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Learning to Live Without a Cell Phone (sort of)

A bold attempt at change, that failed miserably. We are now slaves to our smartphones. Written in 2009 before things got really crazy. I never found a way to escape my cell phone.

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). Usually, 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? Is texting something you do at work? Is texting a distraction at work? Do you text message in meetings or on teleconferences? Do you text while driving? If any of these questions made you think 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 the time)
  • Calling each other and home (35%)
  • Calling others and emergency calls and such (less than 10%)

We will cancel our contract when it expires in a month or so and move over to a pay-per-use model to see how that works (luckily, we can keep our phone numbers).  I suspect there will be moments when 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 use your cell phone all the time. We have kept our landline, 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.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. (Official Site) (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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