Why do people pay for data?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by John Lee, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    I'm talking phones... I don't get why you want, or more precisely need, to have access to the internet for an extra $30/month or whatever it is... It's basically like taking on an extra $360 bill for the year.

    Reason I ask is that, I may be in the market for a new phone... and I admit: the new phones are SWEET. I want one mainly because I like to take pictures, and these phones are so great, that I almost don't have to carry my regular little camera in my pocket anymore, because these phones effectively do the job. Still, I don't think it seems worth the extra $30/month. I suppose I could use it (the data plan) to access the net when I feel like... but I don't get it. "Everyone" has one... it just seems like another bill to me.
     
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  3. 1st-yr-teacher

    1st-yr-teacher Comrade

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    I don't have one. I had to make some choices. I could either have the phone with internet and one of the package deals in cable...or I could have a basic phone with texting features, basic cable, and internet at home. I chose basic phone and cable, and internet. :)

    I really haven't missed the cable. I watch netflix and huluplus. I only have basic cable so I can have the local channels when needed for weather.

    I do want to eventually get an ipad or kindle fire. I think it would be neat to use in the classroom.
     
  4. Izzy Teach

    Izzy Teach Rookie

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    I do not have one. I am rarely anywhere without WiFi service, so my iPod is all I need. My friends mostly have iPods or iPhones. We text for free. I have the same basic prepaid cell phone that I've had since high school.
     
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I text with my phone but that's about it. I don't have the time or patience to play around on the internet on my phone.
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I just got my first "smart" phone and added internet. I didn't think I'd use it often, but I have. I look up addresses/phone numbers. I find recipes when I'm in the store, etc. I could definitely do without it, but it's nice to have.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I use my iPhone all the time when I'm out of the house and not able to access my computer. I use it a lot for email, getting directions, making/using shopping lists, and playing games. I could probably live without it but I really enjoy having it. We opted not to have house phones, and we got an amazing deal on our dish/internet combo, so we have been able to pay for our phones without any problem. For us, it's just one of the expenses we've prioritized. We're not going into debt because of our phones, and if there ever came a time when we couldn't afford them we'd get rid of them. For now, though, they're worth the cost.
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I use mine as GPS, to look things up when I'm shopping, to take care of personal things at school during planning when some sites are blocked, and in the car when we travel long distances, which is common.

    For example, the other day I was out shopping and couldn't decide between two items. I was able to look up reviews and choose the better one that way.
     
  9. BettyRubble

    BettyRubble Rookie

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    I could live without my iPhone for sure, but I love having it. We canceled cable so that we could have the phones. My DH travels a lot and we like to do FaceTime so he can see the baby and stuff...it just comes in handy.
     
  10. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    My phone contract was up for renewal this past summer and I had to give a LOT of thought to getting a Smart phone with internet access since it was not certain at all that I my teaching position would be renewed. It was an extra $30/month for the data plan, but after crunching the numbers and giving it a lot of thought, I took the plunge and have not regretted it a bit - even though my regular teaching position was not renewed.

    I get my phone for free with my plan, so that helped keep the costs down (I've never paid for a cell phone because I always choose the free ones). My smart phone came in especially handy when I had an unexpected hospital stay for a couple of weeks. I could only watch so many episodes of Law and Order and Criminal Minds before I had to take a break. Having my smart phone gave me the chance to check on the forums I visit (including A-to-Z), check my emails, listen to music and watch videos on YouTube....none of which I would have been able to do without it.

    So, for me, the $30/month was worth it.
     
  11. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Having a smart phone and access to the internet has actually been very valuable.

    I rarely talk on the phone. Now that I have Google Voice, I've been texting (something I never did as I blocked any texting from my phone). But, I'm now addicted and prefer texting to actually calling. So, anyways, this is my plan: http://www.joeyday.com/2011/08/26/my-temporary-setup-att-gophone-ipad-google-voice/

    Get a small tablet with the data plan ($35 commitment, 15 no commitment) and a cheap gophone and use Google Voice. :)
     
  12. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I didn't think I would use my iPhone until I actually had one. Now, I rarely use my laptop. I have the minimum data plan, and I still haven't gone over.

    I use it to check my home and school email from anywhere, to access videos, check out AtoZ, play games... lol... nothing I *have* to have, but all the things I love to do!

    There are two apps that I adore: Starbucks (I can pay from my phone with a scanner and find a store anywhere) and Food on the Table that lets me pick 3 recipes for free every week, links to my favorite grocery store with sales for the items I'll need to make it and lets me make a grocery list with everything else I need to buy. It is WONDERFUL. :)

    Angry Birds is also pretty much the most awesome game ever. As is Family Feud.
     
