1. People don't set firm plans with people who own telephones.
"Okay, I'll call you around 3, and maybe we'll meet at like 7, or I don't know, I'll let you know at 5 if..."
"Sorry dude, I don't have a phone. Are we on for 7 or not?"
I love that.
2. The telephone destroys your ability to focus.
Middle of something important. Deep thinking. Creativity.
RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING RING ARALKNMRAKSRMSDLRFMDSKFMLSDFMSLDFMSDLFMSDFLKSDLFMSDLKHMRELMGKERGPSDGPOFDGKDP.
Yeah, that sucks. No phone? Score!
3. Scheduling times for calls is good.
I mostly use SkypeOut and call from my computer. I have my notes in front of me, my full schedule in front of me, and know when my calls are scheduled so I can appropriately prepare and research instead of someone just calling when I'm about to get on a train in the middle of the rain. Yeah, that's much better.
4. You do lose flaky unreliable people, but they're useless anyways.
I'm so serious dude. Go watch a gangster movie. The flaky unreliable idiot cousin always gets the boss killed.
But if you don't have a phone, you can't get in touch with idiot cousin, and you stay alive.
You can't build an empire with flaky people. Reliable people can handle having a scheduled call time and hopping on their Skype or taking your call if they're old fashioned use-a-phone people. Flaky "let's connect sometime" people have you winding up face down in a ditch outside of Las Vegas.
5. You don't have to deal with phone companies.
So I know a lot of people in Beijing, so I tried to get a SIM card and get the phone thing going. What a fucking nightmare. The store where the China Mobile was before is out of business and looks like it was looted and robbed. I buy a sim card from a kiosk for 80 yuan, activate it, and then the phone company tells me it won't work for a week.
A week? You useless bastards, I won't even be here in a week. Skype just works. Dealing with the phone company takes years off your life.
6. You don't have to pay the phone company.
A friend of mine wasn't paying attention while on roaming and gets a $215 bill for using his phone for like 33 seconds in Japan.
The phone company's entire business model is reliant on screwing you when you're not paying attention. It takes years off your life and it sucks and it's unpleasant and you probably wind up paying thousands of dollars for the damn phone and bills. SkypeOut - 5 cents a minute to most places, you watch your Skype credit going down, and know exactly how much every call costs. Awesome.
7. Everything thinks you've got huge balls.
Everyone hates the phone company, hates paying their phone bill, hates getting interrupted, hates people who can't make firm plans, generally hates and dreads their phone, but no one gets rid of the damn thing.
Guy - "Hey dude, I'll call you and maybe we can link up if we're free or maybe we won't."
Me - "I don't have a phone and keep a tight schedule. I'm free at Time X, Time Y, and Time Z. If you can do one, we'll link up. If not, that's okay too."
Guy - "You've got huge balls. I wish I had huge balls."
But you don't need huge balls to get rid of your phone. Just do it. Get rid of it. I know you hate the phone. You've fantasized about getting rid of it.
Do it! You'd think you'd get a hard time from people, but you don't. You get this sense of awe and a deep longing from people to do the same. "Oh man, I wish I could do that."
You can. Do it. Ditching the phone leads to a long, healthy, happy, prosperous life. The alternative is winding up face down in a ditch. That's a no-brainer. Kill the phone.
Yes, an iPhone is handy device. I think that it needs a rebranding, never gonna happen, perhaps iEnableVictory (feel free to use this name for an Android custom rom, justSayin). I suspect that 99% of iPhone users utilize the phone app (could/should it be called just another app?) 0.1% of the time, post smudge to unlock. Or maybe that's just my behavior being project and generalized, I'm always slightly puzzled when it signals me that someone wants to chat via the phone app. Anyway, Airplane Mode when not on a plane solves the eff phones!/<3 iPhone dilemma, wi-fi on/off optional. This technique has become one of my iPhone's most used features, two honorable mentions iTunes U & Kindle app both w/ locally stored content.
I'm currently waiting for a call from a prospective client.
Thinking about this again, it seems I will not kill the telephone. I like the style of this post, it is blogging as it supposed to be, interesting, thought-provoking..
