First World Problems: Redneck techology solutions

28 Aug

Some of you might be wondering why I’ve been so quiet this month on my various social media outlets.* Recently my husband and I made some tough decisions in order to save some money and replenish our savings, which has been decimated by this year’s surprise car repairs, veterinary bills, etc. In closely examining our expenses, we had to admit that the most expensive single bill on our list (other than rent, of course, which is essential for obvious reasons) is our cell phone/internet bill. We decided the most sensible and responsible thing to do would be to turn off our internet and our individual cell phones for a few months.

If you know me at all, then you are probably aware that I am…let’s say emotionally attached to my cell phone. Actually that’s probably an understatement.** I love my cell phone almost as much as I love my family and my pets. In fact, I probably spent more time with it than I did with other people. My phone is my computer, camera, calendar, calculator, address book, GPS, bank account register, MP3 player, workout coach, diary, library, game center, email, text messenger, and primary research tool. Can’t remember the name of that guy who is in the movie you are watching? IMDB APP! Wondering the name of the song that just came on the radio? SHAZAM! Need the address of a store you need to go to? GOOGLE!

I think you get the idea.

Oh, and it’s also good for phone calls I guess. But let’s be honest, we hardly use our phones to talk anymore. I mean, our plan has something like 700 shared minutes and between the 4 of us in our house, we probably never topped 100 minutes in a month. Why bother calling people when you have texting and social media at your fingertips? It’s so much more convenient.

So it’s been a bit of an adjustment since we turned off our smartphones and activated a simple phone for the whole family to share. It was at least 3 or 4 days before I stopped picking up my phone to see if I had any messages. However, we haven’t given them up entirely. The local apps like the calendar, address book, and some games still work, and our smartphones still function as mini-tablets when connected to wi-fi. Since we no longer have wi-fi at home, that means we have to rely on the generosity of local businesses that provide free wi-fi for their customers.

Which is why my husband and I took our dog out for a drive at 7 o’clock last night, and sat in the parking lot of McDonald’s for 20 minutes reading our email and checking Facebook. Some people go to McDonald’s because they are hungry. We go to McDonald’s for the internet.***

Hey, I have to get my fix somehow. Don’t judge me.

*Some of you may not have noticed at all. Others may actually have been relieved at the lack of activity. I’m choosing you pretend these people don’t exist and everyone has been heartbroken at my absence.
**Okay there’s no “probably” about it. That is an understatement.
***And the Monopoly.


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5 responses to “First World Problems: Redneck techology solutions

  1. fargojones

    August 29, 2013 at 10:56 am

    No judging here. I seem to measure my life by the things we’ve had to sacrifice to get by these days. And I HATE that cell phones have gotten so expensive. Ten years ago, my phone bill was 25 bucks a month. now it’s 157. just crazy how much some things have gone up while things that really matter, like food, have barely risen.

    • karifur

      August 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      Yeah I remember those days when you could write a check to your phone company for $30 or less. Pretty sure the taxes alone on our cell phone bill were more than $30 a month.

  2. Andria

    August 29, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    No judging at all! We were in Sweden last year and ended up spending time at the mall and hanging out outside various 7-11s to get some wi-fi. Nothing like flying to a foreign country to do things I would really never do in real life.

    • karifur

      August 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      That would be me as well. I have become quite an expert on which places have the best wi-fi in Fargo.

  3. fargojones

    September 19, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Adding to above, when wife or I was unemployed, we would call the internet provider and tell them about our difficulties. They were more than happy to offer us a discount on internet services. The first year we got $10 off a month for internet, this year we have half off and only pay 23.50 a month for pretty good service. It’s been super helpful for recovering from unemployment as well. However, if I remember right, the internet company we used in Fargo, Cableone, is a bag of steaming crap, so they may not be as nice. Lesson for us though was you never know what will happen until you ask for help.


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