Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tech updates

So I got rid of my smartphone. Yup, went back to a simple cell phone... at least for now. Jesse jumped back first mostly because he couldn't stand the coverage that Virgin (Sprint) provided. It was pretty bad. Talking on the phone at home was sketchy and if we traveled outside of the metro area it was useless - just weight to carry around.

I was on my third HTC phone because of battery life issues (and random rebooting on one of the phones). I wouldn't even use the phone and it would be pretty much dead half way into the day. Virgin was useless in determining the issue and would only send me refurbished phones of the same model. It's obvious now why their smartphone plans are so cheap. I knew it was too good to be true.

I wanted to go back to AT&T because I was with them before and had good service, but Jesse said Verizon had slightly better coverage. I let him make the jump first to see how things went, but I also delayed moving over because I couldn't decide if I would stick with a smartphone or not. I actually went into the store thinking that I was just going to get an iPhone (like everyone recommended), but between Jesse and the sales guy, they talked me into a regular ol' phone. And I like it - well, except for the getting used to a new phone. Hate that. But I don't really miss what the smartphone could provide for me. That's probably because I don't have a huge need for one since I work from home and sit in front of a computer all day (and have an iPad). It's only been a week so I totally realize that I may change my mind, but I am ok with this for now.

The sales guy suggested we get an new iPad and data coverage on that as it might be more useful for us and it would be cheaper than a smartphone plan. He noted that he sees a lot of business guys going back to a simple phone and then just getting a plan on their iPad. Who knew?

We've stepped backwards in other ways as well. We got rid of cable. Actually, we got rid of full cable years ago and had the very basic cable - network channels, CNN, TBS, and a bunch of home shopping network shows essentially. Because of a miscommunication from Comcast (no, you don't need cable boxes after we sent you all those warnings. One year later with no warning none of the TV's work. We call and are told that we do need cable boxes on our TVs and would have to pay for 3 of them. No thanks). We realized we weren't watching much regular TV and just got rid of it. So freeing.

That doesn't mean that we aren't watching TV. I've actually been watching more TV than ever, but it's through Netflix, Hulu (the non-membership offerings), Amazon Prime, and Plex. Oh, and we put an antennae on the top of our house. I was pretty sure no one had those anymore, but turns out I just never noticed them because our next door neighbor has one and it's pretty big. Not sure how I really missed it. Anyhoo, we now have more channels than we did with basic cable and the reception has been great. Wish we made this change years ago.

We actually have four TV's in our house and on each one we have a slightly different selection of what you can watch. On one TV we only have network TV options and on another, it's hooked up to the computer so we can watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Plex, but not network TV. Overall, it's not a big deal and while it sort of feels like a step backward, I actually think it's where a lot of people are moving. Who wants to wait a whole week to watch a TV show when you can watch one right after another (or you can get through all 7 seasons of Californication when you are sick and out of work for 2 weeks. :) )?

Oddly enough while I was scaling back on cable, my 86 year old dad went out and got a satellite dish. He now has a gazillion channels. Next thing you know he's going to get a smartphone or something.

1 comment:

  1. Love this post! I am just starting to the step back thing too. Just switched cell providers to save some money (we technically I stayed with Verizon but went on my parents acct as an additional line, saves me $30 a month). And I am planning to dump the Dish as well, we don't need all those channels anyways. My boys and I made a resolutions to disconnect more and do more things together without technology and getting rid of TV seems like a great way to go that! It is scary how so many families don't even communicate anymore, unless it is via technology. I am gonna do my best to change that with my young boys! Glad to see that I am not alone in going back to the "stone age" as some of my family jokes about! Now I am thinking Netflix will be something we do however I don't understand it at all so I have some research to do :)


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