Cell Phone Free

Macy M18 comments6779 views

I just passed my one year mark of not having a cell phone… basically.  AND I’m not rushing out to get one now!  🙂  You can read all the thoughts that went into the decision here.  This post is the results though!

 

I’ll be honest, the first three months were HARD.  I had just had a new baby, I traveled across the country with the family and needed to coordinate things, that is much more difficult with no phone and takes a lot more planning.  If I am being really honest though neither of those is why it was so hard.  I couldn’t get on Facebook whenever the whim struck me.  I couldn’t check the stats on my website instantly.  I couldn’t text a friend whenever I had that tiny moment of loneliness.   I couldn’t upload pictures of my dog to social media.  I didn’t exchange 400+ texts a day with James over all the little things that probably didn’t need to be texted about anyway… There was a lot of time in the day left to fill…

Then I got into it.  It was/is NICE to not be 100% accessible ALL. THE. TIME.  I had stopped my full time job to take care of Hazel but all of those questions about where is this file or that one weren’t instantly put on my plate.  I could actually focus on what I was meaning to focus on, Hazel!  99% of those issues could be figured out anyway, it’s amazing how many problems actually do resolve themselves if given the opportunity to.  IF there was something I really needed to weigh in on I made a point to check my email twice a day (in reality is is a lot more than that), there was nothing that couldn’t wait 12 hours…

There are emergencies though, yes, you can’t plan for them and I did not want to be without a way to call an ambulance should I need that, I was a brand new mom for crying out loud!  I purchased a $5.00 tracfone and one years service.  I have used that phone two times, neither were for emergencies.   Still it is nice to have (I admit, I did lose that phone for about 4 of those months before it turned back up…).

my phone
this is my emergency phone, there are no fun games on it…

 

Does it frustrate my family that I am not accessible via phone?  Yes.  Would they like me more accessible? Yes.  Was it that way when I paid for a phone too?  Yes.  I have never been a big phone person and was constantly poked fun at for rather texting than calling (that’s true).  It’s how I am.  It’s still how I am but I save the cost of a smart phone and about a hundred bucks a month on the service!

Here is how you can still stay in touch and skip the phone.  All of them rely on the internet so they may not work for everyone, being urban there is rarely a moment I don’t have access to some wifi:

  • Obviously email is an option.  I like this because I am not ‘on call’.  I usually do respond ASAP but I can respond at my own pace, super nice with a baby (and no loud notifications to disrupt naptime!)
  • Also obviously, there is Facebook.  This one makes me feel a little more ‘on call’ since it tells you when messages have been read yet I can’t always reply instantly… I just rectify this by turning off my notifications so that I can check them when I have time to and not feel rushed into a reply.
  • Google Voice is a great option.  You can still text and even talk though an any computer or tablet.  You can text from Google voice just fine but when it comes to calls you need an additional app to sent the call through.  Talkatone worked great for me.  This essentially gave me a landline whenever I was home or within range of any wifi (almost always) and pretty much cut out texting while driving, not a bad thing in my book!

Even though I COULD call and text it was still pretty spotty at best, it’s just me.  If you’d like to go phoneless I highly recommend it and hopefully these options can ease the transition and make it easier.  After the three month time period I have to admit I really started loving not having a phone.

Cons:

  • I worry about an emergency and needing a phone (I am almost always around someone who has a phone and/or wifi.  For those other times I have 55 bucks invested into a tracfone and that service which eliminates this concern.)
  • It bugs my family that they can’t just pick up the phone and talk to me (it was the same when I had a phone to be honest)
  • I don’t have quick access to photos, which DOES stink with a new kiddo… I still have to get a old school grab and go camera! Ha!
  • No Candy Crusher and Pet Rescue!
  • You do get weird looks when you tell people you have no phone number, some just ask you to ‘put one down anyway’… others assume I’m really poor… I don’t think the tiny house helps that perception, I assure you though, I’m not ‘poor’! 🙂

Pros:

  • I am not ‘on-call’ and can fill the time and spend my energy being more productive (do I always, no, but I can!)
  • I don’t text and drive.
  • I save $100+ a month.
  • I don’t spin my wheels focusing on social media and stats simply because I can. ALL. THE. TIME.
  • I have become much more organized and intentional about my online presence and have been much more successful because of it.

A year ago I wondered if I would be counting down the days to the 24th so I could run out and get a new smart phone.  The answer is nope!  The pros still out weigh the cons!  I think I will remain phoneless a bit longer!   🙂

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18 Comments

  1. I don’t use a cell phone. Most people think I’m really weird for that. I do have a landline phone, though, since I’m mostly homebound and wouldn’t have much opportunity to speak to another human being if I didn’t – plus I need it for work and volunteer commitments. But I don’t text, and if I use Facebook or play a game, it’s sitting at my desk on my PC. Notice I said I don’t “use” a cell – I do own one, it was a hand-me-down given to me by a friend several years ago, and I stay on the minimum minutes on her plan for $12.87 per month which I pay her directly for. I take it with me when I (rarely) go out, and use it for emergencies then, plus it’s been handy to have a few times when my regular phone and internet (my landline goes through the internet) have gone down, and when the power is out.

    I applaud your doing this, Macy! In this day and age, everyone is “expected” to have a cell phone, and it takes guts to stand apart from the crowd. Kudos to you!

