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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hell Froze Over…Just for a Minute

Posted by Tim Stobbs on January 24, 2013

Last week if you noticed a subtle shift in the rotation of the earth for about a minute you can blame me.  I’m fairly certain hell frozen over just for a minute as I finished my transaction.  I finally broke down and bought a cell phone after not having one for the last six years.

So you might be wondering why I didn’t have a cell phone?  Well that is easy, as I finished my job in sales back in 2006 I HATED my cell phone as I got calls in the middle of the night with it regarding things I couldn’t fix.  It was a pain in my ass and I decided after that job I didn’t want a personal one (in fact I haven’t even got a work phone in all these years).  So I didn’t buy one and went about my life very easily without one.  Shockingly enough you don’t actually need a cell phone to live and beside my wife had won a cell phone so it wasn’t like I didn’t have access to one if I wanted.  I consider the last six years my detox from a work cellphone.

What changed then?  Well not much but a few things aligned to make me take the jump.  The first was the fact I had some gift cards from the holidays for a technology store so I could get a prepaid phone for almost no money out of my pocket.  Also I knew from my wife it is possible to get a pay as you go plan for as little as $10/month depending on your usage.  So the cost barriers were fairly low to get one.  Then the straw that broke this camel’s back was the following: I realized how much energy I was expending not getting a phone.

Pardon?!? You see I really like technology it has always been a weakness of mine to look at the shiny stuff in the store and buy the gadgets for fun.  Also I’m fairly good at aligning technology in my life to make things easier.  So while I didn’t have an iPhone, I did have a iPod Touch for years which I used apps for things like tracking my spending cash or using Evernote.  I realized I would like the option to take pictures from a device on the go, the ideal solution would be a smartphone, but I was looking at just upgrading my iPod Touch.  Yet as I was doing the research I realized that I was looking at a really expensive piece of hardware just to avoid getting a phone.  It stuck me as a wee bit ridiculous and I figured it was time get past my detox stage.  Also I should explain that I’m a heavy user of Google services so an Android phone had some serious appeal to me since I could sync both my phone and tablet.

In the end, yes, I got a smart phone and I’m happy with what I bought.  No it wasn’t top of the line, just a LG with Android 2.3, but why would I care? I haven’t have one in six years.  Now I just have to get use the idea of having a cell phone…I’ve already forgot it at home a few times.

Comments

14 Responses to “Hell Froze Over…Just for a Minute”
  1. That is amazing that went without a phone for that long! I also own an iPod touch. It’s a great gadget and it is way cheaper than an iPhone.

  2. deegee says:

    I have never owned a cell phone. I do have a landline, of course.

    I hate cell phones. Back in my working days, I wrote the Long Island Rail Road many times, asking them to set up “quiet cars” to keep all those annoying cell phone users away from the rest of us who can’t stand the rude, noise pollution their users create. They finally set up a few a year or two ago, too late to help me since I retired 4 years ago. And don’t get me started on people yakking on their cell phones while they drive….

    Being single and childfree, I don’t have anyone I need to be able to find me when I am out. In fact, when I am out I don’t want to be able to be found by others until I get home. That is what answering machines and email are for.

    I am rarely on the phone anyway so why do I need two phones I hate using and rarely use?

  3. mike crosby says:

    I have my own appliance repair business and I loathe the BS spam salespeople that call. Other than that, my phone makes me shake my head in technological wonder everyday.

    I use it as wifi to download free books on my Kindle. Accept Visa from customers. Deposit checks right in customers home, don’t bother with receipts. I’ll record any idea or thought I wish to look up on internet later. Store pictures of other cards (costco library card ect) and use stored pictures instead of carrying all the cards in wallet.

    This touches the surface of some of the benefits of using my phone. When people tell me they don’t use computers, and some say that it’s of the devil and they’re not even Christians, it drives me crazy.

  4. George says:

    @deegee – USA pay-as-you-go cellphones at $12/mo with internet access is a darn sight cheaper than a landline at $35+/mo. Voicemail is included, so no need for an answering machine.

    Yeah, there are still reasons for having a landline vs. a cellphone, but I believe the scale has tipped. It’s tipped far enough that we will not have a landline at the rural home we will be retiring to… the landline is too susceptible to outages since the lines are above ground!

  5. Hazy says:

    I got a cellphone a couple of years ago.
    It was basically just a cheaper replacement for my landline.
    Since I don’t really like being available 24/7,I tend to forget it at home quite abit.
    I don’t even have my voice mail turned on.
    But it is nice to have when I on the road,esp. in the winter time.

