6 Reasons I Still Don't Have a Cell Phone Plan (yet)
If you ask most people what they can't live without, many would say their computer. Just about as many would say their cell phone/PDA/Crackberry. I agree with the first one – I couldn't earn a living without my PC. I don't currently have a cell phone plan, however, and here's why.
I'm particularly homebound. I'll admit it. I'm a SAHM, WAHM, and a homeschooler. Notice any recurring themes in my job description? Yeah.. I'm home a lot. Which brings me to the number one reason I don't have a cell phone. I'm almost always home, and my home phone works just fine, thank you.
I'm cheap. The going rate for a plan in my area with enough minutes to make it worth my while is around $50 a month. Then you add ridiculous taxes to the bill, the commitment of a 2-year-plan, and the cost of replacing the charger that I seem to always lose every 30 days, and you have one heck of a phone bill. I don't even have cable, so how can I justify spending over $80 a month for conversations that can most likely wait until I get home?
I'm private. Those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably already forgotten about me. I don't especially like to share every sordid detail of my life with everyone in “My Circle.” I talk to my Mom, my sister, and ocassionally a Grandma or two during my day – one time each. The rest of the world usually conducts their business with me via email or when I see them in person. I don't do too much small talk on the phone.. it just feels weird.
I'm busy. Did I mention that I homeschool? That's 4 kids, 2 sets of diapers, 40 or so dirty dishes, 2 lesson plans, and 100 emails that must be tended to-- before noon. Seriously, though, I do try to keep moving. When I'm not writing or folding laundry, I like to sit in the rocking chair in my kids' room and watch them sleep. All this takes great focus, and a rogue cell call just doesn't fit into the plan.
I'm committed to my landline. I hear so many things about Skype, and it really sounds like a good option – for someone else. Living in the middle of nowhere takes great faith in things like cell receiption, internet connectivity, and electricity (especially during tornado season, when outages are common.) If I can't pick up my old fashioned rotary phone and place a call during an emergency, I'm out. Technology can only replace so many of my dependencies on reliability.
I'm committed to safety. This is just how things work for me, so please don't take offense if it doesn't apply to you. As much as I appreciate what cell phones can do, I seem to always lose my focus when talking on one. Whether I'm driving, walking, or frying potatoes, the conversation can be the priority – or what I'm doing, but never both. It's just best for the rest of the world if I pay attention to what's at hand.
So how do I handle not having a cell phone plan? I do, actually, have a cell phone. It's a cheapo $14 pink tracfone with 120 minutes and a good charge. I take it with me when driving any distance and especially when toting around the kiddos in the dead of winter. It comes in handy when I need to get ahold of my hubby or if I'm doomed to wait in the doctor's office for longer than I've planned. I've relied on it when attending conferences and am stuck in the cabin of a going-nowhere plane with no chance of catching the next flight. But the entire set up costs less than $10 a month, and I'm free to ditch this plan any time I like.
Do I envy my friends with the iPhones and the unlimited web plans? Sure. Sometimes. On those rare, brief moments when I'm out and about, not running after stray kids, and feel the need to check the weather report. But those times aren't nearly often enough to justify that cell phone plan.