Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Little decisions

I am attempting to live my life mindfully, and part of that is being green. Sometimes I find it quite simple - being mindful about bringing my own bag to the store, or refilling my own water bottle, has become second nature.

Ryan's new company requires him to have a Blackberry phone, and pays his phone expenses, so he is no longer on our family plan. Our two year contract is up, so I went to Costco to figure out what new kind of phone to get. In short, I have two choices: a fancy phone with internet options, or a simpler phone that just, um, makes phone calls. I looked at all kinds of pretty phones in a range of colors, with slide out keyboards and touch screens and MP3 players and nice cameras; I discussed the number of minutes available to me, and "data" add ons.

New, cool features are fun. Undeniably. Very seductive, as a matter of fact. My dad had come with me, and he said, "How much of your life do you want to spend looking at that screen?" It was a mindful comment. I know that if I had a fancy phone, I'd spend a lot more time looking at it. It would be easy to scroll Facebook on the playground; it would be easy to read the NYT at the park. I could be on email all the time.

And so I have decided to stay in an early-century model of the phone. As a stay-at-home-mom, I don't need those features for my job (and when I write, I have my computer), and I have enough time to check email at home without bringing it with me. I don't need to spend the extra money on data connections. And I don't want to spend more time on my phone, I wish to spend LESS time. I've actually considered not upgrading my phone at all - my current phone works just fine -but it looks like someone pilfered the car charger out of our car and it's a free accessory with a new phone upgrade whereas I'd have to buy one for the old phone. Too bad, because keeping it would be very green.

After all that looking and admiring, I think I'll be cutting the number of minutes that I'm using, too.

A million decisions to be mindful. I'm working on it, anyway.

Edited to add: I went back, asked more questions, and found out that I could upgrade my phone at a different time, and don't have to do it concurrently to renewing my contract. I decided to keep my old phone, charge it at home and not in the car, and REDUCE my minutes (and my bill). Then I came home and saw the note in my comments making a suggestion to keep the phone. :-) I thought I had to do it all at once or miss the opportunity for the free phone, but that is not the case. If this one dies, I can go in to have them upgrade it for free...but until then, I'll keep using mine.

1 comment:

AnnMarie said...

I have to ask: Why get a new phone in the first place? Just because your contract is up doesn't mean you have to upgrade. I still have the same phone I got 3 years ago. (Same battery, too, but I think I need a new one now.) All I do is make a few calls and use it as an alarm clock. I don't even need the camera (which takes lousy pix anyway).

Just buy a new charger. So what if it comes free with a new phone? You don't need the new phone.