But the downside of going permanently without a number takes such huge balls that only pure cloud workers or rich and famous people can take the PR cost of being a weirdo. A cloud worker is paid for being weird anyway, and a rich and famous person has a halo that allows for being eccentric.
Otherwise, it seems to risky to seem so eccentric.
This post is inspiring me hugely. I enjoy my iPhone for note taking and as a calendar, but I cancelled my internet plan last year. That the phone line could go too has never crossed my mind before. It makes perfect sense: without a number, you are the only one who decides whom you talk with (through Skype).
My plan ends in August: I will seriously consider killing the phone. Thanks!
I agree with all of this. But instead of "skype out" you could put "VoIP" and everything is the same. There are a lot of VoIP companies offering the same services like Skype even with a bit lower prices (same balance/rating display on their softphpne)
You can solve a lot of those problems simply by being more disciplined. Other party is being wishy washy? Force a decision or leave then behind.
The masters should not become slaves to their tools.
I love the idea of not having a phone, it is actually one of the two things I really want to not have one day. The second thing is a computer. It might sound crazy. I actually use phone and computer a lot but my ultimate goal is to live a life without a phone and computer. I might never happen but I always dream what would it might be. A lot of people did amazing things even without computers in history and we are so dependent on them that it might be actually really amazing and record breaking if one can achieve something hilarious without computers ... I can only imagine.
I generally agree with all those points except #1 -- I'm in Tokyo so I get a lot of visitors/contacts with no phone, and there have been many times over the years when a phone would have saved a lot of hassle. There really are days when plans can be open and flexible, and times when both parties have had to drop everything and rush across town to keep a pre-arranged appointment even though a delay would have suited everyone better.
I don't want to defend the phone too much though; I'm actually a long time phone hater who never calls anyone unless it's an emergency. I remember falling to my knees and weeping with joy in the 90s when I got my first email account. Maybe I'll just defend text messaging and ubiquitous internet access which, for now anyway, still involves the dreaded phone companies.
I see where your coming from and how ti works for you, but most of us use our phones for more then just calling. I use my phone as a notepad and to send text massages. If i can find a replacement for my phone that does what it does while enabling me to keep in touch with people, i will, but probably not soon.
I think this advice is best suited for those who are already mostly independent and don't have to worry about transportation among other things.
Still, great post, ill start looking into the best way to get rid of my phone in the near future.
I've gotten a lot of emails lately, which has been fantastic. My email volume keeps going up.
There's one question I've gotten a few times, in a few different forms. "How do you do so much [thing]?" Reading is a common one, since I read a lot of books. Or balancing projects with working, traveling, tourism, connecting with people.
First off, I don't think I'm so good at getting stuff done. I see there's a lot more I could do. There's probably a lot better role models than me - if you can find someone who works a stimulating high powered job, competes athletically, parents, and does some philanthropy or art, that person is way ahead of me and you ought to look them up and ask them for their thoughts next time you see them.
I used to be insanely busy like that, with 3-5 things that should be a full time effort on the go at the same time. That's probably part of the secret to it right there - if you overload yourself without getting to breaking point, you'll be amazed at what you can do.
There's ripple effects when you're extremely busy. You stop screwing off and wasting time, because you can't. And other people start respecting your time more, too. If your entire calendar is open, people are flaky and whimsical and ambiguous with plans. But when you say, "My only time free for the next three weeks is this Saturday, at 8AM" - guess what? People come meet you at 8AM Saturday. Now, it'd be absurd to ask someone to commute into the city to meet you at 8AM on Saturday if you weren't busy, but if you are busy, you do it because you have to. And people respect your time.
I made this list of useful phone numbers to replace the apps I used on my smartphone. However it could also be considered useful for anyone travelling to London that doesn't want to get screwed with data roaming. Just use these numbers at any payphone around town. You know, the big red things tourists take photos next to.
I will warn you however this list will force you to have to interact with other human beings and *shudder* potentially have a pleasant conversation with them. If you've ever been on a London tube and looked around at the faces intently staring into smartphones with blaring headphones on, you'll understand. You also may have to walk and/or travel to locations other than your couch, I'm just warning you now.
Most of the time I'm buying books, from Amazon, for this I've come up with two numbers.