Mobile phones are useful, powerful, and helpful. However, the highly addictive quality of smartphones is an ever present danger.   Yet, your child is the “only” person who does not have a phone. A cell phone is a cell phone–meant to be used for communication, it is whether or not you want the “extras” on your phone. Either way, as a parent, we are still accountable as to what your child does with their new cell phone.  Here are some considerations for what type of phone may be best for yourself and/or your child when purchasing a cell phone. 

Basic Phones:

  • Price! The phones are cheaper, as well as the plans which start as little as $5/ month, with minimal cost to upgrade with in a contract
  • Battery. Longer battery life, as you are not surfing the web or having multiple apps open
  • Durability. More durable in regards to being dropped or exposed to moisture
  • Simplicity.  Basic phones are usually quite user friendly
  • Size. Basic phones are considerably smaller than smartphones
  • Privacy & Security. Older basic phones do not have the ability to access the internet, therefore decreasing the amount of personal information on the web.  Please note: New basic phones have the potential to access the internet & certain apps–please talk with your salesperson when purchasing a basic phone
  • Less Addictive.  Much easier to break away from technology on a basic phone, less access to pornography, cyber bullying, and developing poor media habits.
  • Easier to monitor basic phones with fewer apps, limited internet abilities, etc.
  • In emergencies, it’s easier to call “911” with buttons than with a touchscreen
  • A note on Verizon plans. Verizon has set up a new “4G” network. Right now the older basic and smartphones (which use “3G”) are grandfathered in on your plan, but news has it that Verizon will drop the “3G” network completely this year, forcing those with the older phones to get new ones that are compatible with the new “4G” network.  


  • Increased user efficiency. Especially important for most business oriented persons, acting as a “small” computer
  • Camera.  Most smartphones have high quality cameras with editing capabilities.
  • Staying connected more easily with family and friends
  • Ease of access to emails and messaging
  • GPS/location ability
  • Abundant apps to make to-do lists easier & staying organized (i.e. banking, ordering groceries, prescription refills, comparison pricing, etc)
  • Parental controls: Can disable or limit built in apps (such as internet, voice recognition, ability to download new apps, etc) and lock these settings with a passcode.
  • Can utilize accountability software to track all text messages and phone activity
  • Entertainment features
  • Education tools for students & teachers

Cell phones have many benefits for everyday life.  There can be negative effects on either cell phone of choice. Utilizing an appropriate filter with accountability and time controls can decrease the negative aspects of smartphones.