Product Placement Plea: Throw Away Your Smartphones!

Just a week ago, I linked to my review of the Peek Pronto over at the Modern Materialist.

I had been eager to review it as an alternative to the  iPhone or BlackBerry but, in the end, I found it wanting.

In fact, I even went off on a minor rant on how having such a device made me feel more immobile, rather than mobile.

I know that not all of us have this problem, though, which is why I’m trying to reach out to all of you smartphone users in a different way.

After the jump, 5 reasons you shouldn’t spend money on a smartphone:


Let me ask: Why did you become a freelancer in the first place?

I know that at least some of you did it in order to make money doing something you’re passionate about, all while restoring yourself to a healthy work/life balance.

What I find with smartphone owners is that, as soon as they purchase their smartphones, their entire life revolves around their smartphone. They’re constantly checking their smartphone, looking for new apps for their smartphone and, when around other smartphone owners, comparing smartphones.

Is it possible that, once you purchase a smartphone, you become too busy staring at the screen to enjoy the scenery? You might as well still be sitting in a cubicle.


Now that you’re staring at the smartphone screen all the time — a necessity when forced to leave your computer behind — there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to respond to all business-related e-mails immediately, and answer all business-related calls, well, outside of business hours.

You are so. plugged. in.

But when you don’t set boundaries with your clients, their expectations for your responsiveness can become too high. And they won’t think twice before ringing you up late at night, when you’re out at a nice dinner with your loved ones, on vacation.

There’s such a thing as being too available.


Not to mention the fact that your expectations for yourself become too high.

I know. Us freelancers tend to love our work so much that we don’t know when to stop. Which is why we work nights, weekends, vacations, etc., focusing on our work at the expense of all else.

Congratulations, you’ve just become your own worst boss.


You already own a computer. Perhaps you even own two, or three (or 10).

Is it really necessary to spend a few hundred bucks on a new phone, plus the additional monthly fees for Internet access? Seems pretty pricey for someone who doesn’t know where their next paycheck is coming from, especially when they’re just starting out.

New freelancers sometimes let the excitement of starting their own business get a little out of control. They suddenly begin to think that they need every pricey doodad and ergonomic chair out there. Immediately.

Please draw up a business plan and budget first, and then decide what’s necessary to spend money on before you even earn your first dollar.

(Note: I still use the most basic flip phone. Because I am cheap. This hasn’t hurt business at all.)


Finally, you may not have noticed, but your family left you. Like, weeks ago. When you were busy playing Wheel of Fortune on your BlackBerry during dinner. You told them that, as a freelancer, you’d have so much more time to devote to them, but it was all lies. And they have left, all heartbroken and disenchanted.

I mean, it’s almost as bad as that time you were addicted to WOW.

Actually, maybe you do need that smartphone. After all, what else do you have to turn to now that your loved ones have left you?

Related: Product Placement: Peek Pronto Not Pronto Enough


  1. Steph,

    I think you have hit on a few good points. I am one of those people, Altho I do not have a smart phone per say, I do spend hours, days, weeks, weekends on the internet, PC. TO the extent that your points about the smartphone would apply to me as well.

    Is it an addiction? mmmm I wonder.

    (BTW 31 day challenge)

  2. @Robert: Oh, it’s totally an addiction. Now that I work full-time from home, I’m just as dependent upon my desktop computer. I’m constantly blogging, pitching, editing, and checking updates on Google Reader and Twitter. And sometimes, I steal my husband’s laptop so I can do all of the above in bed as well! Perhaps we should set up a detox plan…

  3. Good points, especially about being too available. I have bemoaned the fact that taking a holiday now involves a laptop and internet connection, making it impossible to truly escape.

  4. @Sharon: So true. I actually spent four days in Boston recently, and didn’t check the laptop once. It was so freeing, and the world didn’t come to an end because I was unconnected.

    On the flip side, catching up on everything once I got back home was…um…a bit overwhelming. I eventually had to come to terms with the fact that it wasn’t necessary to read *every* item in my Google Reader, or every update in my Twitter feed.

  5. Hello there, I don’t go along with everything in this write-up, but you do make some very excellent points. I’m very serious in this matter and I myself do alot of research as well. Either way it was a well thoughtout and nice read so I figured I would leave you a comment.,


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