COM0011 – Blog 3 – How much should you spend on a phone?

That depends, how much money would you like to earn this year?

When it comes to my smartphone, I spare no expense. That didn’t happen right away, I eased into better and better devices over the years as I renewed cellular contracts or inherited old phones from friends. Finally I realized that if I want to be competitive in any industry that relies on communication of any kind to earn an income, then I should have a high-end handheld device and a fast, reliable service plan so that when customers are connecting with me, I’m ready.

I remember the first turning point was many years ago when I used my PC laptop for emailing and a Motorola flip-phone for texting and phone calls. One day I went to a client’s house for a service call that we had scheduled by email, and when I arrived, they informed me that they had sent me a cancellation hours ago…by email. I went back to my car, quite put out that I had wasted my time going over there, and decided that I needed my first smartphone so that I could receive emails on the go.

How much should you spend on a phone?

My second turning point was when my trusty IPhone 4S was starting to act bizarrely, not rendering my location correctly on maps when I was on a service call, and not ringing when someone was calling me. I hemmed and hawed over paying for a new, better device when it dawned on me that no matter the cost of the device, it won’t be anywhere close to the amount of income I could lose if customers can’t get a hold of me.

Studies exploring the social differentiation of wireless users indicate a clear correlation between income and mobile technology. Generally, people of a higher income are more connected, whether it’s by home or mobile internet. One may argue that it is because of their higher income that they can afford these luxuries at all, but it isn’t a pattern that you should disregard. Certainly if you want to make yourself more employable you need to make yourself more visible, and your online presence is much harder to curate when you’re only viewing your emails or logging into Facebook once a day from your desktop computer because you’ve used up all your data for the month or you don’t have the necessary apps. Just imagine that your competition in the job market are updating multiple social accounts and replying to emails and messages within an hour. You need an awesome handheld device if you want to keep up.

This being said, some people are happy with their life, and happy with their device. This post isn’t for them, though. It’s for anyone who wants to be competitive in a technologically driven world and is hesitating over a device upgrade. You may eventually come to realize that not only does it replace all form of gadgets and make your life easier; the cost of it is a drop in the bucket to the amount of income you intend to earn this year. It hardly seems reasonable to expect to increase your salary if you don’t increase your skills, availability, knowledge, and savvy, and your communication tools are no small part of that development.