Friday, April 29, 2011

One Cell Phone Or Two?

This month, our cell phone contract is up, and we have been deciding what we’d like to do with it.  Right now, Shawn carries a Blackberry for work, which is not for personal use.  He also carries a personal phone, and the kids and I phone him throughout the day to include him in milestones that are going on at home.  Lily likes to phone him and keep him up to date : “ Daddy, I pee potty!!”.  Daddy always cheers for her like a good sport.  I’m sure every once in a while, someone near him thinks he’s nuts when he proclaims “ Potty!? YAY!!”. Hee hee hee!  I have a cell phone too…it’s around here somewhere…what’s my number? Uh, Hold on, I’m not too sure.  I must have it written down somewhere…

Ok, you get the idea, I never use that phone anyway.  When Shawn’s phone got run over/dropped/smashed one too many times, we swapped the numbers so he got my nice, still-shiny-new three year old phone.

Over the last couple months, we’ve been discussing what we should do with the cell phones.  While in theory, it seems reasonable that I have one, the reality is, I just don’t need one.  I’m at home most of the time.  If I were going to drive somewhere, say to Saskatoon to go shopping ( which never happens anyway!), I could just take his with me for peace of mind. 

We’ve all become so used to having cell phones that we think they are a necessity, but you what?  Most of the time, they aren’t. Ok, some people need them for work, to be reached when on call or during an emergency ( Shawn included) but realistically, not all of us need that phone. 

I don’t even feel obligated to answer my home phone just because it’s ringing.  If I’m reading to the kids, that’s important and they appreciate my full attention.  I don’t feel bad if I am not reachable 24 hours a day.  I have message manager, that’s what it’s for.  On weeks when Shawn is off, our family has a little ceremony where he makes a big production of powering off the phone, and the rest of us do a little dance and cheer.  It’s so nice to be set free from the slavery of having that phone constantly within arm’s reach.  His ring tone sounds like a submarine’s diving warning, and we all cringe when it rings and interrupts family time.  We know that it means either he will be on the phone discussing some problem, or helping someone fix something, or that he will have to go back to work to fix something.

So, besides being a rant about how much I hate the cell phone, this post does have a point!  I’ve been wondering, if I hate the thing so much, why am I paying for it?  Why do we pay for caller ID, the second line or any of those other features we’ve never used anyway?  We’ve decided to keep just one personal phone, because we do value being in contact with Shawn throughout the day.  He doesn’t miss out on the fun stuff going on at home, and the kids like that Daddy is still part of their day, even when he’s away.  We have one for peace of mind when we travel, or when Shawn’s hunting or fishing. We’re putting that phone on a bare basics plan, and saving $40 a month. We’re using the phone we already have, because we don’t want a long contract, and we don’t want to pay for a new one when we don’t need to. 

Getting rid of my phone will help accomplish two of our family goals : 1) simplify life to make room for what really matters; and 2) save money.


  1. We are going a different route and getting rid of our home phone. We each of a cell phone so we really have no need for a home phone. We were keeping it for the fax for Dustin's business but it really isn't necessary. We are also getting rid of our TV package and we will be saving $140 a month. Definately worth it!

  2. Also an excellent option, Cj! It's always good to simplify!

  3. I totally agree with you, Melissa! However, I have thought about the usefulness of me having a phone for those days (Tuesdays, for example), when Duane is at the fire hall, and I'm in town, just in case the school needed to get ahold of me that one of the boys needed me. That said, though, they do have the number at the fire hall and could probably reach Duane (eventually) even if they couldn't get me...I really love my call display now, though, for those times when the phone rings, and I can't get to it, I know who called, etc. Great you could make a decision together - love it! :)

  4. I have thought of being reachable in case one of my kids is in an emergency too. But then I thought if they cant reach me on one of the two home phone numbers ( a long story for another time) AND they cant reach Shawn on one of two cell phones, both having two lines, AND they can't reach him by e-mail ( on the blackberry)AND they can't reach the two emergency contacts on the phone list ( or their cell phones), then something sooo huge is going on that it wouldn't matter if I was reachable or not! Haha! We cut the ID on the cell phone, but I too like it on the house phone. It does help to know if I need to take a call, no matter what I am doing, like if it was the school for example, or if it's something I can let wait. It probably wasn't too useful to have the cell as an emergency number anyway, since I never had it on. It does feel a little weird to know I won't have it though.

  5. Well, as the Drury's know, we Drury's got rid of our cell phones when we moved to Sask. Although Candace does miss the convenience and the gadgets that they have, I'm perfectly happy without them. Could you just imagine a world where you had to wait for DAYS to get a message (prior to any phones).

    People have lost touch with the joy that comes with the delivery of news. When we all know what everyone is doing by the minute (thank you Facebook), then there's nothing left to really talk about when we get together, other than gossip about (surprise!) what other people are Tweeting (or whatever).

    Cell phones are in modern times for sure necessary for certain work/jobs, and a great safety blanket when needed. But 99% of the time, they're just convenient for the sake of being convenient.

  6. I get the point but I guess I am not the norm. I love having my phone. It's my timer, communication device, alarm clock etc. We also have onstar calling and we use that quite a bit too.

    I am forever on the go and even when we go quadding I take my phone because you never know what could happen. I take my phone on a run with me too because on a daily basis you can see wolves, bears or a cougar where I live.

    I pay around $100 a month for the cells and home phone. Nothing fancy but I feel better knowing I have that communciation device handy if anything should happen whether it be a flat tire, someone breaking into my house while we are at home (alarm system is on land line phone) or a wolf is stalking me while I exercise.

    Anyway just my two cents from across the fence.


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