  6. GCAI says:

    Tim,

    Which provider are you using to get $10/month access? and does that include data? and what else ?

    I too have never owned a cell mainly because I couldn’t justify the cost for the 2-3 times a year I really needed one (there always seems to be a kind person willing to let me use theirs) and the electronic leash aspect.

    As for landline I dumped Bell ($29/month for POTS – rotary service(!) I think I was one of the last holdouts in the GTA) and got Magic Jack Plus ( $70 one time cost and $30 per year after the first year ) which is a VOIP service which hooks into my router directly and gives free long distance to North America and a bunch of features (voice mail etc.) however the best part is since I travel a fair bit I take the device along (match box size) and when I have a internet connection I have my home phone with me – works great IMO

  7. Tim Stobbs says:

    @GCAI,

    We are both with Roger’s on a very basic plan. $5/month towards 250 text messages and $5 general pay as you go money…it costs like $0.40/minute for calls, but that is the default plan and I can pay for data out of that $5 if I want (I can either pay for just day here or there or buy a week of data). So for all internet has been just WiFi. I’m starting out low cost and I can always upgrade as I need. Data plans start at around $10/month for 100MB if I decide to add that on.

    Mmm, I’ll have to keep that in mind about phone service. Not sure if they have that out in SK or not. I’m really need to look into a way to drop cable entirely, but first I have to find a way to make sure I get streaming NFL and CFL to cover my wife’s viewing habits.

    Tim

  8. Hazy says:

    GCAI,

    If you are just a light user,you should consider one of the prepaid cellphone plans.
    I use Speakout by 7Eleven,it was the cheapest one I could find.
    Its pretty basic stuff,but thats the way I like it.
    If I don’t use it too much,I can get by on $25/year.
    Couple that with the Internet and my communication needs are met.

  9. GCAI says:

    @Tim and @Hazy

    thanks for the information maybe my move from dinosaur will happen :-)

    Tim further the MagicJack works through wifi when attached to a laptop or directly through your internet connection – MJ plugs into the router and then your phone system – my case a 4 phone wireless setup – plugs into the MJ. To the phone user it is totally transparent. Should work without problems in SK unless your internet is different(joking).
    see magicjack.com

    btw there is a free iPod/iphone app version available that does work with a touch – my friend in Texas uses it on his iphone to call Canada because his unlimited cell service stops at the border.

    re: the NFL/CFL how about a satellite dish? looked into that when the switch to digital happened a few years back but where I live in the GTA I pick up about 20 channels – all the CDN and US majors plus a bunch of locals – in glorious HD OTA (over the air) with my antenna up on the roof which is way more than I wish to watch so I dropped the satellite route.

    other option may to stream over the internet?

  10. Kevo says:

    I, too, made the jump from an iPod Touch to an iPhone and love it. Speakout Wireless all the way, baby! Hardly use it as a phone, but having internet and email anywhere for $10/month is a no-brainer for me. After 4 years of good and loyal service, I even sold my old iPod Touch to some parents who wanted it for their kid.

  11. Just because you have a cell phone doesn’t mean you have to answer it :) . Mine rarely gets used as a phone.

    But smartphones are not the cellphones of old. As the maytag repair-guy noted, smartphones are good for so much more than that. In fact, I use my smartphone for non-phone stuff more than my other stuff. And it’s that other stuff that makes it a must-have.

    GPS in ma’ pocket, anywhere. Text message the kids. Lookup store locations and hours anywhere, anytime (like when we’re driving around looking for a specific store). It takes notes, so I never need a pen and paper in the car again. And lastly, it’s my music machine – I can listen to an 80′s station from Australia while working out, or listen to my CD’s in the car. All that stuff that is inherent in the current smartphones make them invaluable.

  12. I have a boring old flip phone that costs me $100.00 each year. It was -22 celsius here yesterday and I have it with me in case I ever get stuck.

    Much warmer today. Up to -14.

  13. M says:

    I have had the same little, boring LG smartphone for about a year. It’s a handy dandy little phone and a lot of the Android apps are FREE. I think you’ll be pleased with it.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    I went in the opposite direction. Since living on my own I have a cell phone ($30/mnth) and no home phone. It works for me since I am the only person in the house. I don’t think I would ever want to go completely with out a cell. At minimum I would want a pay as you go for safety (young single female, big city always a worry) and when the car breaks down.

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