device. I'll drop every phone I've been collecting at BestBuy's recycling bins, and never look back. I'll still be connected, just in a more...delayed way (via my computer &wifi). I'll go back to taking photos with a real camera, instead of only my phone. I'll get an MP3 player, instead of using my phone. I'll get a real GPS, instead of using my phone. A severed relationship to smartphones will help pay for these things in just a few months. There's no point having this addiction to data (and it is a major addiction), when it's just going to cost me more in the long run because of cellular networks thriving on it like leeches.

If/when this experience happens, I'll be sure to keep everyone posted weekly on what it's actually like giving up a life with smartphones. I doubt I'll be any less connected than I already am, and should probably ween myself off of apps like Instagram & Foursquare. 

Get ready Virgin Mobile, papa's coming back!
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  1. Sprint charges $10 more if you have a 4G phone, EVEN if you live in a city/state that doesn't have 4G, BECAUSE they figure people would use more data on it. I hate how they try to make it sound like it's "our fault" for them placing the data cap. They say it won't effect 99% of their customer and it's only there for the people who "abuse" the unlimited data. I hardly use my data plan on my phone since I'm on Wi-Fi most of the time, but it still upsets me.

    Even though the data-cap on my phone doesn't scare me, if my ISP EVER decides to put a data-cap on my internet, that WOULD result in a uproar. I transfer a LOT of data between work, downloading new games, watching Netflix, streaming music, Youtube, plus several other things. So far this month I've transferred around 1.5-2 Terabytes of information. According my ISP, I could be "abusing" my internet by transferring so much data in a given month.

  2. @Carl ISP caps scare the sh*t out of me. There would definitely be a major uproar about that. For some reason though, everyone just bends over and takes it from the cellular companies.

    I can't believe Sprint charges extra for 4G...ridiculous. I'm not entirely surprised though...but it still makes me sick.