Pretty soon your cell phone provider will own you

You have to pay for minutes, text messages, internet access, and sending photo?s?.and it keeps going on. How much can we afford!?

Sure, a cell phone is a great idea. It allows you to communicate while you are on the road and away from your regular land line. But technology has made the cell phone into a national phenomenon. Now you can take picture with your phone, send home made animations, play video games etc. When is it going to be enough?

Last month I purchased a new cell phone. I wanted a phone that could sync with my computer so I can have my latest e-mail, contacts and calendar events updated for me. Heck having a phone that can do this is much better than lugging around a laptop or a PDA; I do not need 3 devices when one will do. So I purchased Sony Ericsson?s T68i phone from ATT. When I was talking to the sales rep on the phone, she asked me if I wanted internet access. I said sure, this will allow me to check my e-mail while on the road. Next she asked me if I wanted SMS access so I can send text messages. I told her no, that I rarely use it. Next she asked me if I wanted to add the camera option on for an additional $100 including a $50 rebate. I told her no that I would not use it.

I was stunned to find out that there are all of these options and services available for a cell phone. This little phone theoretically replaced about 5 other devices. In theory this is great, but can you imagine the phone bill you would receive if you activated all of the options on your phone? The EE Times reported a little while ago that cell phones with digital cameras are expected to sell more than regular digital camera?s alone. This is phenomenal if you ask me. The quality of camera phones really are nott all that great in my opinion, and why would you want to send a low quality picture to another phone at .25 per pop; sounds silly to me; that is a blatant rip-off.

Do you have a family member that seems to hang on the phone all day talking to their friends? They talk on the phone because they feel they have too. Well imagine taking that family member and attaching a cell phone to their head. Now they can be a distraction wherever they go, while driving, walking, you name it; and guess who is footing the bill for them?

A lot of people are replacing their home land line with a cell phone. Why pay for two phones when one will do. I think this is a great idea, but it scares me to see a single company provide what multiple companies should. Think about it people, a single company can control what you pay for. Convenience turned monopoly if you ask me.

Look, I think cell phones are cool. The idea is great, but if we do not watch our pocketbooks, you will wind up owing more to your cell phone provider than you do for your home mortgage. What we need to be doing is using the phone to talk only. When on the road, pay attention to where you are driving or walking instead. The cell phone should be a tool, not an obsession. Technology is cool, but do not go broke enjoying it.

I heard Tony Hawk is now available for your cell phone?I always liked that game. I wonder if I can play opponents online with my phone. Now that is cool! J

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

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