I had a cell phone for several years but I’ve just ended my contract.
When an older friend of mine (who has lived without cell phones for over fifty years) heard the news, he said, “I know it sounds silly, but I can’t imagine not having one.”
It’s interesting how some technologies get such a hold on us it’s hard to imagine life without them. The microwave is one that comes to mind. I use one almost every day and it would really be a hassle if I didn’t have one. Other things like the PDA, TV and DVD player, along with the advent of the internet are so common now it’s as if they always existed. It’s surprising how fast we forget what life was like before they were invented.
Anyway, as I was saying, I no longer have a cell phone because I’m not too keen on entering into another contract with a cell phone company. When I was debating whether or not to cancel, I reviewed my typical usage and determined that I didn’t use one enough to justify the cost.
Now that I’ve entered the communication stone age, an interesting thing has happened – I feel free.
On the drive home from work I realized I had the car all to myself. No one could call and interrupt me, causing a struggle to get the phone out of my pocket while trying to stay on the road. Instead I sat back, relaxed and listened to the music on the radio. It was a great commute.
It’s as if I’ve been paying for a leash of sorts. I remember feeling tied down when I had to wear a pager for work or when I’ve been on-call. Even though I wasn’t technically working, it felt like I was because I could be called at any time.
I realize you don’t have to answer your cell phone whenever it rings, but when I ignored calls I would wonder what the person had wanted and if it was an emergency, so it still occupied my thoughts.
Now that I’m cell phone free, I’m not concerned about being available every waking hour and I kind of like it. I’m sure there will be times when I’ll miss having a cell phone, but people managed to live without them for years and for now, I plan to do the same.