  2. My phone broke in October. Admittedly, I still have my husband’s phone but I’m also in no hurry to get my phone back. I love not being attached to it all the time! 🙂

  3. Interesting. I have a much better deal on a smart phone but it has become apparent it’s still not cost effective. I’m also similar in that I don’t answer the phone when working so fewer contact me that way.
    I also have a $5/mo Internet phone service. No 9-11 but otherwise works like a normal phone. I can add another number thats local to family so they can call free. But it doesn’t get much attention either.

    Ever done Myers Briggs? I’d bet you’re an INT. They’re inner-directed writing-inclined so more likely to be bloggers and active in online groups but less on the phone. One of the groups I’m in did a survey and 70% were INTs. 😉

  4. Nice. Just Nice! I have a cell phone with texting. No data plan. Only time I wish I had a smart phone is when we’re traveling and need directions. Saving $100.00 a month and the hassle of it all sounds like a win-win deal to me!

  5. My cell is an old-fashioned one that’s only good for making phone calls (well, I guess I could text but that means hitting the ‘5’ key three times to type an ‘l’ — and I don’t have the patience for that, LOL) and it does frustrate people that they can’t text back and forth with me. No email and no Internet, but the battery life is great. The phone was free when I got a $100 pay-as-you-go card seven or eight years ago. That original card still wasn’t used up that first year, but I had to get a $20 top-up in order to roll over the remaining credits. I do that once a year and I have yet to start the new year without credits to roll over. So, my cell phone charges average out to less than $2 a month.

    My rational is this: If I’m not at home, I’m busy and not available to chat. I’m out and about, I’m driving, I’m having a meal with someone, I’m at the movies, I’m at the grocery store, whatever. I hate this assumption that I need to be accessible 24/7 via email, chat, phone, etc. It just makes me feel like a hamster on a wheel!

  6. I would love to go phone free. Unfortunately for me, having one is a requirement of my job. I went the net10sim route and still use my iPhone the way I did with AT&T but don’t pay their ridiculous service fees.

  7. I got a cell phone in 1985, when it required my carrying around a 10 pound lead acid battery to power it. I ran a B&B, and needed to have constant access. I ran a few other businesses over the years that required I be accessible 24/7. I don’t do that anymore. I got rid of my land line in 1995 or 96. I got rid of my cell phone 2 years ago.
    Now, I have a landline, because I need it for internet access here on the island, and I haven’t missed my cell phone much. It has been a little difficult dealing with people who think you MUST have a cell phone, but I’m happier without it. (I don’t have paid tv, either.) Getting back to basics.

  8. i don’t text. if you got something to say call me. if i get to many fluff calls i will not answer. if you are not in my phone book i will not answer. sometimes i just don’t answer anyway. it’s my phone and my life. i’m a master plumber. my phone costs $10. @ month. limited minutes. i don’t how many but i have never gone over in the several years that i have had my phone.

    the phone will not be a distraction if you reach a point where you cuss every time the phone rings. did i mention i’m a plumber. as far as emergencies, i think you you can call 911 with any cell phone that has a battery. maybe wrong. although the way the cops are shooting unarmed people around the country, maybe we ought to scratch that. just a thought.

    if i totally retire, the phone will join the dodo bird. send me an email or postcard. i try to check at least weekly.

    ice cream raz

  9. Good job, and congratulations! I listened to an NPR article recently about how boredom spawns creativity. We don’t let ourselves be bored enough these days. It’s too easy to fill all those little moments with something instead of just taking in life and enjoying the simple things. Our smartphones are all an all too convenient escape from reality. That said, I still have my smartphone, but after giving up Facebook, my relationship with it is much more casual.

  10. I resisted the urge to get a cell phone until 2003. My reason…sometimes I don’t want to be instantly available. I had a land line with an answering machine. Now cut off to save money.

    Now I have a cell phone for children/grandchildren contact, hospice/doctor contact, and job contacts. It’s only a base phone like yours…it always has been.

    1. lol! it does make it hard to schedule visits when people drop by from out of town! 😉 Your build is looking awesome BTW! 🙂

  11. Macy, I really enjoyed reading this post! I only have a cell (pay $10 a month) for emergencies. I LOVE not being accessible by everyone at all times. Wherever I am, whoever I’m with, that is my focus and gets my full attention. It’s part of my way of living, as Thoreau said, “to live deliberately” … 🙂 Be well, and enjoying your blog! My blog: http://tiny.cc/188svx

  12. Just a quick question since I have been contemplating this. Do you ready at night? I want to give up my smartphone. I’m a texted more than a phone caller… Not sure if that’s good or bad…? But I want to be more present BUT… I co sleep with my 6month old and 2.5yr old so sometimes I’m awake… And highly uncomfortable in the middle of the night… I can’t turn on a light so I read on my phone… Have you experienced this? If so, how do you deal with it?

    1. I am a big fan of paper books and a night light. I was given a Nook before but just couldn’t get into it… and as I faded off it crashed into my face more than once :). I also co-sleep but got my kiddo used to sleeping with the night light on, or I hop on my computer, that is mostly when I blog 🙂 I don’t think that is that helpful but you can get a tablet or reader pretty cheap second hand these days!

  13. I’m really thinking about doing something similar, just with a different angle. I spend WAY too much time on the internet, especially Facebook. And I will be having a new baby in the spring. I’m considering down grading to a prepaid Trac phone type thing and ditching the data ability on my phone. It will save me a ton and force me to be more present wit friends and family.
    Work does require that I’m available by phone, and being pregnant I feel I need phone access. But no Internet unless I take the time to log on to my super slow lap top with a specific reason is a great step for me!
    Side note: after following you for almost 2 years (?) I’m going to try my hand at tiny living in a 5th wheel next summer!!!!

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