Mobile Phone Privilege

Anyone more than 30 years old, maybe 25 at the youngest, would probably remember the Zack Morris Saved By The Bell days of the “cell” phone that would barely fit in a backpack much less a back pocket.  Having a cell phone was a privilege only few people had back then.  Slater didn’t have one because he was poor.

As time has passed having a “mobile” phone has become more affordable, or maybe it’s more prioritized as we have grown to believe we couldn’t live without one and that we actually DESERVE to have one no matter the cost.  Many of us don’t even have a home phone anymore because our mobile phone is all we really need.  Many of us even have children with mobile phones (and I’d love to get feedback from other parents about the reasoning and justification as my kids are beginning to ask).

In my experience coaching people through financial difficulty I have successfully identified a group of people who DO NOT need or deserve a mobile phone and/or the features they have included in their mobile phone plan.  This has become a pet peeve of mine so I have listed some tips that might help some people with regards to mobile phone privileges:
  • If someone cannot afford to buy their own groceries they do not need a mobile phone.
  • If someone cannot afford to pay their own rent they do not need a mobile phone.
  • If someone cannot afford to pay for their own transportation they do not need a mobile phone.
  • If someone is required by their job to have a mobile phone then the job should pay well enough to afford the mobile phone, or it should reimburse them for it.
  • If someone has no savings in the bank and the only reason they have a data plan is to check facebook 15 times a day then they do not need a data plan.
  • If any of the above apply to someone then they should turn off unlimited text messages and tell their friends to CALL them.
  • If someone cannot afford to pay their share of a monthly family plan and they’ve been bumming it off their broke single mom for years they do not need a mobile phone and they certainly do not need the data plan and unlimited text messages on the mobile phone (I’ve counseled this poor parent and that is the reason for this rant).

Mobile phones are a privilege not a necessity.  Don’t tell me they are for safety.  We used to get along just fine without them and besides that most people are near someone at all times who has one anyway.  So if there is an emergency find a Zack Morris and let them call for help.  When is the last time you really had to use your phone for an emergency?  I can’t even remember the last time I did.

Ok, enough about this.  I’ve got some calls to make…