Learning to Live Without a Cell Phone (sort of)

in Bank of Canada, Cell Phone, Inflation

A bold attempt at change, that failed miserably. We are now slaves to our smartphones.Written in 2009 before things got really crazy.

I have found that in my life that I do not change unless the situation I am in, causes drastic change (i.e. I cannot do things in small measures, it must be a big thing). I need a good reason to change, and that reason can’t be rationalized easily, that is how I usually succeed.

Question: Could you live without a cell phone? Do you use your cell phone at your work? Do you text at work? Do you text or use your cell phone at work, when you should be working? Do you text message in meetings, or on teleconferences? Do you text while driving? If any of these questions made you think that you might be addicted to your cell phone, then good (let’s not get into the entire Crackberry generation, talk about enabling ADHD).

Currently my wife and I pay upwards of $90 a month for two cell phones, which is a ridiculous sum of money for how much we use this service. This and a few other factors are pushing me towards cutting down my cell phone usage, if not completely cutting it out (we’ll see if I can go all the way, and lose the addiction).

Our Cell Phone usage consists of:

  • Text messaging each other and our kids (55% of time)
  • Calling each other and home (35%)
  • Calling others and emergency calls and such (less than 10%)

We will be cancelling our contract when it expires in a month or so and moving over to a pay per use model and see how that works (luckily we can keep our phone numbers).  I suspect that there will be moments where I might regret this decision, however, I will remember this is for a larger good.


This was written many years ago, and we now all have smart phones and pay ridiculous fees to our service providers. The question these days is whether to keep a “land line” phone or simply use your cell phone all the time. We have kept our land-line for now, as I still don’t trust cell phone services.

You can make your land-line phones much cheaper by using a VoIP phone provider, and that may be where I head next.


  • John L August 22, 2009, 11:50 AM

    I haven’t had a cell phone in years; although my wife has one which I will occasionally borrow. We’ve been using pay as you go with Fido, costing us about $20/month. During the week, I spend most of my time at the office and have no real need for a cell phone. I think people have forgotten the fact that most things can wait until we get back and check our messages; there’s very little that must be handled immediately.

  • betsy August 19, 2009, 10:25 AM

    I haven’t had a cell phone since I moved to Ottawa in February and I miss it sometimes. I’ve actually used a pay phone (!) a couple times when I needed to contact my husband while I was out. Mostly what I miss is twittering on the fly (@nahuelito) but I think it is expensive to text in Canada anyway?

    My old phone had Scrabble on it. I REALLY miss Scrabble, but, honestly, it was getting to be a bit of an addiction.

  • Jason August 19, 2009, 6:19 AM

    Hey – when you’re checking out Pay-as-you-go plans, look at 7-11’s plan, Speakout. Text messaging rates are cheap, and calling minutes area as cheap as anywhere else, if not cheaper.

    http://www.speakout7eleven.com/ (Official Site)
    http://www.speakoutwireless.ca/ (Unofficial but very helpful site)

    I’ve been using this for two years now, and very happy with the service. I do not work for, nor am I affiliated with them in any way – just a happy customer!


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