Monday, March 1, 2010

My decision to live without a cellphone

After I was forced to take a huge pay cut in early April of 2009, I have been tracking where every penny goes. I canceled my membership to the gym which saved me time and money! I decided to stick with a one-style haircut and cut my hair myself instead of paying someone else to do it. I don't carry any debt with me but there are still things existing in my life that I can't help but pay for. For example, my cellphone has been one of those things.

There is no surprise that a cellular phone is on my "things I really need" list because it's so convenient. I don't know of anyone who has a cellphone right now that can seriously picture their lives without them. We need them to communicate and to get a hold of one another whenever and wherever possible. We text people; letting them know we are running late. We capture memories with our built-in camera's and we even check our email through our web browsers.

Yes, a cellular phone does have it's benefits but surely without it's drawbacks. Americans who drive while talking or texting on the road are more likely to be involved in a car accident due to disruption from their cellular phone. Research has shown that cellphone's have been proven to increase the risk of brain tumors by sending radio frequency waves through our ears. Now these examples of drawbacks might maintain probability if a degree of carelessness is involved and ,according to researches, if a cellphone is used extensively.

Ofcourse, one might also input the drawback of qualitative communication. More than ever, the world is now communicating through text messages and this convenient way of getting words through our receivers is an example of a significant oversight. We hardly recognize this way of communication is not an effective way to converse in terms of quality. One friend might take a message a wrong way even a wrong tone just by the way you type a sentence resulting into a problem or conflict.

With good old fashion communication - calling your recipient and talking with them- is the most effective way of communication besides face-to-face. So, with this said I have come to my latest conclusion: I will live without a cellphone. My decision is not solely based on these examples written above. My decision to live without a cellphone involves factors such as my personal needs and my financial goals. For starters, I don't use my cellphone as much as I used to and canceling my cellphone will put an extra $30 in my pocket each month. That's $360 a year! With my current job I work part-time with no health care options available, and for half as much I as I was earning just one year ago.

I believe in doing this will not only save me a significant portion of my income but hopefully improve my relationships with people will improve. After reading "How to live well without a Car" by Chris Balish a couple years ago, I learned it can be sociably stimulant at times to give up the things we think we can't live without. So you might be thinking how I am going to live without a cellphone. Well, here is what I have so far.

Use my home phone - This will now be my primary contact number. I will be updating every account I can think I have to list my new number.

I will use Google Voice - Luckily, I have been using Google Voice for quite sometime now and it's great for voice mails and alerting me through email when I have messages.

Use Email & Instant Messaging - Wait! Mike, weren't you just rambling on about how text messaging is a poor way to communicate? Yes I did. However, instant messaging and email are still very much a form of communication that will be convenient enough for my peers to get a hold of me if they forget my number, send me documents or pictures, or other necessities. This should not be abused and hope it doesn't become a habit to my peers.

Frequent Calls - Just so I don't seemed like I vanished into thin air, I will make regular phone calls to my acquaintances to keep in touch and let them know the only way to contact me now is through my home phone number.

I have not decided if this will be a permanent alternative but it's worth giving it a shot in my book. I'll update you guys from post to post to note any pitfalls or better yet any perks. Tell me what you guys think. Leave a comment!

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