  13. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I don't understand it, either.

    I have a GPS for looking up addresses and phone numbers of stores, restaurants, gas stations, etc. I can't imagine what else I would need it for. At least nothing worth spending at extra $30. That's 2 weeks worth of gas!

    Also, I think people are often addicted to their phones, which can be extremely annoying for the rest of the world. For example, I was out for lunch with 2 friends last month, and they both have iphones or smartphones or something. As we were waiting for the food to come, which is usually when people talk and catch up, they were both on their phones. They were updated their facebook status, checking their email, liking other people's status. I just sat there, bored, while they played on their phones.
     
  14. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Well I love my iPhone
    Hold on I have a call......
    Ok Back.....

    I use it all the time to find cheap gas, stores I do not go too often,
    Hold on I have a call......
    Ok Back.....

    where to pick up step daughter when she calls for a ride, etc.
    Hold on I have a call......
    Ok Back.....

    I can find info on where the same item is cheaper
    I do not have a home phone but I do have a magicJack.
     
  15. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I use the Internet on my iPhone all the time. But I don't have the highest data plan-I think mine is only $15 or $20. I don't really even use my computer very much at home anymore-only when typing documents or printing.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    That's a problem with behavior and rudeness, though, not with the phones or the data plans. I love my phone and Facebook, but I also have no problem setting those things aside when I'm with people I enjoy.
     
  17. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I agree. When my friends and I meet up, we are not on our phones. We might use the internet if something comes up during our conversation and we can look it up. Otherwise, I find it rude to be on there checking my email/facebook/whatever.
     
  18. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Thanks.
    I kinda think of it as a Pandora's Box. If I don't know what I miss, it saves me money. THOUGH... like I said, I want a good camera on my phone. I think I'll stick with my beater phone, until I can't resist any longer. Cuz man, the new phones (their screens) are beautiful!
     
  19. bros

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    Dec 22, 2011

    It is very useful, as I am a college student. Being able to check my email during my morning commute to school, in case a professor sends out a note. It is also excellent for being able to check the train status on the go (if it is running late, on time, etc.)

    And to calm me on the train (My anxiety + slight hypersensitivity to sound), I browse the internet. I use around 500 MB a month.

    Also, all of you should look to see if your phone carrier offers special discounts for teachers. My mom works for the town, and as a result, we get 15% off of our monthly wireless bill.

    Teachers get 20% off (including text and data)
     
  20. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I see this a lot! It drives me nuts! I had a roommate in college who I used to be very close to but we've drifted apart. Part of the reason I didn't like going places with her was that she was constantly on her phone, even in resteraunts and places like that. I think it's incredibly rude to be sitting across the table from someone who is trying to have a conversation with you and playing/texting on your phone the whole time. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one in my generation that feels that way. You're letting the world pass you by because you've got your face in a phone 24/7!Most other people aren't as bad, but I notice that whenever I go out places like resteraunts or happy hour, most people automatically place their phone right next to them on the table. It's like they can't handle one second of possibly being away from it and missing something. The only reason I would ever do that would be if I was expecting an important call or waiting for someone to meet up with us (so I'd be sure not to miss them if the texted or called). I would never even think to be so rude as to text someone else the entire time I was out with other friends.

    I don't have a smart phone- I can't afford one on a teacher's salary and it's not something I'm willing to scrimp and save for. I get by just fine. My phone calls and texts. I have a gps in my car. Sure there are times it would be convenient, but not worth several thousand a year (when you add up how much the bill would be). I'm literally the only person I know other than my parents who doesn't have one. My mom was just telling me that one of her friends who often complains that they don't have money/are strapped for cash spends over 5,000 a year on a family smart phone plan. People are so in debt these days- yet they're spending insane amounts on smart phones. I also fear that people will no longer even know how to interact face to face because they can't get their nose out of their phone. People my age at least grew up without a phone attached to their arm and knowing how to interact in the real world- with every 10 year old I see having them now, I'm not so sure.
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I won't go back. I actually have a minimum voice plan and a full data package. I text, email, google, play games, read books, watch tv, write notes and to do lists, update my calendar, etc. It use it a lot for answering quick stuff I'm wondering about, product reviews, etc. I can put it down to socialize, etc. but it does sometimes solve burning questions or something I want to show them. Today I shared the Christmas flash mob video and I used it to describe my level of hearing loss with a Flintstone video. I found directions to a place, review of a restaurant (often useful for deciding what dish to order-- new things I might not otherwise try). I came here while I was waiting on friends to show up. Heck, I take mine in the bathtub for morning reading and bed at night to wind down with quick word games I play with other friends. Ironically I'm not on FB much on my phone but I do check it periodically because one friend doesn't have a smartphone and she doesn't text well. My family uses it to stay in touch. Really I can't hear on the phone well so I use other methods. There have been a few times when I was waiting forever for something and used video calling to catch up with someone.

