Wednesday, March 9

Why I Don't Have a Mobile Phone Anymore

Last month I did something that most would consider to be extreme, even though it's not: I used up my last minute, and decided that it was time to part ways with my phone service. "Why on Earth would you do that?", one might ask. Well, truly for this simple reason: I don't need or want it.

I've felt this way for almost all my life. I was given my first cell phone (which was soon replaced with a newer model) by my parents in college for so-called emergencies. I was all too eager to accept it, felt posh for having one, and was grateful because it was a way for me to connect with my family when I was away at school. We had a pre-paid account, and I was only allowed to use it to call home.

No smartphone for me, thank you. My lovely little Pantech has served me well for 10 years.

After the years past, I got my third and last phone, one that I paid for myself. Again, because of this, I knew that I was cool, and that I could communicate with others anywhere I went. This is a pretty normal situation for most people. It's common to leave our loved ones behind to go make money to live the dream that supposedly everyone wants. We trade our real interactions with texts or calls, because we're too busy for anything more (or even too far away).

For a long while, I was satisfied with this. Like people in third-world countries that leave their families behind to go make more money in the big cities, I was doing the same thing with a corporate career. If I left, and made something of myself, then perhaps I could take care of everyone. After the debt is paid, and the time is done, just maybe then I could make a better life for myself and share it with my loved ones.

The irony to all of this is that the phone bill must be paid so that we can continue on in this manner. And how do we pay for the phone? By working our lives away of course! This is true for every material possession that we must maintain, and that is why I don't need my phone anymore. I'm trying to climb out of the hole that I dug. By doing so, I hope to remedy this soon, and slowly regain my freedom.

The company that serviced my phone stopped supporting it this year, and that made it really easy for me to say goodbye. See, I would not upgrade my phone because it was working just fine, I liked how small it was, and there was no reason for me to contribute to the massive amounts of e-waste that pollutes this beautiful planet. Recycling mobile phones is not easy, and these phones don't disappear, they pile up. I'm proud to say that my little device will still continue to serve me well as a calendar, camera, flashlight, alarm clock, notepad, calculator, converter, stopwatch, and address book.

What about those real emergencies though? Well, I have never experienced that, and I can't possibly plan for one. My close friends and family know that they can reach me via email at anytime. Also, it's easy to video chat and make free phone calls online. I have what's equivalent to a home phone with the added bonus of getting to see someone on screen at least.

Once upon a time, we humans lived without mobile phones, and all was well in the world. There is no need to fear, especially if the very thoughts that we think attract experiences to us like a magnet. Ultimately, not relying on a phone means that time spent with people will become even more meaningful. It's essential now, and I'm excited to spend more quality time in the present moment with others that I love.

 It feels so right.