A Year Without a Cell Phone

22 Mar



I’ve been in and out of jobs for a year, which means I’ve cut back on everything possible. After physically losing three cell phones in three months, I took that as my sign that the cell phone bill should go. I refused to get another cell phone, relying on the house phone for all my future interactions. I just thought I would go back to the way things were when I was younger. After all, we all lived at one time without a cell phone, right?

The first few weeks were fine because I was too wrapped up in my personal life to interact with too many people anyway. I had told everyone close to me I didn’t have a cell phone, so no one tried to text me. I thought, yeah, this will be fine. I’ll have the house phone and I’ll have Facebook and, well, I’ll just have to be out of touch in the car or in stores. Everyone used to live like this, so why shouldn’t I live like this again?

Then people started talking. They weren’t talking behind my back, no, they were asking me questions directly. The most common comment I got was the confused, “I texted your phone number and it wouldn’t go through.” People expected that the number I gave them was a cell phone. My friends were greatly unprepared for my new way of life.

Other comments included, “If you get lost on the way home just use your GPS on your phone”, even after I remind them I don’t have a phone. Other people tell me they’ll text me later, while still others give me their number and tell me to check in with them while I’m at the store. Even after I tell people, “I don’t have a phone with which to call you”, they still use phrases such as, “text”or “call from the store”.

I am a very patient person and I love my friends to death. I always politely nod and let the phrasing go, but I have noted the phrasing used, and I’m consistently interested in how our language has changed. I don’t think people mean to say “text” or “use your GPS” to me. I think these words have become American colloquialisms. In fact, after not having a cell phone for a year, I KNOW they are the newest phrases used without conscious decision.

People aren’t used to me not having a cell phone, even after a year of being cell phone free. One of my closest friends tells me all the time that it’s time to get back on the cell phone train. She asks me all the time if she can text me yet. I laugh with her and promise her I’ll get a new phone when I’m back on my feet, but really, I’m doing okay without it. Barring the few times that I’ve had to get in touch with the kids when I’m not at home, it’s pretty much an unnecessary expense for me.

I think that, if I do get a cell phone in the future, it will be a pay-by-the-minute, non-smartphone model. It will be for emergencies only, or the times when I need to reach the kids for any reason at all. And yes, texting will be allowed.


2 Responses to “A Year Without a Cell Phone”

  1. Ashok Sharma March 22, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    Life must be in “always changing mode” just like fasting occasionally, well often it comes automatically from nowhere with certain kind of force. Initially you miss your cell phone loss but soon the realization of relaxation infiltrates like cool air.

    • rebeccawrites78 March 22, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

      I love your take on my article. You’re right – the relaxation is pretty amazing. I am not attached to anything when I’m out and about. I get to “escape” sometimes. You hit the nail on the head.

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