Monday, April 21, 2008

Do I Really Need a Cell Phone?

Here we go...decisions decisons.

What are our NEEDS and what do we have because culturally we've been conditioned to depend on certain things? Reminder to Self: Need = Food, Clothing, Shelter

Jack got me a cell phone for safety's sake. Safety, to him, is a need.

But how necessary is it, really?

So far, it's broken once, and at 9:30 this morning, it was stolen outright in a restroom as I was washing my hands.

To replace it? A lot of money!

We're re-examining everything, and I'm trying to be bold and brassy enough to question what REALLY is a need to me.

I don't judge others' decisions of what's necessary for themselves, that's not what this is about. But I am challenging a cell phone a necessity? Or a telephone at all?

I gain pleasure in remaining in contact with many friends across the miles by phone. Nevertheless, at this point I have (well, HAD) the home phone and the cell phone AND the computer.

Which brings me back to what's a NEED...

or in a different vernacular...WWTIFD?

(What Would the Ingalls Family Do?)


rhonda jean said...

I have a 'safety' cell phone too. I have never used it for safety reasons and rarely use it at all. We pay our bill in $10 bits - that's the lowest we can pay, and that lasts us about 3 months.

Good luck with your decision, it's not an easy one.

Meg said...

I'm catching up on my blog reading, so this is probably the first of a huge commenting blitz from me ...

We have been having this same conversation for a while. Our cell phones are basically used for coordinating pick-up times at the train, and for letting the each other know where at the train station the Jeep has been parked. Anything else could easily be relegated to the land line.

When our current contract is up we're thinking of ditching our ~$90per month, relatively modest cell phone plans for a pre-paid or pay-as-you-go deal. A friend of ours does something where she pays either 20 or 30 dollars every three months for a set number of minutes (maybe 200?). Though we would like to keep our phones, the plan we have now is way too much phone for us.

Let us know what you end up doing. Sucks that your phone got stolen!

If it helps, I once killed a cell phone by dropping it in the tub, but I was able to get an older model used phone off eBay for $20and reprogram it to my current plan. That saved me from buying a way expensive new phone and from paying some ridiculous cancellation fee.

Robbyn said...

That's a good idea, you carry your phone with you when you're out and about, or is it for home only? I'm sure we'll look into the pay-as-you-go option. There is just something in me that is really stubbornly resisting my own assumptions about all the things I've thought in the past I "needed." Because of a variety of circumstances, our monthly income took a hit a few years back and has never recovered to what it once was, including the absence of insurance benefits, etc. I don't look to government to come up with solutions that I can myself. And some of these have meant doing without, but I feel freer rather than feeling deprived :) I'm going to think hard on this one...

Meg, I love your comments and wish so often I could listen/talk with in person so many of the folks who comment'd be a blitz indeed! I go a little nuts when I meet like-minded folks who get excited about compost and chickens and growing a yard you can eat. I think I'm a throwback to a different age. Know what has been in conversation in our house lately? How to do without a CAR. AT ALL. I am thinking donkey or a Welsh cob...but of course till we live somewhere that ALLOWS living things with four legs, it's all theoretical. But "theoretical" is otherwise known in this house as "the planning stages"...which is a hoot because we'll always be cooking up crazy ideas and solutions even after trying our hand at the ones on the list now.

Uhoh, I have now comment-blitzed my own comments column. (tip. toe. out. of. room.)

Donna said...

I have a cell phone simply because my husband wanted me to have it when I'm riding my horse alone, or when I'm off in the woods. Most of the time it's turned off. The bill for both our cell phones (T-mobile) is around $70 a month.

He uses his a LOT, talking to two of his brothers who would be long distance otherwise. I do sometimes use mine to avoid paying long distance charges on the land line.

Robbyn said...

Yes, Jack is concerned for my safety. He's a Safety-a-holic. He'd wrap me in bubble wrap if he thought I could still see to drive, ha! I really appreciate it, though. I'm crazy about that man :)

The Barber Bunch said...

oh.....I can see both sides of the cell phone issue.

I love WWTIFD!!


jayedee said...

i loathe cell phones. i value my freedom too much and having a cell phone, to me, would be like being tethered to something all the time. my parents were fine without 'em, as you said, the ingalls were fine without 'em and i guess i will be too!

that old stick in the mud from geneva

Wendy said...

I don't think a cellphone is a necessity. My parents never had a cellphone, and I didn't have one until two years ago (long story, but is directly related to having teenaged children living at home).

I don't think a phone is a necessity, either, and I've lived many times, quite happily, with letter writing as my only way to stay in touch with family members and friends who live long distances away.

But those things are nice to have, and so we make do with the bare minimum - pay as you go cellphone and just a basic line for the home phone.