Monday, June 27, 2011

Get off your phone

How dependent are you on your cell phone?  What about your house phone?  Do you still have a phone that plugs into the wall and doesn't use any electricity?  What if it all just went away?  What if you didn't answer your phone for a week just because you didn't feel like it? 

Life would be much more quiet without the phone.  I know the new phones have all kinds of applications that make them even more useful than using them to call people.  How many of us don't call people anymore.  We just text.  What if you stopped? 

 I've always wanted the work cell phone to be a simple cell phone.  No Blackberries or I-phone.  No checking email or surfing the web.  No apps.  Just make phone calls and send a text every once in a while.  I'd even snap a picture or two each month.  But mostly, the phone is used for talking.  It's an older phone that folds in half, has a very tiny screen, and has a little antenna sticking up.  That was until last Tuesday when I pulled the phone out of my back pocket and broke the antenna off.  Brother-in-law superglued it back on.  It works better than without the external antenna but at my house there's no signal.  None!

That is not a good thing when I have all my office calls transfer to this cell phone and I like to work at my home office.  I can pick up office calls anywhere...except at my house.  I contacted the IT person, who just happens to work 4 hours away, and he said he'll see what he has in his inventory.  I told him I don't need anything special, just something that works.  Ah, this is a perfect time for the governor to get up and say there is one less cell phone being used by those wasteful government employees.  Of course, I'm not wasteful.  The government is sure getting their money's worth out of me.  Except I can't answer the phone.

It was suggested that I forward my office cell phone to my personal cell phone.  That won't work because my personal phone only has 400 minutes per month on the plan.  Sure, we only use about 100 minutes a month at most but I use 300 minutes a week on my work phone.  I don't think work would be happy if I billed them the difference.  I would too!

OK I'll stop complaining about the work cell being broken.  They'll get me a new one by next week, maybe.  My question is, what if we just stopped using the phone?  I'm not saying to revert to email.  I'm saying what if we stopped with all forms of instant communication?  What if someone had to figure it out for themselves rather than call me up to explain some governmental policy?  What if they had to send me a letter?  That would put the post office back in business!  But what if the phone system didn't work for a day, or a week, or a month, or a year?

I hate using the phone.  I purposely don't have a little bluetooth device that I hang from my ear so I can talk all day long as I do my other things.  I couldn't imagine working in the garden and having to hold a conversation with someone.  Working in the garden is a good place to clear your mind or work through some problem or something of that nature.  I have a list of about 10 people that I call at least once a week.  There are some that want to hear from me daily.  I had one friend who almost called the sheriff because I hadn't answered the phone in a week.  It's nice that people care but come on! 

If I don't hear anything about my cell phone replacement tomorrow then I'm going to change my voice mail to "Sorry I can't answer.  The cell phone is broken.  When the state economy gets better they'll get me another phone.  Until then, send me an email and I'll respond when my computer gets repaired."  I wish my personal cell phone had an antenna.  I could break that one too.  Then I'd get lots of gardening done.  Seriously, how would you communicate without your cell phone?  Would you need to rethink how many people you communicate with?  Would once or twice a year letters work?  Do you even remember how to write a letter? 


  1. I love this post. When I was selling Real Estate I had 3 cell phones, 2 office phones and 2 home phones...I swear...I was on the damn phone 24/7! When I closed the business down the first thing I did was shut off ALL of the phones. I haven't had a cell or home phone for 3 years. There's the Ranch phone and a Ranch cell phone both have the mute on. I put messages on them...they say I return calls at 2 P.M. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays...emails are preferred. I also leave my husband's cell phone number. :0

  2. Good morning-
    I'm a new reader...this is my first visit.
    I'll be honest. I love my phone, but I just realized something. Since the acquisition of my cell about 5 years ago, I dont hardly remember any phone numbers anymore. I think we use our brains in a whole different manner when we utilize the ease of modern technology.

    Plus, they're just expensive!

    Very nice to meet you-

  3. We must be the exception-- I personally own a very simple cell phone with only about 30 min. of time on it. It really is just for emergencies. My husband doesn't even own a cell phone at all. We have two phones in our house, one is the kind that doesn't use electricity and is still connected to the wall. Neither one of us really like talking on the phone all that much. lol!

  4. I never had a personal cell phone, just a house phone and a work cell phone. I made a deal with one of my grandkids - good grades will get you a cell phone. She got good grades, I got her a cell phone. She got bad grades, I'm stuck with a two year contract. I cancelled the house phone and transferred that number to the cell phone. It's the same price as my house phone was. I just rarely use the phone so we never come close to the 400 minutes a month. But what about a SHTF situation? Can you get by without a phone? Most people can't. I changed the message on my work cell. My phone is broken, the state has no money to get me a new one. Leave a message and I'll get back to you when I'm near a real phone.

  5. I'm so glad I found your blog! This post is so good, and I read many of the older posts last night. Good luck with the granddaughter's grades perhaps going back up now that she is sans phone! I worry about communications in a SHTF situation - the worst of course would be if communications were down. I'm thinking about learning how to be a HAM operator, and getting receivers for my 2 adult children for Christmas presents this year.

  6. I would like a cell phone that would only call one number. I cannot give my mentally ill daughter a cell phone because she and her friends would run up thousands of dollars in bills every month. So she has no phone and I cannot contact her (she is 1000 miles away). I am sure it is technically possibly to do this but the phone companies have no desire to.

    I would like it if my home phone didn't even bother to ring unless it was one of my known contacts. If it's the wrong number or a sales call then they get a busy signal and my phone does nothing. Another simple design change technically but again the phone company isn't going to do it. Ditto for my cell phone, no calls unless you are in my list.

  7. Living so remotely, we do not have land line service. I do have a cell phone, but there is often no signal out here. I use the Internet and Facebook mainly to communicate. Friends and Family know to contact me online, and not by phone. A group of friends have recently begun an Amish Circle Letter instead of communicating online. So far so good.