02 May 2010

Living without a cell phone

I'm writing this over 10,300 km away from home with a strange announcement. And that is: I have decided to live without a phone.

This is the phone that I've been using for the past 2 years: a HTC S730 (or HTC Wings) which had everything I expected from a phone.

It's a candybar phone, and a qwerty phone. I could use it with one hand. I could use it with two. I dropped it a couple times and it never fell apart. I could surf the net whenever I wanted to, I could be reached anytime, I could call and text and be called and texted, and I was connected to the world. I loved this phone to bits. It's been my alarm clock, my messenger, my notebook, my entertainer, and my organiser. I relied on it pretty much a lot. Even when I just have to whip it out just so I don't look like I have nothing to do when I'm out somewhere on the bus, on the train, or just waiting for nothing to happen.

I get teased for having it - Singaporeans just can't live without their phones.
It bothered me, to some point, but then again, why give a damn? I already know that Singaporeans aren't the only ones. Of course I begged to differ, because I -can- live without a phone. I hardly ever used mine as a phone anyway. As much as I relied on it (more for the internet function than cellular), I also knew when to leave it alone and leave it behind. I was never one of the 'worst cases' so to speak.

At this point however, I realized that I really don't need it anymore. It's strange to make this decision now, being halfway around the world. How will I ever be within reach anymore? How? What if I get into an emergency? What if this and that? Why can't I just wait until I get home? What if, what if, what if?
Isn't it amazing how the mind screws you over sometimes?
I'm so sick of being worried.

In the beginning I got a phone only for the purpose of being in touch with my family, and my family only.

At 16 I had my first phone:
Nokia 1100. S$60 for it.
Most memorable thing about it? Surviving an entire wash in the washing mashine.

And then the 2nd phone:
Motorola SLVR L7. S$300 for it.
Why I liked it: It went for 7 days on regular use before it needs to be recharged.

Thirdly I had an LG Viewty. S$260 for it.
Most memorable thing about it? Nothing. I hated it.
Completely idiotic touch-screen function. I sold it off after 2 weeks and swore never again.

And then I had my HTC Wings (the very first picture above). Not saying how much it costed me. It was almost an entire month's of my hard earned salary back in 2008. Regret was pretty much my shadow from that day on.

6 years since my first phone, I know I've had enough. Enough of paying, and enough of relying on something that I only use so seldomly. Enough of giving into the whole 'catching up with the technology' thing. I'll have a cell phone when I really do need one, and when I'd really use everything I pay for.

Here are now reasons why I'm going without a phone for good:
  • Reason #1:
    It costs me S$30 - S$40 a month to pay for the most basic phone line. More so if I use it overseas.
    That's S$360 - S$480 a year. First reason blatantly states that I'm commited to saving that money.

  • Reason #2:
    I could make 100 minutes of free outgoing local calls a month ('free' as in, not free really, you get the idea), and I am paying for it when I just don't call people. I'd call because it's so important that I'd have to. Not because the calls I make would be free.

  • Reason #3:
    I could send 500 free text messages a month (again, not really 'free', it's just called free because of this whole marketing bullshit), but how many text messages do I send in a month when I checked my bills? Never more than 120 messages. So much less than half of it. And I was paying for 500 free text messages a month that I don't even fully use up.
    (Yes, Tom, even when you do randomly bother me sometimes and I reciprocate. :P)

  • Reason #4:
    It annoys me when I realize that I keep checking my phone and how that turned into a habit. Hello? What is there to check? There's nothing on screen!

  • Reason #5:
    I hate being bothered in the middle of the night by calls or messages that not only ruin my sleep, but pretty much the entire day for me.

  • Reason #6:
    I'm not as lucky as some others out there to be able to just pick stuff from the shop or from the computer screen and buy it just because it looks cute or just because I want it, yet never really need it.

Looking back at all this. I realized... this is it. If not now, when would a better time be?

So to anyone who contacts me by phone who also reads my blog, this is me letting you know that by the end of the week, I am liberated.

It won't be easy, but to some extent it will be eye-opening. And then I'll just have to get used to it. In the end I look forward to living without a cell phone. More so, I look forward to using the traditional home phones, and if absolutely necessary: the almost forgotten payphones.

So what happens to my phone once I terminate the line?
Well... it's still a camera, it's still going to access the wireless internet, it's still an alarm clock, and it's still an organizer.
Anything but a phone.

The battery's almost dying on me, the case has cracks because of me being careless in the past, and it isn't going to last me much longer anyway. But it has served its purpose.

And the best feeling for me is... never again having to want a new phone.
All these luxury things... things, things, things... just makes you sick in the mind.

I'm done with it.
Happy days :)


  1. awwwww, no more random texting you :(

  2. You random tweet me instead ok? And I save you the money you spend on reaching me on the other side of the world, hehe.

  3. Wow... never heard anyone who wanted that, except for my mom. I wish you good luck with that. It sure is something I could never do, haha! It would be good though. Respect.