This past Saturday night, I figured I'd try something radical: go out without my cell phone on me. I was going to a venue less than ten minutes away from my house and I planned on dancing the entire time there. So, having a cell phone clipped to my pocket just didn't seem like the most essential thing for the night. I wasn't expecting any calls, so I left my phone on the kitchen table.
At no point during the four hours I was away did I greatly miss my phone. When I wanted to know the time, I -- gasp -- asked some friendly folks for it. This all made me think about how important a cell phone really is. Moreover, it made me wonder about why we invest much of our daily lives into cell phone technology. Is it really warranted by need or just really want? Are the benefits really that incredibly better with it rather than without it?
Given the circumstances that night, I didn't need to have the phone on me. There are plenty of other times and circumstances where a phone is a must for me. But I still remember that I spent many, many years of my life driving around and walking around without a cell phone. A portable car phone only really came into our family until late high school for me, so yes, life did exist before cell phones.
Were there times when a cell phone would have been great? Sure, but so much of the rest of time, there were other ways to communicate. But people will counter with the speed of communicating with a cell phone. Well, in my eyes, speed is not as important as just simply communicating.
I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine who told me about his cell phone plan. Included in the package was a limit of 1400 text messages per month. In all the years I've owned a cell phone, I've never written or received that many, combined. I only really use my phone for calls and texts, but since I don't receive many calls or texts, I have a very basic plan. Since I've never been impressed with camera phones or Internet access on a phone, and would never dare to watch a movie or a TV show on a phone, I have a very basic phone.
Is life so advanced with technology that all those extras are a must? It may be that way for many, but they're not in my life.