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I simply refuse to own a smartphone for a large number of reasons. The privacy implications of carrying a tracking and surveillance device 24/7 are obvious. (I was just talking to a friend the other day who was amazed at receiving targeted ads based on places he'd been and things he'd said.) Also I see people addicted to the stupid things to the point where they cannot even get through a meal without poking at their phones. No thanks. I don't need or want to be constantly "connected". My simple phone is left turned off when not in use.
Texting? Not interested. If someone can't be bothered to call or email I can't be bothered to deal with them. Additionally, if some service requires a stupid smartphone "app" it's something I can live without. As far as PayPal, if they actually had gotten to the point where it was "texting required" or "smartphone required" I was 100% prepared to have them close my account. It turned out they are not there yet, but that may be coming.
In the case of your mom, I see it as her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who are inflexible and unwilling to accommodate her needs. If she is isolated it is because her loved ones are so selfish and lazy that they cannot even be bothered to pick up a telephone to talk to her.
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