I Don’t Have a Cell Phone

Why I don't have a cell phone - and I don't want one!

I don’t consider myself “old” yet.  Maybe that is silly – maybe no one realizes how old they really are?!  I remember back when pagers were the thing.  I had a big ol’ white pager that was handed down from my mom.  My friends and I would page phone numbers as well as “codes” (143 = I love you).  At that time my mom also had a car phone that was stored in (what can only be described as) a suitcase in the trunk of her car.  Over the next 20 ish years cell phones got smaller – then bigger – styles changing to suit the changing demand.  One trend that was clear is that everyone was making the move to mobile phones.  Now a days, most people I talk to don’t have a landline anymore, relying on their cell for everything from phone calls and texting to social media and web-surfing.

A friend recently posted this on his Facebook page:

Have you ever monitored how often you are on your phone? I noticed that on average I am using some sort of social media app upwards of 3+ hours a day, 7 days a week. In one year that’s 45.5 days straight of being on my phone. 45.5 days a year that I don’t notice my kids, I forget about responsibilities and use excuses when I can’t “find the time” to get something done. Social media isn’t free if it costs you the only thing we can never get more of… Time. I’m restricting myself to less than 1 hour a day going forward. (Dave S. – Rochester, NY)

The calculations are shocking, and I am willing to bet that they are not unusual for most people these days.

Interesting - EveryMomDay.com explains how she saves $150+/month and gets more time with her kids.

Here is the part that seems to shock everyone – my household does not have a cell phone (or a landline, actually).  It has been 2 years since we closed our contracts.  At first, I felt naked and lost.  Like a baby forced to give up the pacifier that comforts her when she’s sad, and occupies her when she’s bored.  Many people tell me the reasons why they could never give up their cells – and honestly, if you don’t want to unplug then don’t – but many of the reasons I hear make me smile, because those things all apply to me too – and I thought them all before we unplugged.  I have 4 children, children with special needs, in school, multiple service providers, job contacts, babysitters, family, friends… we survived without cell phones when I was a kid and we survive just fine without them today.

Without my cell phone, I am forced to be more present and “in the moment” with my children, friends, family, and people in general.  I feel like I am able to be more of the mom that I want to be when I don’t get wrapped up in social media while I am out and about.  I don’t check my phone at the playground, the waiting room at dance class, or in the line at the grocery store.  Instead I watch my kids play if I am not pushing them on the swings.  I chat with other moms/people in the waiting room, playgrounds, or lines.  I flip through an occasional magazine.   I have plenty of time to be social on the phone/online when I am home – during nap times and bed times and when I designate “work” time (still a balance for sure)!

So what do we do?

I have an app (Talkatone) installed on our iPad and the deactivated iPhone that provides me with voice and texting capabilities using wifi at little to no cost.  With the deactivated iPhone, it will still work to call 911 so I typically keep it charged and with me in case of an emergency, and I will occasionally use it for the camera while I am out and about.  I simply tell people that my phone is not a traditional cell phone and that it can only be used with wifi, so it’s more like a landline but I can make calls at locations with free wifi as well if needed – and so many places have free wifi these days from the grocery store to doctors offices and restaurants.  Even though I have access to the apps anywhere there is wifi, eliminating the phone/data plans 2 years ago changed the way I rely on the phone and I find I rarely reach for it.

We save a bunch of money this way.  Our internet bill is about $40/month and if I need to purchase minutes to make outbound calls (the Talkatone app provides 60 mins free a month) it’s only .99/60 mins.  We also use the FaceTime on the iPad to further reduce the need for using the phone app.  When we had cell phones through one of the leading national companies, we were paying upwards of $140/month on our cell phones alone – plus we had separate wifi charges as well – and the rates are only rising.

Getting rid of cell phones has saved us money, and gave us time to be present with the people in our lives and really enjoy the little moments.  As strange as it sounds these days, my household does not have a cell phone – nor, do we want one.

How do you feel about your cell usage?

18 thoughts on “I Don’t Have a Cell Phone

    1. It totally has saved a ton! That’s the kicker – when you need it for work. I have managed fine being self-employed and just handling phone calls when I am home – but I know not all jobs are like that.

    1. LOL – too funny! I “can’t” do much from my cell anymore (when I connect it to wifi). I always find myself longing for my laptop!

  1. am a lover of my smartphone and truthfully I don’t think I can give up my phone but attyms we have to so as to give more time and value and people around us… great post…(I posted this comment from my phone, so you can imagine)..

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I dont think you need to go to the extreme we did (getting rid of phones) to benefit from spending more quality time with your kids – sometimes just realizing how those moments add up is enough to make a difference in how you use technology. It is nice to save all that money though! LOL

  2. Seems fantastic! I just can’t imagine my life without my cell phone and I can hardly understand how the world before such a useful item was. I love reading the news on my cell and chatting with friends, so I find it quite impossible to me!
    Eugenia recently posted…Best way to communicate joy!My Profile

  3. Wow! I remember those pagers!! I cannot imagine not having a cell phone, and while reading what your friend posted on their Facebook page I was like OMG this sounds pretty close to me right now. Smart smart ideas here. I will be sharing. 🙂

    1. Those pagers were something, weren’t they – lol! His post really was interesting to me – we all know those moments add up but when he put it that way I knew immediately that I had to incorporate his calculations into the post – shocking!

    1. Thanks! There definitely are unique challenges – like driving without GPS – but all in all I have no regrets! 😉

  4. Not having a cell phone would be very freeing in a sense. It seems like we have so much information at our finger tips. Also, the social media factor is huge. Connecting with others almost immediately really does take it’s toll. I’m going to need to think more about this. I think limiting cell phone usage is a good thing. Perhaps I will turn off my phone when I come home from work. Kids notice these things too. They’re always watching. Thanks for a thought provoking post!
    Jonathan Key recently posted…Develop a Plan to Grow Your Readership [Day 29 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog from Problogger]  My Profile

    1. That would be a good idea – I think I read an article somewhere that you can limit the times that your phone allows you to access facebook… something like that would be interesting as well – so the phone could be on for calls/texts but you would not be tempted/able to check social media. I will have to look for that article!

    1. And I have to admit I have the same issue from my lap top when we are home… not having a cell just helps when we are out of the house! lol. And the money saved 😉

  5. iPod Touches are very similar to a deactivated iphone. You can still make skype calls when in wifi, and use apps when in wifi but otherwise, it’s just your music player. I started both of my older kids with iPods, because I didn’t want them to have cell phones. It didn’t make sense for them to have cell phones. Both were just fine not having cell phones because they could still talk to friends, and text, and everything else…and most places these days have wifi, whether it’s a restaurant or the dentist’s office.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge