If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you probably know I received my Verizon iPhone this past Monday. It was great to finally have an iPhone after patiently waiting for a few years.

Since then, I’ve had a few conversations with people wondering how getting an iPhone is in line with the new minimalism philosophy I’ve tried to adopt. Here are some things from my perspective as to why it is in line with minimalism as I try and practice it. I hope this helps.

  • Minimalism is not about having a poverty mentality. It’s not about buying the cheapest product for the sake of it. It’s about being pragmatic and efficient with purchases and items. Why buy a lesser quality product, at $10, that is going to need to be replaced in six months when you can buy the same product, but better quality, for $30 and have it last you years longer? You can have nice things and still be a minimalist.
  • My previous cell phone was junk. It would randomly shut off at least once a week, and I wouldn’t know it. I’ve been dealing with this issue for a few months. I would miss calls and texts, and only later would I realize it had shut off on its own. What good is a cell phone if you can’t receive calls and messages on it? The iPhone is one of the best phones on the market, and it’s one reason why I waited to purchase it instead of buying another phone in the intermediary.
  • Besides carrying around a cell phone, I also carried around an iPod Touch. Instead of carrying around two devices, I now carry around one device.
  • I am a Mac user, so having a phone that is on the same OS platform as the computer I use is incredibly efficient for my life and work.
  • At work, I am creating digital content, so it’s nice to know how it looks on a predominantly used mobile device. In fact, one project I’ve been researching is developing an app for CCC.
  • A good portion of the day, I interact with people online.
  • The apps that Apple provides for iPhone are a great resource, and also fun. I put out a request on Twitter and Facebook for app suggestions. Around twenty people responded. Here’s the discussion on Facebook from people who suggested apps.
  • I’m able to sell my iPod Touch and offset expenses.
  • As a pre-existing Verizon customer, I was able to pre-order the iPhone at a reduced cost.
  • We are on Verizon because most of our family is on the carrier as well. Talking to family does not go against our minutes.
  • In Omaha, I have never had any issues with Verizon’s coverage.

There are other reasons, but I hope this is helpful in understanding why getting an iPhone works with the minimalism lifestyle I’m trying to live. I do realize that since I’m just starting with minimalism that there will be areas in my life that aren’t yet in line with it. I’m slowly getting there.

Another thing with getting the iPhone is making sure it doesn’t dominate my time. When I’m at home with my family, the iPhone doesn’t need my attention more than my wife and boys. When I have a Sabbath, I need to put it down. I’ve been trying to do this already when I had my iPod Touch. The iPhone is a tool, I should not be serving it. I have it to make my life and work easier.

What is the end goal with this? I don’t know. There are things I’m trying to accomplish, but there’s not an end goal. I don’t plan on stopping once I achieve some end goal. I’m not trying to be simple for the sake of it. I’m not trying to find my identity in a culture, or lifestyle, other than what Jesus asks of me.

A special thanks to Joshua Becker who talked with me earlier in the week about this issue. He sent me a link to a video where Mark Driscoll and Joshua Harris question Francis Chan as to why he is pursuing a new course in his life where simplicity is key. As Chan puts it, simplicity (minimalism) allows us to be more generous. That is one of my hopes with this.

2 thoughts on “iPhone & Minimalism

  1. An interesting take on this. I haev often felt bad for having stuff, such as an iPhone, etc. I'd have to agree that having it has streamlined a lot of the things I do daily, though it sometimes is a great distraction. I appreciate your perspective, not because it makes me feel better, but because it's something I've yet to hear.

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  2. Hey Beau, thanks for reading! Glad I can offer a different perspective on things.

    It's something I've had to work through at times. As a former missionary, there was always great pressure to not have anything. It was part of the missionary culture, almost a poverty mentality. You were almost looked down upon, by some of the missionaries, if you had nice stuff. At times, we stunted our effectiveness because we had cheap “stuff” to work with.

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