Cell phones are distracting
I spend 12-14 hours a day being completely connected via either phone or my computer. There’s email, Twitter, Facebook, Instant Messenger, my mum, Otto etc. I constantly get interrupted by something. Oftentimes the only time I have to be by myself and with my own thought is when I am running errands or traveling from one distraction to the next. But not when I am carrying my cell phone. By taking away my cell phone, I now have at least 1-2 hours a day where nobody can get a hold of me and my brain can function without interruption. I can think again.
Cell phones cause brain cancer
While this is not confirmed, many doctors and scientists predict that cell phone radiation ought to have some negative effects on our brains. To me it’s common sense – having those levels of radiation near my brain can’t be good. Just like inhaling smoke into your lungs can’t be healthy. Check out this video for proof.
Cell phones are expensive
Since I also used my cell phone for email, my monthly bill was usually around $80 (all those government fees were ridiculous). If I put $80 every month into my savings account for the next 30 years and earn 4% interest, I will have saved $55,000+.
Digital phone service is dirt cheap
I use Vonage at home. It costs me $35 a month and I can call whoever I want from wherever I want – including my friends and family in Germany. Also, if I really wanted to, I could take my phone and line to wherever I go. (Yes, I can take my Vonage phone to Germany, hook it into my parents’ Internet connection and talk to you with my Portland number). Your cable company would be happy to supply you with a digital phone line for $20-$30 a month. If you’re even more guerilla, you can try using Skype which is only a few bucks a month. It should be noted that because of my International calling, just having cell phone service was never enough.
You can have a cell phone without the contract or monthly payment
I am cheating a bit here, but I did sign up for an AT&T GoPhone. It costs me 10 cents a minute with no monthly fee. I bought a $100 worth of minutes, which I am hoping will last me for a year. I also signed up for a separate text messaging service, where for $5 a month (taken right out of $100 balance) a month I get 200 text messages. My new phone is not nearly as cool as my old phone and I am paying every time I use it, so I won’t carry it with me or use it as often as my old phone. Less distraction, same emergency backup, more healthy brain cells.
How do you do it?
1. Wait until your cell phone contract is up, then cancel. If your contract isn’t up for a long time, you might be able to fake military service or deportation. Neither of which is a particularly smart idea.
2. Sell your old cell phone on eBay. I will get $150 for mine, which will actually pay for my new cell phone and service for over a year.
3. Get a Pay-As-You-Go Phone. Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, AT&T, T-Mobile all have cheap phones. I got a Nokia 2610 for $19. It works with a SMS card, so I can even use it in Europe if I want to.
4. Tell your close friends your number and let everybody else know that you nixed your cell phone.
That’s it. I might post more about this, as my life without cell phone begins. Do you see any advantages to still having a permanent cell phone plan?