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.
It's like I'm not in a cafe any more, but rather receiving a diplomatic corps from a nation I'm at war with. The woman has a "stern and serious fucking business" look on her face, and another waitress is standing alongside her right flank with arms crossed.
I shake my head and try to wave them off, doing the universal "I'm on the phone" gesture, holding up a thumb and pinky finger.
She starts speaking anyways. She's loud and insistent.
"Hold on, Marcus."
I take my headset off. "Yes?"
Indecision is one of the worst qualities in a lot of people; I include myself among them. The insidious little voice that whispers "you don't have to decide now, decide later" is all too easy to listen to, and it is highly destructive. You miss opportunities, have to rush for deadlines, people start to see you as flaky and unreliable, the entire thing is abhorrent.
Making decisions is important. Even if it's something completely arbitrary, such as where you're going to meet your buddy for a drink, not deciding is just giving the other person a responsibility they don't want and generally wasting time. just make the call, and if the other person doesn't like your (arbitrary) decision, changing it will mean absolutely nothing to you because you didn't care in the first place.
For the more important decisions, the urge to put them off is strong. You know you can't delegate this one, so you just think "I'll make it tomorrow"; "I'm tired from work, I'll do it at the weekend"; "I don't want to waste my weekend on this, I'll do it next week": repeat ad infinitum.
Just do it. Sit down, make a list of pros and cons, and make the decision. The decisions in life that bring us the most are never easy, but they still need to be taken. Pick a side, option, path, and move on.
The flip side to this is owning your decisions. This doesn't apply to the arbitrary ones, but for decisions that matter to you this is important. Once your decision is made, you need to run with it all the way. You made that decision. You weighed it up, picked the best possible outcome, and took the stand. Letting someone else dissuade you, unless the reason is something mind-blowingly exceptional, is a disservice to you. It means you have so little respect for yourself that you think you can't be trusted to make decisions.