    Sometimes it is social, sometimes it is entertainment but more often than not I use it for informative purposes when I'm out.

    I no longer have home Internet. I watch tv on my phone.

    I can put my phone down for hours at a time but I don't go a day without using the data plan.
     
  22. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Dec 23, 2011

    Slightly off topic, but as I walked into the store today I dug a dollar out to put in the Salvation Army bucket. When I approached them I realized all 3 (adults, not teenagers) were on their phones. I walked across the front of the store to the other set of doors to go in and explained why I had. I know it's got to get rough standing there ringing, but that's just pathetic.
     
  23. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oh pulleeZe. That wasn't a hard gig. They had two other buddies to socialize with. Alone, I might have a little sympathy but here..nope.

    I have managed to eat lunch with friends, rollerblade for over an hour with my boys (my first time) and take two rounds in this awesome massage chair which totals an hour (even massages your hands, soles of feet, butt and hips!). Now I'm here because I'm not sports minded enough to do much else in an indoor sports plaza bu my kids deserve some playtime. I've been busy all week. It's their turn. Yes, I'm a bit bored but this keeps me busy. I think I will take a quick break though and walk around. Dare I put my phone down? Gasp. I love my phone. I'm even addicted to it but life always trumps it.
     
  24. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I got my 1st android smartphone just a couple mos ago, w/ unlimited talk, text, & unlimited 200 MB of high speed data for $55/mo. I really didn't want to pay more than $50/mo, but for the extra $5, I wanted the unlimited data too because there may be times I need to access my home email in case I'm waiting on an important email ASAP. I'm now w/ T-Mobile after being w/ AT&T for yrs. I'm not even a weekly texter nor am I on the internet on my phone or care that much for all the apps.

    I even more recently got a Nookcolor & I'm excited to start learning how it works! I just starting reading the 116 page user guide.
     
  25. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I'm getting rid of my smartphone in January. It was nice at first, but I really don't use the internet on my phone often enough to justify the $30 a month.
     
  26. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I use my cell phone for calls and texting. That's it. I can't justify paying the extra for a smart phone. If I need to look something up, I wait until I am at home. My sister and dad are addicted to their galaxy. It does drive me nuts at times. I cannot imagine what is so important that they must be on the internet all the time. I check this website, and my email and that is about it. Oh...I also check Amazon to buy books for my Kindle. :) That is the most up to date technology gadget I have!
    I don't have Facebook. That is another piece of technology I don't understand. I see too many people getting in trouble by things posted on Facebook. My sister is forever on there. It makes me feel as though I am being nosy...
     
  27. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I don't have internet at home. Adding data on to my cell phone plan was $15. I've never come close to the limit. For me, it makes more sense to pay for this than to pay for home internet because I can use it anywhere, not just at home. I am not addicted to it or on it all the time, but it is worth it to me to be able to look up recipes and things. It was amazing last summer when I was traveling--we were able to get directions, change hotel reservations, etc.
     
  28. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I think it's important not to judge how other people choose to entertain themselves. My husband and I are DINKs, (dual income, no kids) so we have a fair amount of expendable income. I choose to have a $15 data plan on my phone, I've only gone over once, and that was the month that the Internet was out at my house for a week and I used my phone for everything.

    We pay all of our bills on time, put money in savings each month, have modest amounts of consumer debt. The pets all have insurance and are spoiled thoroughly. Our house is cute and we keep it maintained. We donate to charities on a regular basis. I pay for my husband's mom and sister on our phone plan as well. We don't spend money on tobacco products, alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc. I don't see the problem with us choosing to spend part of our money on smartphones. We put it in our "entertainment" budget, but if you want to consider it a vice, that's fine. There are certainly less healthy things we could spend our money on. If we didn't have it spend on phones, we wouldn't.
     
  29. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    MissCelia--those are some good points. It's important to remember that people may be at different points in their lives or have different lifestyles. It's all about what people choose to do with their 'fun money.'
     
  30. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    I'm much the same way. I'm actually quite technological... and I do like FB... but like you, I just think essentially paying an extra $360 to access the net at all times seems frivolous TO ME.

