Smartphone plus hard times equals poor choice

By Spencer Myers
Copy Editor

March 14, 2013

A smartphone is a luxury. When times are tough, say, during a recession, then the general population is forced to give up luxuries

If you are a 19-year-old mother raising a child on your own, you should not own a smartphone. If you are just out of college and are saving up to move out, you shouldn’t have a smartphone. If you are in any way struggling to make ends meet, then the first thing to cut from your monthly budget is your smartphone.

The mothers in the MTV reality show “Teen Mom 2” are prime examples of people in a financial bind that still make room in the budget for a smartphone. These particular examples are being financed by the show they are starring in, allowing them to make certain expenses that others couldn’t afford. Wouldn’t the money be a bit better suited towards the children?

The average 2-gigabyte data plan is about $25 ($40 if you want unlimited) on top of the other service fees. It all depends on the plan and the frequency of use, but the average monthly price of a single smartphone plan comes out to around $80.

Ever since World War I, American capitalism has been feverishly redefining human needs. First we needed the refrigerator, next the radio, then the automobile, and before we knew what hit us, we all felt the urge to buy an SUV so we could feel “safe” on the road.

Society has redefined itself in accordance and now it literally is necessary to own a car to get to work and a computer to study for school. I understand certain arguments of modern necessity, but don’t forget that society ran perfectly well without any of the aforementioned devices.

Chronocentrism is the misconception that the current era is the best era—an epoch built on top of a pyramid of past progress. The thought “I couldn’t live without my cellphone” is chronocentric. The Greeks got by just fine.

But I haven’t been talking about smartphones, because they aren’t necessary. Despite this frivolity, these little pieces of plastic are worming their way into the base of our social structure. I have become accustomed to the standard cell phone and its uses as a social tool. It’s a constant line of communication for emergencies. And texting has mutated banter into an even more entertaining form.

But when I am sitting around with friends and begin to wonder what the name of Dan Akroyd’s character in “Ghostbusters” is, the social situation would be just as solid without having the immediate access to Google. Everybody, no matter how little seems to be going on in their lives, has more important things to look at than that damn screen.

The Internet is irrelevant to what is going on around you—especially if you are supposed to be spending time with your child.


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