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Don’t Throw Out That Old Smartphone or Tablet!

Sunday, August 9th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals, Smartphones, Uncategorized
 
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What’s in your old technology drawer? Flip phones and chargers? Old 3G smartphones with cracked screens not worth the cost to fix?

You’ve probably seen ads to sell your old phones. Problem is, you can’t resell or even recycle them if they’re more than a few years old. In fact, the cost to ship old tech—including old tablets—will probably cost more than the check you’ll get from the recycler.

But many old tech has a shelf life beyond the closet’s or drawer. Here are some ideas to breathe new life into old technology

All Mobile Phones Connect to Emergency Services

If you hang on to old cellphones—even the flip-style ones—you probably have the chargers for them, too. Keep them charged and stash one on every level of your home—particularly the basement and in bedrooms—to use to make calls to 911 or local emergency responders.

emergency-phone

Old tech that still boots up still work for emergency calls. Even old mobile phones that are no longer connected to a service maintain a lifeline to emergency services. They will work regardless of where you take the phone, as long as there is a cellular connection.

Take an extra phone when you go on vacation as a backup to your latest gadget. Put one in your car or truck

Just make sure your emergency back-up phones are always charged.

Donate Old Cellphones to Shelters, Charities

Shelters for homeless people and many charities that work with low-income people will accept working phones and chargers for their clients. They are not only useful for emergencies, but can be brought back to life through any number of carriers. This is invaluable to someone looking for work but can’t afford a phone and/or a monthly connection fee.

While it is true that people who qualify for Medicaid also qualify for a no-frills mobile phone (also called the “Obamaphone” program), not all poor people will qualify for these services. In many states, the cutoff is as low as $11,670 for a single person. So there are a lot of people who will use an older phone that works on a low-cost network, possibly covered all or in part by a local service.

Donate Old Cellphones to Shelters, Charities

Shelters for homeless people and many charities that work with low-income people will accept working phones and chargers for their clients. They are not only useful for emergencies, but can be brought back to life through any number of carriers. This is invaluable to someone looking for work but can’t afford a phone and/or a monthly connection fee.

donate-phone

While it is true that people who qualify for Medicaid also qualify for a no-frills mobile phone (also called the “Obamaphone” program), not all poor people will qualify for these services. In many states, the cutoff is as low as $11,670 for a single person. So there are a lot of people who will use an older phone that works on a low-cost network, possibly covered all or in part by a local service.

Now we’ve only scratched the surface of how you can re-purpose your old tech. Tomorrow in part 2 of this article, we’ve got even more ideas.

~ Ruth Ann

Ruth Ann Monti provides web content and copywriting services through TimeStorm Communications, LLC. She lives with her son and two dogs in sunny Arizona.

Photo credits: Author

2 Responses to “Don’t Throw Out That Old Smartphone or Tablet!”

  1. Jamie says:

    I have a few old phones we still use. One has a bunch of kids games on it so we let them have at it. I also keep for setting our alarm from our bedroom or anywhere in the house so it’s still connected to WiFi and use it for Bluetooth for music.

  2. […] In part 1 of this article, we told you about great ways to re-purpose old electronics as emergency back-up phones and to help those in need. But there are also a lot of fun uses for old tech. […]

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