Monday, February 21, 2011

More With Less Monday: Cell Phones Part 2

Do you know what I want more than anything?  More than a sewing machine, more than an SLR camera, more than a house, even more than chairs to go around our kitchen table?
An iPhone.

It's bright and colorful, you can check email, make plans, get directions, talk on Skype, make phone calls (duh), and waste HOURS and HOURS of time playing games and checking Facebook.  It's the best alternate reality ever and I want one!

But...

Do I need one?  The answer is no.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that lots of people who think they need iPhones don't actually need them.  (Come on, just own up to the fact that it's awesome and that's why you have one!  Some people actually use paper calendars and MapQuest for directions and only check their email a couple of times a day.)

We have Verizon so when looking into the extra costs, it looks like their promotion is to have you pay for your original minutes and then pay another $29.99/month on top of that.  (What!?!  We don't even pay that much for internet at home!)


So...though we have the money to pay for iPhones (or Droids, or Blackberrys, or whatever), we cannot justify spending $30/month ($720 for both of us for a year...not including the minutes plan itself).  Do you remember my Inspiration post?  Just pause for 30 seconds and think of what that $30/month could help to do in the rest of the world...

Clean water. Education. Clothing. Medical care. Freedom from the sex trade.  Bibles in native languages.  Freedom from sweatshops and human slavery. A home. What else can you think of?

Now I'm not saying that we're always giving away that extra $30/month.  But, to me,  I feel better knowing that we can. When a need is presented we can give freely and joyfully with even more finances at our disposal. 

I'm also not saying I'm never going to own an iPhone.  (I'm strongly considering saving up all of my birthday and Christmas money every year to put toward the cost of a phone and the extra monthly payments.)  Maybe it's hypocritical...or maybe it's not.

 When it comes down to it, the point of this post isn't to make anyone feel bad about having an iPhone.  But, it is to encourage you to consider every decision you make and evaluate your goals in it.  Is it to make life easier for yourself, to indulge in something awesome, to love others better, to be simple, to achieve your 10 year plan, to be more like Jesus, or something else?  None of those reasons are bad in themselves...it's a matter of the heart.  As I said before, I want my life to be characterized by LOVE and LOVE ALONE.  I try (but often fail) to hold every decision I make, big and small, up to Love and Jesus. If it fits into that, I go for it.  If it doesn't, I (often sadly) don't do it. 

So...if you're reading this and like most, have a smart phone, this is not meant to offend you and I promise that I am not writing this for anyone specific. And, believe it or not, I don't really care what kind of phone you have and I don't hate you or judge you if you don't agree with my views about these things.  I'm just sharing my perspective.  (Isn't that what blogs are for, anyway?  An easy way to say offensive things without the confrontation?)  So...please don't feel judged by me or afraid to pull out your [totally awesome] phone next time you're around me.  The most you'll get from me is envy.

3 comments:

HSB said...

Love it! I too would love an iphone (or any phone, for that matter, that is smarter than my "only-operates-correctly-once-in-a-while phone). But we feel the same way. We've really been talking a lot recently about how to honor God with the money He's entrusted to us. It's hard to find that line, but we're trying. So.... blog on, sister! Blog on!

Sarah said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing... it's like you popped my thoughts and opinions on this right out of my head. Enjoyed the reading!

Brecken said...

We really wanted iPhones a month ago when our contracts were up. When it come down to it, however, we couldn't justify the cost of the data plan!

I actually got my first "smart" phone, but I don't have a smart plan to go with it--so it's a bit tormenting!

Don't apologize for being yourself or having your opinion. While you can be socially graceful in the way you deliver it, this is YOUR blog...and people understand. :)