I get a new phone every few months. I’m just cool like that.
Nope. That was a lie. I’m actually kind of a nerd–and I don’t mean the I-have-a-tech-startup-and-wear-hipster-glasses-to-be-ironic kind of nerd. I’m talking the I-go-birdwatching-every-Sunday kind of nerd.
So why do I constantly update my phone? It’s because my wireless communication device of choice is the cheapest stupid phone I can find, and they break so frequently that I have to replace them as often as I calibrate my binoculars.
When I say stupid phone, I don’t mean a cell-with-cruddy-internet-access nor am I referring to a phone-without-a-touch-screen. When I say stupid, I mean a-device-whose-sole-purpose-is-to-make-phone-calls stupid. Well, let me be fair, it does have a calculator too.
As a stay at home mom, I can’t claim any work-related reasons to own a smart phone. Since I’m with my kids for a large part of the day, I’m not only content with my archaic cellular device, but I’m actually resistant to getting a more sophisticated model. Here’s why:
1. I get less distracted around my kids.
C’mon moms, don’t deny it. Your phone tempts you–all the time. When your 4-year-old is taking his sweet time doing his aleph-bet homework and there’s nothing you can do but patiently wait until he figures it out, you itch to take a quick Instagram peek. It’s just so tempting. But the rational, sweet-toothed adult won’t buy Entenmann’s if she can’t ignore the calls of that deliciously crumby cake. If it’s in plain sight, she’ll eat it all and feel terrible.
Same logic applies here: if you have a tempting smart phone nearby, you can bet you’ll reach for it despite your good intentions to stay away. With an obtuse phone like mine, you simply don’t have that struggle.
2. I have beautiful family photo albums.
My current phone does not have a camera. This is awesome. I don’t have the lazy option of taking a photo with my cell and letting it linger in digital space for eternity. Instead, I am forced to use my digital camera, upload the kids’ pics to the computer with an old-fashioned USB, and actually get them printed! This makes for chronologically organized photo albums that are a pleasure to look through and will hopefully last for years.
3. I don’t get invited to things.
Because I don’t have texting, I don’t have to wonder whether that text invitation to a party was a heartfelt one, or just a mass message sent to the host’s entire phonebook. In the case of the former, the party giver would call me or send a personal e-vite–in which case I’ll be happy to share in their celebration. If it’s the latter, I’m thrilled not to see it. Because sometimes (i.e., always) it’s really hard to get out when you have kids, and it’s just not worth it if you’re not a vital part of the festivities. If you have youngin’s at home, you know what it’s like to have to attend any kind of formal occasion. Going out to an event when you have kids requires a lot of advance planning, patience and a buoyant babysitter. Of course bringing the kids along is always an option. A really stinky one.
4. I let my kids play with my phone…
About five times a day my phone crashes to the floor and shatters into three pieces; the phone itself, the battery, and the battery cover. But it’s all good. I know I’m going to be replacing it soon anyways. So I let my kids play with my cell, and it keeps them busy sometimes. They like to play with the ringtone options and hear various tunes. That’s it. There’s nothing else.
5. …but my kids don’t want to play with my phone.
Cuz it’s boring.
If I had a smarter phone, my kids would be constantly bugging me for it so they could play Candy Crush. Or type random words into Google. Or watch clips of Elmo singing his eponymous song. I get my current phone all to myself. Take that, smart phone owners!
Granted, there are times I could use a smart phone. It would be great to entertain the kids in the pediatrician’s waiting room and would probably do wonders to keep my overactive toddler in the shopping cart. Also, I heard of this great app that helps you identify North American owl calls, so that’s kinda (un)cool. But as long as my kids are still little, I’m keeping my stupid phone. And I think that makes me kinda smart.