Intentional Living

Why I Got a Smartphone, Finally

I got a smartphone simply because there is no sense in sticking with something that just isn’t working…

In Why I Don’t Own a Smartphone I stated that my decision not to get one was a matter of ethics. Because I believe my faith should and ethics should extend to every area of my life. And not only those traditionally viewed as spiritual. So have I reversed my stance? No, and with God’s help I hope to never do so. 

But life is an ongoing process requiring continual change and evaluation. And the time had come to reevaluate. I had not previously made the purchase because I did not need it. I’m home most of the time with a good internet connection, and did not need to be connected when out.

But as time progressed, the need for a smartphone did come about.

My old phone died suddenly; not surprising as it must have been between 12-15 years old! So I bought another old-fashioned (non smart) phone. Only to learn that it didn’t work with the cell phone provider I’d been using. It just wouldn’t pick up here in our town, making it practically useless to me. But at least I was able to convert that into a new (and needed) home phone for us. (Which I will not go into here, as it’s long and complicated.)

Anyway, I had to change providers, and ended up getting a much better deal. Calls to the USA are included in my large amount of minutes, which is a big benefit with all my family over there! And all for only €7 ($7) monthly!

The only problem was that the new phone still wasn’t working. The SIM cards just did not seem to like it! So Hubby and I traded phones, and my SIM worked in his smartphone. But then his wouldn’t work in the new phone and he needs a phone for work.

So to make a long story short, I realized the time had come to get a smartphone.

I thought I would feel bad about having to do so, because I really did not want one, and felt quite strongly about it.

But surprisingly I didn’t, because there is no sense in sticking with something that is just not working! And because I was able to make the purchase while keeping to my guidelines regarding technology.

Technology and internet should:

1. Empower us – not control us.

To avoid being controlled by these things, I connect to internet only when actually needed and keep social media notifications turned off. Internet and social media, I believe, should not become the tyranny of the urgent for us, but remain useful viable tools, to be used when and as we choose.

2. Meet real needs – not market-generated wants.

Just as companies are experts at getting us to buy unnecessary items, social media and other services are proficient in making us think we need to be constantly connected. But the risk we run in chasing after these non-essential items or services is that of being unable to meet the real and essential needs of our loved ones or of those around us. Disconnecting from them or over-extending ourselves financially could make us unable to meet their emotional or material needs.

3. Constitute a wise and necessary use of money.

Why buy things we don’t really need, or replace things that function perfectly well?

4. Help us fulfill our social responsibilities.

By limiting technology purchases and connecting less, we are able to do so much more for those around us. Poor, needy, lonely, or hurting people are everywhere. Let’s connect less to internet and more with them, and even reach out in practical, tangible ways that can really make a difference in someone’s life.

Ethical living, to me, is about keeping right priorities and deciding what’s really important.

And for me a big part of that is connecting to those around me. Which includes trying to serve and help them. Reaching out to the poor, the lonely, the hurting. And sometimes that means digging into my pocket or buying a bag of groceries. (Which I find hard to do if I’m overspending on things I don’t really need.)

The latest technology (or any item) doesn’t even come close to that joy!

Technology is a useful servant, but a dangerous master.

Christian Lous Lange

By Signora Sheila

Missionary blogger, wife, mom, nonna. Join my journey of Intentional Faith Living from my small town in southern Italy!

8 replies on “Why I Got a Smartphone, Finally”

The fact that you stayed true to your values and didn’t see this as an entitlement because “everyone has one” is significant. Our decisions have to be made on necessary facts–and you did that. That encourages me more than anything. Social pressure can be a bear. But God’s Holy Spirit is a sweet guide to what is necessary. It’s never about the thing, is it? It’s always about our attitude toward that thing. Thanks for your honesty.


It was a bit of a challenge, for sure. But actually, there was another side to it. It was also easy to fall into pride, feeling like I was better than others, because I didn’t have one. It’s all a question of balance and keeping things in the right perspective. That’s why it’s good that we can really rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us. He is always so faithful!!


Great post! Technology is neither good nor bad. It is all in how we use it or it uses us that makes it good or bad. Smart phones have actually saved us money and time, being able to order only what we need at the grocery store and just go pick it up. Rather than seeing and buying more than we need. It also helps with paying bills online. Thanks for sharing.


Good insight Tom, because technology is neutral, as all tools are. It just depends how we apply them. That’s an interesting one about ordering your food – we can’t do that over here yet. But I have found that the less I go into stores, the less I spend – for sure. They’re very good at setting things up to get us to buy more!! I am finding my smartphone to be a good tool. But I do want to use it with limits – and keep it just that. A good tool, even for blogging!

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