Married to the Empire

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Cell Phone Philosophy

This is my cell phone:

It's old, a little beat up, and it doesn't take pictures. I've had it 3 or 4 years, and I see no reason to upgrade to something newer or supposedly better. It does what I need by just being a phone. I can even text on it, although I find that tedious and confusing, and I really have no use for it.

Most of the time, my phone is off. Often, the battery is dead because when I do think to turn it on, I forget to turn it off or plug it into its charger. My youth group gets frustrated by that. A few of them got hold of my number, which I generally only give out to a few select people (my husband, my parents, my catsitters...), and for a while, they were calling and texting me. But they'd get annoyed because I didn't respond. Not because I was being rude, but because I just never thought to turn my phone on.

This is what I tell them: My cell phone is for my convenience only.

Thing is, I don't want to be bothered when I'm out of the house. When I'm running errands, I'm running errands. Period. It's not catch-up-on-my-correspondence time. I know some people like to multi-task, but I am not one of those people.

One of the girls once asked me what I would do if there was an emergency with Steven. I told her my home phone can field the call. "But what if he was going to die if you didn't get to him right then?" I told her I'd be sad that he'd died. But realistically, will that scenario ever play out? (I certainly hope not!) I think people have been so brainwashed by the idea that cell phones are a necessity for emergencies that they've become slaves to them.

Pardon me for not wanting to be available 24/7 to the world. I have yet to have an emergency in which someone was dying, stranded, etc. and only I could help them by being reached on my cell phone while at the grocery store.

One of the advantages of my cell phone philosophy is that I don't spend much money on my phone. I don't needlessly upgrade because I desire cooler, newer features. I don't need to pay for a huge number of minutes or texts. In fact, I use my cell so infrequently that I use a pay-as-you-go plan. It averages out to $5/month. Five dollars a month! Steven has the same plan, so for 2 phones, we pay $10/month. I consider that a fabulous deal.

The best part is that by spending so little on cells, we free up money to go towards things we do care about, such as eating out with friends or indulging in hobbies. Yeah, we live a little differently in some ways from other people. And I'm cool with that, even if it means my phone is exceedingly uncool.


lizzykristine said...

Mmmm, I think cell phones are designed to break after 1.5 years (so that you go buy a new one, complete with expensive 2year plan). I always get the cheapest phone (usually free or $5), and it always breaks. I'm on my third phone in four years.

We do a $100/year pay-as-you-go plan, which gives us 1000 minutes. Way more than we use, but the cheapest option we could find. My phone is never on, either. I don't mind people having the number, because they'll soon figure out that you can't get ahold of me on it, anyway. :)

Jen said...

We do something very similar. My phone is a prepaid one from T-Mobile. It's not fancy, and I often don't answer it. It's there in case I need it, and sometimes for long distance. We buy minutes once a year for $100, and I never have used up the year's minute, so I have a bunch rolled over. It wouldn't work for everyone, but I like it simple like this.

Joanne Brown said...

I used to have a pay-as-you go when we first got our cellphone over ten years ago. In fact I only went onto a contract one a couple of years ago. David still has a pay as you go as he doesn't really use it - just has it for emergencies as he works until midnight on a Monday and Tuesday and rides his scooter home. I have an iPhone at the moment as I was due a free upgrade so thought 'why not'!! I find it so much easier to text on my iPhone as it has a querty keyboard. But my life doesn't revolve around my phone. I must be too old, lol.

Sue said...

Amen! I have a tracfone that I turn on when I want to use it. It's ugly and camera-free, but it does exactly what I need it to do. I guess I'm not terribly connected, but that's okay with me!