Using My Mobile Phone in the Philippines
Tagged with cellphone, landline, mobile phone, philippines, phone on December 23, 2023
Both my wife, Josie, and I have mobile phones. The basic functions of a mobile phone are talking and texting, but we spend way more time doing other things when we’re using our phones.
Either of us can spend an hour or so a day talking to relatives in the United States, using Meta’s Messenger application. When Josie’s watching videos, they’re usually Filipino dramas or videos on Facebook. When I do it, they’re usually videos from various streaming services. I also use it as a personal MP3 player and connect it to one of three Bluetooth speakers I have available when we have parties without karaoke machines.
Some people still use the term “cellphone” when talking about a mobile phone, while others simply say “phone”. That’s to be expected because many people have never been exposed to a real “landline”. I use “phone” as well because it’s easier to say, and it doesn’t confuse anyone anyway.
Mobile Phone Costs
Both of our phones are paid for and they’re both unlocked. Josie has a TNT SIM card in her phone and I have a Smart SIM card in mine (they’re both owned by Smart Communications). I use the sendwave service to send small amounts of money to my GCash wallet, which I then use to purchase services from Smart. Since sendwave converts dollars to Philippine pesos at a slightly lower exchange rate, I don’t use it for anything else.
I buy prepaid loads for any number of minutes, any number of text messages, and any number of gigabytes that never expire. The last time I bought 50 minutes, 50 text messages and 2 gigabytes of data, it cost me 149 pesos. That’s less than $3.00 USD at any exchange rate above 49 pesos to a dollar. This month so far, I’ve only used .3 gigabytes of data and 4 text messages. I use Wi-Fi at home most of the time. My Internet connection is with PLDT and costs me less than $50 a month for 600 megabits (fiber).
I also have Skype subscriptions for unlimited minutes to call anyone in the United States using their phone number, and a phone number so anyone in the United States can call me. The total cost is $9.49 USD per month. As you can plainly see, I spend as little as possible on communication.
I Like and Dislike My Phone at the Same Time
A list of the things I like about mobile phones:
- Being able to call people when I’m not at home.
- Using web services when I’m not at home.
- Watching videos.
- Listening to music.
There are a lot of services I use on my phone, even though I can use them on my laptop computer. The phone versions of those applications are better in most cases.
A list of the things I dislike about mobile phones:
- Notifications of any kind.
- People calling me at any hour of the day or night, always expecting me to answer.
- Spam texts.
When I start getting lots of notifications from applications I don’t really care about, I’ll do everything I can to disable them. I keep my audio muted when I’m sleeping so phone calls won’t wake me up.
Mobile Phones Promote Bad Behavior
If someone knocked on your door in 1990 and asked to use your phone, it meant coming inside and using your landline. Today, people won’t even knock on your door. They’ll just ask to use the phone you’re carrying.
When we used landlines, it wasn’t expected that we’d always be available. It was considered rude to call people when they were sleeping (or should be sleeping). Today, it seems we’re expected to be available 24 hours a day.
On the other hand, some people won’t answer their phones at all, even when courtesy is in play. Mobile gamers can’t be bothered to answer a call when it means their games will be interrupted. Of course, some people aren’t rudely ignoring their phones. Josie doesn’t carry her phone with her anywhere. She can’t answer it unless she’s in the same room as it is.
One of the things I see a lot of in the Philippines are cracked phone screens, and I know they’re inexpensive phones that don’t use Corning Gorilla Glass. Most likely, they’re brands made in China. I always tell relatives to buy cases that put a small distance between the glass and any surface. Transparent wood looks promising as a stronger and tougher substitute for any kind of glass.
More and more websites are creating applications for our phones. Eventually, desktop and laptop computers will be relegated to gamers who want larger displays without buying new gaming consoles all the time. I don’t think I’ll ever use a phone as my primary computing device, and I’m not a gamer. I’m a touch typist (since I was 15) and the virtual keyboard on my phone annoys me to no end when I have to type more than a few words.
Even though I have a Bluetooth keyboard available, it’s not something I want to pull out and connect just to answer a question. Luckily, I can use Meta’s Messenger on my laptop computer.
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