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How Necessary Is A Cell Phone?

cell phone - do I really need one?The decision was made a few days ago that when looking at all the information, there was really no need for a car at this moment. While that has seemed strange to some of our friends and will cause some inconvenience, we think that the savings will be well worth any inconveniences involved (we haven’t had to rent a car yet, so we’ll see how that goes the first time that route is taken).

The next question is whether there is any need for a cell phone. While in Japan, I never had a cell phone. In fact, I’m one of those people that really don’t like them all that much in that when I go out to do things, I usually don’t want to be interrupted. That being said, I’m wondering whether having a cell phone and a contact number for this business is something that I should have?

It seems that I’m a bit out of it when it comes to these devices and my non use of them up until now according to this MarketWatch story:

The recent study of 1,016 wireless users found that men talk an average of 546 minutes (nine hours, six minutes) per month on their cell phones, while women talk about 470 minutes (seven hours, 50 minutes) per month. In 2005, the gender gap was even wider, with men reportedly speaking an average of 571 minutes (nine hours, 31 minutes) a month and women an average of 424 minutes (seven hours, four minutes) a month.

While in Japan, it wasn’t really an option for anyone to contact me by phone so anything that needed to be discussed was done so by email. While I can certainly continue to do business this way, would I be missing out on opportunities that would be available if I had a cell phone where people could contact me? That is the question I’ve been struggling with lately.

For now, I’ll be passing on the cell phone too, but I will keep in mind that the cell phone may be something that I need in the future to help grow the business…

16 thoughts on “How Necessary Is A Cell Phone?

  1. I have a prepaid phone for which I am paying $10.00 a month. But since you do not have a car it is probably something that you can go without with for a while. I keep my cellphone off most of the time, but I can’t remember missing an opportunity because they got my voicemail and no. I know of some people who just have a cell phone and no landline.

  2. Either/Or – cell or landline. However, we’re still living in the age of “oh, I never got that email”. It used to be that “the server must have lost it”, but now it’s “my spam filter must have blocked it”. You just can’t be without some form of a voice communication, period.

    Otherwise, we can take this “back to basics movement” too far – how necessary is it to go out with spouse/friends? Play a game? Watch a show? See a flick? Buy some flowers for your wife? Shave face? Wear cologne? Wear pants?

    Hell, not wearing any pants at home saved me at least fifty bucks in t-shirts and sweatpants, but that just don’t mean it’s a good thing to to. When people are saving money or optimizing, they tend to forget what makes them human. Otherwise, it’s eat, drink, procreate … and live the life of my cat.

  3. One problem with getting rid of the landline is for those of us with home alarms. They’re mostly tied into the phone system for alerts. One way to save money is to just get the most basic/minimum service for the landline, where you get charged per call.

    One can then just get a family cell plan from one of the cell companies. I don’t see why folks need a landline or a VOIP line.

  4. Here in Ireland, where there are now more mobile/cell phones than people, it’s pretty much a necessity for most people. It has become de rigeur for organising both work and social lives. That’s not to say that I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a cell, I do, it’s just he’s had to ask me for a lend of my phone more than once 🙂

  5. I’ve used Virgin mobile since November 2003. The subscription costs me $16.95 every three months; I can add more if I use up my minutes, but I make very few calls. I didn’t want a cell phone (and I don’t keep it on to receive calls) but after the time I lost consciousness after a flu shot (no kidding) and ended up spending six hours in the waiting room of the hospital emergency department I felt very stranded, and that’s why I caved in to the cell phone. Now when I am on the road etc. I feel much more secure as a single woman knowing I can call for help or to check in with someone.

  6. I find cellphones to be far more convenient and useful than a landline, even when just used at home. The only reason I have a landline set up at all is for my home alarm. However, if you make local calls almost exclusively or just receive a lot of calls, then a landline is probably a better option.

  7. No cell phones for me, I had one for about a year, and hardly used it. Then just qut it and have been cell-free for 4 years now! It is MY LIFE to live, not be controlled by a pesky little bell/ beeper, ring tone whatever. Ever hear of Pavlov Dog? I swear people w/ cell phones become so conditioned to ‘run and catch that call’ it makes me laugh at them.

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  9. I had a cell phone for about three years, which was costing me $40 per month. I definitely didn’t use it enough to warrant that expense, so I dumped it and switched to Vonage, which gives me 500 minutes for about $15 per month. Quite a nice little savings. Now my fiance is ditching her cell phone too, which was $45 per month and will just use my Vonage account. We have bought a Cingular Go phone for emergencies, which is going to be around $12 per month.

  10. I’d never use a cell phone to discuss anything I wouldn’t feel comfortable shouting aloud on a crowded street (which is pretty much what people do with them, anyway). They’re not nearly as secure as folks think they are. I’ll use one when they pry one into my cold, dead fingers.

  11. Skype it.

    Lose the landline, don’t get a cell. Buy skypein (20 euro/year), it comes with free voicemail. When you leave just leave your computer on and presto chango you get all the messages as voicemail. You can get a number local to most of your contacts so mommy and daddy and John from down the block and whoever the hell don’t pay crazy rates. When you get it you skype them (free to US numbers – any US numbers – for this year) and you talk for free.



  12. i’ve been thinking about a prepaid phone even though I have a family plan (cheap) with cingular and i’m on month to month right now…

  13. :think that a cell phone is a good thing for kids so they can call there mom or dad after school if they want to do something with there friend

  14. cell phone is not necessary,because even before invention of cell phones our lives were going on smoothly.But as every new invention makes our life easy and fast so had cell phones bought a change in our life.Now we can contact eachother easily from anywhere to anywhere.So it can be called a necessity,but its a addition facility that makes life fast and easy.But must be used in limit .

  15. How much is human relationship worth in terms of dollar. I presume you need to communicate in order to maintain relationship. So I use a cellphone though it does not help my financial image it helps my human image

  16. I totally agree with you. I too have seen people jumping up and running to answer the phone – sometimes knocking over a glass of water or tripping over something – just to answer a ringing phone. And mind you, these are also telephones that are connected to an answering machine….go figure.

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