Is it a mistake to buy an old iPhone?

Hello, thanks for looking at my question.

I want to know if it is a mistake to buy an older model of iPhone.

When I say older, I mean the 3g or 3gs model. I’ve never been a smartphone or iPhone user before. I’ve always had cheap cellphones. Nothing more expensive than $100. And for the last 6 months or so, I haven’t had a cellphone at all. I’ve just used my home and work land line telephones and kinda got used to life without a cellphone. I have however had an iPod touch for a number of years (love it), and I understand the Apple operating system inside and out.

Now that I’m in the market for a new phone, it seems like a cheap older model iPhone might be a good fit. However, I have concerns.

All the news recently about Apple and Google being spy central, and knowing that smartphone are basically data collection, tracking, and snooping devices for police, government, and corporations…

But, the convenience would be nice. Can’t count the number of times I wished my iPod Touch had internet access when I was away for home or work, so I could look up something, or use maps to find directions. For $120 or whatever an iPhone 3g or 3gs costs today in late 2013, maybe its worth it. I’d probably buy a refurbished and/or jail broken device.

So what do you think? Should I really steer clear of iPhone and smartphone and keep my digital independence, or should I join the herd?

See my conflict here? I don’t want to lose anything, but I’d like to gain something at the same time.

Thanks. I look forward to your answers. :-)
I should add that I DO NOT WANT to buy a phone on contract. I want to be able to remove the SIM card.

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