Gotta have: Are smartphones a need or just a want?

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  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:09 p.m.

    Smartphones, a need or a want?

    Want to increase your chance of developing a brain tumor? You need a smartphone.

    Females wanting to increase their chance of developing breast cancer need a smartphone and carry it conveniently tucked inside the bra.

    Males wanting to decrease their fertility need a smartphone to carry in their front pants pocket.

    I have found that I do not need a smartphone. And thus far, do not want one.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 12:33 a.m.


    Tell your daughter when she's 14 you will buy the phone, but she'll cover the monthly charges.

    Our kids earned their own money and bought a Game Cube. They happily informed us since they bought it themselves they could decide when to use it and how long to play. We smiled and told them that was right. However, the electricity and the TV set we paid for would only be available at certain times. That's the idea. Your daughter would own the service, you would own the phone and therefore have the control you need.

    This is the deal we have with our kids, ages 19, and 17. Our older ones in their 20’s have their own phones that we are uninvolved in - in any way. They didn't get phones until they left for college. Our other kids got their phones in high school. Our junior high kid doesn't have a phone, and my hubby and I have "dumb phones".

    Smart phones are really cool, but noooo neeeeed.

  • DVD Taylorsville, 00
    Oct. 18, 2013 5:01 p.m.

    @Michael De Groote: I'm glad to see the writers responding in the comments! It's very encouraging.

    Aside from that, I know that most, if not all brands of electronic devices have some of their base minerals sourced from conflict zones, but which brands are doing better at providing a 'non-slave'ie non-torture work environment during assembly?

    Technology should advance and be used to help life improve, but it shouldn't come at the price of 5 year olds in factories burning their lives away in chemical filled pit.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 8:35 p.m.

    Smart phones are definite a necessity now. I've wondered how the pioneers ever crossed the plains without them.

  • ThoughtfulTeen Salem, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    I am a teenager that does not want a cell phone, let alone a smart phone. I'll probably get a cell phone when I leave for college, since I don't think most colleges have land lines anymore, but up until then, I don't need one. I plan what I do in advance and inform my parents, so there's never been a reason for them to call me. Sometimes plans with friends fall through or change, but one of my friends always has a phone I can use to inform my parents. My plans are made in person, or they can call me on the home phone (I answer messages left on it), or they can even use facebook. I don't want to have to be slave to other people through my phone, and I've seen way too many people turn into phone zombies. I think there's a problem if you're waiting in line to get into the local high school football game and can't find anyone else to talk to because they're all on their phones.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    Oct. 17, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    I find it interesting that some of the commentators don't seem to differentiate between smart phone and mobile or cell phone. The unrelenting data charges alone keep me from seeing a smart phone as a necessity. My cell phone however replaced my landline and is more convenient because it is truly portable. And the texting feature saves a lot of missed communication because the message will be waiting for me when I next check. I certainly don't live within 5 feet of my phone. When it was attached to the house I didn't have one in every room either. A phone is pretty important in our society and could be called a need for anyone hoping to thrive in the work world. A smart phone however is a want and nobody should be confused about that. For kids it seems the parent wants to be "in touch" so a cell phone is needed; the kids want to be "connected" so a smart phone is needed. Truly different definitions of needs and wants.

  • The Final Word Alpine, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    Obviously a smart phone is a convenience because alot of people don't have them and they are still alive.

    That being said it saves me a ton of time and money. I get calls on the way home to stop at the grocery store instead of driving all the way home and then driving all the way back. Picking up kids same thing.

    Price searching before purchases? I have cumulatively save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on purchases since I have had a smartphone.

    Sure I can live without it but it would cost me time and money.

    Kids on the other hand are better off without them about 95% of the time.

  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    Oct. 17, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    Apple really should come out with a smart phone for kids. It would allow unlimited texting to other kids' phones, where parents can go to a web site and see all text messages that the kids sent or received. The location services would be hardwired "on" so parents can see where the phone is 24x7. Phone calls to police or 911 would be free. There would be a "panic" button that a kid could press if in trouble. And all downloaded apps would be have to pass an extra level of scrutiny from Apple to protect kids' privacy. The kids would not be allowed to incur extra charges, like expensive ringtones. Oh, and I suppose it needs Facebook, too. Good grief, a friend of mine bought a new Mini Cooper car and it had Facebook on the console.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 1:59 p.m.

    Public phones are getting harder and harder to hind. I would like to see that I have a way to call. I don't use a cell , but I still need to find a phone once in a whale.

  • Michael De Groote
    Oct. 16, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    Thank you for noticing the glitch in the graphic, Scott12345. You were right, it was supposed to be $75,000. Sorry about the typo!

    People making more than $750,000 a year can probably not just afford smartphones, but verysmartphones. :-)
    The fixed graphic should appear here in a few minutes.

    Oct. 16, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    I've got four children, the only one with a phone I pay for is the 18 year old away at college and it is not a smart phone. The others get an extra phone lent to them if they need one for an activity they are doing.

    I've told them they can have a smart phone when they pay for it. Strange thing is a couple have jobs yet are unwilling to pay the $50 plus a month it would cost. Seems like they have decided it is a 'want' not a 'need'.

  • NT SomewhereIn, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    "Of young people ages 18 to 29, 77 percent of those who make less than $30,000 a year still own a smartphone."

    and how many of those still live at home?

    and, compare the number of adult children still living at home AND who have a cell-smartphone with the number of adult children living at home 10 or 20 years ago.

    Coincidence? I think not.

    Are parents helping to disable their children (generally speaking) by approving their childrens' "need" for cell-smartphones?

    Something to think about.

    I am still using a cell phone (flip phone) that is nearly 10 years just fine for me; my wife has her iPhone..not sure how she ever got along without it.

    Search youtube for "I Forgot My Phone", a 2 minute video that has 25M+ views in less than 2 months after posting. It helps to express how I feel about this topic.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Oct. 16, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    Smart phones are a want, not a need. No child under 18 should have access to a smart phone imo. Sure a regular flip phone would be nice for emergencies only, but a smart phone? I don't think so.

  • Scott12345 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    Did you notice the graphic? The last income category was for those who make "$750,000 or more"! I want to be in that group! (Pretty sure they meant $75,000 - just funny.)

    I have an 11 year old daughter pressing for a phone. I want to hold out until she's 14. Anyone have any luck getting their kid to pay for the phone (monthly charges, too)? While still having access to the phone to make sure they're using it responsibly?