    Here's the way I'm going to look at it from now on: I'm going to forego data, stick to my beater phone, and at the end of every year that I resist... I will spend the $360 on an actual electronic device that I can hold and use. That may help me quantify it better!
     
  31. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I'm still sticking to my plan of getting a tablet with the non-commitment data plan (15 a month) and getting a cheap gophone. :)
     
  32. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    I thought about getting rid of my smartphone when my contract came up in October, but switched to Virgin Mobile instead, which is saving me about $40/month over having a smartphone from my old provider.
     
  33. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    For me, my phone is my internet!! I live in a very small town and internet is expensive and unreliable. When I did the math, it was much cheaper to get it on my phone. Plus I got my educator discount through my phone provider so my bill basically didn't go up!
     
  34. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I got my husband an iPhone and upgraded mine. Putting us on a family talk plan is sixty dollars less and he had not had a data plan on his old phone.

    He has the cheapest data plan and I have the unlimited but I use mine instead of the laptop.
     
  35. teach'ntx

    teach'ntx Comrade

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    It is a toy. I thought about it a long time before deciding I wanted to buy it. I use it for GPS (finding an address or finding the nearest whatever). I use it for email, reading the news, facebook, taking pictures of my daughters and emailing them.
    I very rarely have it out if I am with friends. Only if we need to find something or we are comparing pictures.
     
  36. Good Doobie

    Good Doobie Rookie

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    Robots make it, robots market it and a few people get paid a lot.

    We used to have family phones which after a while included upgrading to one regular phone and two smart phones. We got our phones added at different times - one at a time when it seemed we could afford it. The contract for each was two years. We started to notice funny things happening. Three times when our contracts were about one month from expiring, we would start having problems. Each time the problem was with the phone that was about to expire. Each time we took the phone in for a replacement. Somehow, on two of those phones we wound up buying new contracts because we practically had to upgrade (actually I never did understand how they explained it to us). The third time (when our 3rd phone started messing up one month before the contract was up) I was suspicious. My wife and I went into the store and told them we were going to cancel the contracts on all the phones. The sales person took our phone for a few minutes to the back office. She brought our phone back and continued to discuss stuff. While suspicious, I tried calling out on our phone and had someone else call me back. Amazingly the phone worked again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    A bit later, I facetiously joked about it to another one of the employees at that cell phone store who replied as if disgruntled with her company “Someone knows what is going on!”
    I really don’t know about this, but on the other hand money is everything now days. So for now, we just have one prepaid phone from another company, and my attitude is that computers and robots are making most of the stuff we buy, computers and robots are marketing it, and a few people are sitting around getting all the money.
    And WHILE I’M AT IT, it is not just phones. Robots are making most everything. We even buy a lot of stuff that we could make ourselves. Some stuff that costs say $35 I could make with junk except I admit it would take me $35 of time to make. So I give my money to others to make it, right? Problem is that “they” are not really even hiring anyone to make a lot of stuff because robots make the stuff and robots make the robots that make the stuff. Again, I think a few people are sitting around collecting a lot of money for very little work. Even their children that we try to teach probably think work is spzd.to be easy and pay is high. I am not surprised that everyone is confused and wondering why the economy is upside down.
    I wonder if computers and cell phones are the reason for most all of the problems with the economy.
     
  37. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Dec 27, 2011

    People in taiwan make cell phones

    At least Apple's phones are made in taiwan and china.

    also the apple factories have the highest rate of suicides out of the factories in taiwan/china, so bad that they have to put bars on the windows
     
  38. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I thought you were just parroting some internet blog with your info, so I googled it you are right on there bros
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ories-forced-sign-pledges-commit-suicide.html
    I get a lot of email from friends & family that has not been fact checked
     
  39. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Dec 27, 2011

    I'm never in my office. My phone serves as my computer when I am around school.
     
  40. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Dec 27, 2011

    YES!!!! I hate this! I was out with friends who were playing scrabble with each other! It drives me crazy and people don't seem to get how rude it is.
     
  41. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    I was late on the whole cell phone train. I only got it because I'd been looking for a new job and couldn't really do phone interviews from my desk at work. It's gotten steadily more expensive as the rate has gone up and I added an additional text plan because so many people texted me that I ended up paying a lot each month.

    I don't see the point of getting a data plan. I'm not convinced I need access to the internet everywhere I go. The GPS would be nice since I don't have one in my car, but I can read a road map if I need to get somewhere or print off mapquest directions before a trip. When I think I need it or when it gets substantially cheaper I may get it, but for now, I'm in the holdout section.
     

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