@christym- I completely understand where you’re coming from. I, too, was not educated in the whole 3g or 4g world. I will share with you what information I have learned, however.
In 2010, both Sprint and Verizon upgraded to 4g. By doing this, data transmission speeds were four times faster than the 3g.
To break it down, 2g and 3g are primarily for voice communications. They are not great for data. The 4g is fabulous for transmitting data. You can do video streaming or even just watch a television show. It’s like having a mini computer in your hand. Hope this helps.