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Peggy Sanders
Oral, S.D.

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My simple life without a smartphone

There are words for people like me. Luddite comes to mind, which in its broadest sense means someone who is opposed to technological change. In the eyes of the majority I'm a deviant and I'm betting many who are reading this are also.

As part of my being "old school," is the fact that I don't have a smartphone where I am connected to the Internet at every moment. I still use a flip phone with which I can call and text, but that is all — and for me, it is quite enough.

I call it a dumb phone mostly to poke fun at myself. It is used primarily and almost exclusively as a farm tool. That is, when my farmers need to get ahold of me for a ride, to pick up parts, or bring them net wrap or coffee. In the less harried seasons on the farm it may go for days without being used.

Advertisers of all sorts assume everyone has a smartphone, which of course I contend is a big mistake. It's fine for them to give out information for such users, yet they need to continue to support those of us who aren't in that realm.

“We don’t use an ATM and wouldn’t know how if we got the urge.”

In a recent farm magazine, an article stated that it is necessary to be Internet connected at all times while in the tractor. The contention was it is imperative for weather information and to keep up-to-the-minute on commodities fluctuations, as if being in a tractor somehow equals being out of touch or on another planet. With cabbed tractors come radios, even weather radios if you choose. Internet is not the end-all for information.

We don't use an ATM and wouldn't know how if we suddenly had the urge. We do use credit cards, but pay off any balances each month. When I use them to buy groceries locally I get the feeling the clerk is thinking how sad it is that I have to charge my supplies. In truth, I do it for convenience.

My bookkeeper/husband enters information into a computer program and when I used to write checks, individual expenditures had to be entered. By using a credit card, he can add up amounts paid to the grocery store for the month and enter them as a lump sum. It saves him time.

We still use checks in the offering plate at church. Some habits don't change even though our church allows for automatic withdrawal from a checking account. Touted as a convenience for those who travel, it is used by some so they don't have the need to write a check.

Personally, I don't like any entity having permission to withdraw funds from an account nor having access like that. I have heard too many consumer shows, such as Tom Martino, to make me cautious. According to him, unless both parties agree to cease automatic withdrawals, the bank cannot stop transferring the funds.

If the latest "necessity" would be useful to you, learn what you can so you don't drown, then jump in. ❖