Okay, so here’s the thing. My mobile data is just about to go Waaaayyy over the limit for this month, and Dave is always telling me to ‘Get off that darn phone.’ Meanwhile I know that his phone data is rattling around zero. I know. I’ve checked.
But seriously, I can’t help using my phone or my data. My mobile is as much part of my blogging life as food is to sustaining me, and without connectivity the life-blood of what I do is cut off. Having just returned from England … where, actually seriously you don’t want to know how cheap it is to stay connected … I’ve been looking at other ways of conserving existing data without purchasing more.
Anyway, in amongst my Dr Googling I was alerted to the fact that Optus have come up with a plan called Family Sharing, a mobile plan built for households so that everyone in the family can share and maximise their data. If you’d like all the facts about this plan in bite-sized chunks, I’ve written more in depth about it here: Want more health and happiness? Stay connected socially
In a nutshell, here’s how it works …
Zilch or Zillions?
What the plan actually does is enable you to maintain ‘data stability’ in your household by consolidating plans into one bill. You know perhaps your kids use zillions of data, and you only use a little, or like me it’s part and parcel of what you do, but your husband uses practically zilch.
Tristan Rayner at Techly explains it better here …
“The idea is, if Mum doesn’t use her data, the teenager on Snapchat can make sure they’re getting the most from it. It makes pretty good sense for a family to combine plans. Generally speaking, the younger you are, the more mobile data you use, and the less need you have for calls and text messages (at least that’s how it goes in my family),” Tristan.
Feedback Optus Mobile Family Sharing
After my last post I had some lovely comments on the blog and Facebook about why sharing data amongst families is a good idea.
Caroline from yTravelBlog had this to say about the Optus Family Sharing plan …
“Data was a huge issue for us travelling around the country and trying to run a digital business. We have a sharing plan between our devices which saved us many times from excess data charges. I really do like this service offered and I think it’s so beneficial for families.”
Meanwhile over on the East Coast another reader commented.
“What a great idea! This plan would definitely help with our internet as I have high usage because of my job and my hubby low usage. I tend to keep in contact with most friends and family members by text or Facebook. I really like that I have been able to reacquaint myself with long lost friends and cousins via Facebook. I probably feel more connected than ever thanks to technology.” Kathy
Nearly all of us need internet data
My Mum, some of you might know is 86, is getting to grips with her new smartphone which her 94 year old partner bought for her birthday. She’s doing okay with it (although she does try to ‘turn’ a page rather than ‘swipe’ it) and boy she’s rattling through her data (good job it’s so inexpensive in England) and why is she gobbling up data? Because she loves to connect with us and her grandchildren on the platforms where we hang out. Okay she still loves getting letters, but she’s not averse to Facebook either.
Just goes to show, data is a bit like the new oil! Everybody young and old uses it someway or another as one of my blog readers explained:
“I think you are right Jo about the effects of disengagement with other people as people get old. I have seen those effects in my own family. Like they say act, belong, commit. I know when I first left work I felt a little isolated, so I set about creating ways to keep engaged with people. I am so much happier now, but sometimes I think way too busy! There are people I only have contact with by phone, and others I keep in contact with via Facebook. Despite what I thought about FB originally (and yes it can be a time waster) it is a great way to stay connected with friends.” Jill
Landlines going out of fashion?
And another lovely reader made the point about how our home phones are becoming much less used these days (in fact personally I don’t have one right now, and it’s a pleasure not having to get up to answer those annoying ‘spam’ calls).
“Great post Jo, you have given me loads of information, thanks. I keep connected using FB especially for those friends and family overseas. I would be lost without my mobile as more and more of us opt out of the home phone. The only time I use the home phone is to talk to dad and my brother in NZ, about once a month. Other times my brother phones me mobile to mobile most weeks.” Rae
Do you have a landline? Is it really necessary? Do tell in the comments.
Can Family Sharing be used by Housemates too?
I was reading an article by Tristan Raynar entitled ” Is Optus family sharing a good idea for housemates? because the plan could be used in a housemate ‘family’ as well. He wrote …
“Nearly one-quarter of housemates interviewed said that they’d welcome the idea of combining mobile data, calls and texts into one pool to maximise what they have, and have it all on the one bill. Other insights from Optus include the fact that a third (33%) of flatters say they limit how much they use their mobiles because they’re worried about going over their data and call allowance.”
While according to Lifehacker, “Optus’ Family Sharing plan does exactly what it says on the tin: “Customers can combine their individual data allocations with a single bill coming at the end of each month. Any combination of Optus postpaid mobile plans can be mixed with all data pooled together. This means that a heavy user can dip into a light user’s monthly allotment and use the data that would have otherwise been “wasted”, with nobody paying anything extra.”
This post was sponsored by Optus
My question for you today is: What would you like from your mobile carrier? More data, cheaper data, better connectivity, better service?
Also forgot to mention only 3 people call us on our landline, that is Mum, Dad and a friend of mine. I would like to ‘bundle’ it all up and get rid of landline, but not quite the right time yet.
I think you speak for a lot of people, Christine – we keep them just for a few people to communicate with us – who would be gutted and perplexed if we didn’t have them.
What a great read and gorgeous pictures, thanks Jo
Thank you so much 🙂 It’s really heartening to hear that people enjoy Lifestyle Fifty 🙂
Andrea @ The Pineapple Cake
I moved to Australia last year and we had a family sharing plan over there with my mom and sister. I just recently found out about Optus family sharing and I think it’s a great idea. It’s a great way to keep my costs down with my partner since we both use a ton of data but don’t make many calls (except to each other).
As for landlines, I don’t see the point of them at the moment – but I could understand the need for one when we have children.
It’s a great plan for families or housemates Andrea. Not sure if you’ll even need a landline in the future.
Great article – I love that even the oldies ii your family have embraced the technology. What a great option to be able to share data like that. We live out in the stick and don’t have mobile phone reception. Because we are so isolated physically, I love my internet to stay in touch with the outside world. Unfortunately we are on satellite internet which means we are severely restricted with bandwidth. Glad to see you are making the most of your data! lol! Great intergenerational story. 🙂
Thanks Cindy! It must be lovely living in a remote location, but hard not having mobile reception. Satellite internet must be restricting, but glad that you manage to ‘make a plan’. Glad you found this story interesting 🙂
Hi Jo, we decided to do away with our landline after returning from six months away. Our biggest problem was re-educating our elderly parents to call us on our mobile phones as they were worried about the cost of making mobile calls. My Mum has grasped the concept really well, however my Dad refuses to call my mobile so I am the one that has to call him all the time or he sends emails. Otherwise we don’t miss the landline at all. Like you said, the majority of phone calls we received were telemarketers anyway!
Yes, there is some reluctance amongst our parents’ generation to go mobile. I was aghast some years ago when friends had no landline because it was really expensive to phone from mobiles back then – but now, it’s all so much easier. I’ve been managing to spend so much less not having a landline, so far.
I have never actually had a landline as an adult, just my mobile phone so I think you may be on to something.
I’m hearing about more and more people doing this Carly – they are just becoming out-dated I think.