i just don't want to be constantly within nagging range of email or texts.
I'm pretty sure there's not a single phone that still works since AMPS was turned off which doesn't have texting. It's a basic part of the GSM standard and I assume fairly basic in the CDMA world as well.
If there was a compelling reason for a smart phone and/or app (other than social media nonsense, or the aforementioned email/texts) i'd buy a smart phone. but right now, it's just about tracking users and this irritating social media bubble that cannot pop soon enough.
Or you can not install any social networking apps on it and use it as the magical information oracle like a lot of us do. Neither Android nor iOS comes with social networking installed by default. Yes, Google has Google+ but the app is not there in a base Android install, you have to get it yourself from the Google app store. It's been a while since I used an iOS device but to my knowledge the closest to "social" they have by default is the Game Center system.
If you're really paranoid you can install CyanogenMod, Replicant, Ubuntu Touch, or any number of alternative OSes and/or Android forks which you can build yourself from source and know exactly what's in it.
Disliking social networks makes sense. Avoiding smartphones because of that doesn't make any sense. No one is forcing you to use social networks just to have a smartphone.