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Is It Time To Give Up Your Cell Phone?

     Cell Phones - just like hammers, can be very useful tools (unless you're beating your hand with one) when it is used for its original intent.  Which raises an excellent question, "What is the intent behind the cell phone?"  Take a minute and think about it.  Why do we have cell phones?

Now some of you may be very logically saying to yourselves, "To be accessible, of course," which seems like the RIGHT answer.  But somehow, many of us have gone from being accessible and staying connected to creating a life of chaos.  Connections are terrific . . . efficiency is a must . . . but how much of this technology time is unnecessary (whether our doing or not)?  Which raises the next good question, "What is our focus?" 

Something Had to Go

    You see, my husband and I, after reviewing our financial goals, decided that we needed to make a few more changes.  Now, unless we were going to send our oldest to work (which was okay by me but my husband reminded me that the U.S. has Child Labor Laws) something else was going to have to give.

    We decided the heat had to stay, food was a necessity too . . . we're even keeping the indoor plumbing, so the only thing that we didn't NEED was the cable, the Internet and the cell phones.  Now right at this very moment, I can just feel that someone is in great need of resuscitation at the shock of such a suggestion.

    "Get rid of the Internet . . . but how will you stay connected?  The cable . . .  WHAT are you going Amish?  The cell phone . . .  well, you're going to feel really bad when you're family can't get a hold of you."

    Ladies, these are TRUE sentiments that I just listed; ALL have perfectly good responses.  I can use the Internet at the library, our family should read more anyway (not to mention we have PLENTY of family videos we can enjoy), and we still have a home telephone for those who would like to connect with us.  My number is still the same. 

The Chaos

    You see, this cell phone device which is strapped to your hip or tucked neatly away in that purse of yours truly is for the convenience of everyone else.  Think about it . . . so that Fred can ask you if he can stay for the game, or so that Susie Q can let you know how frustrated she was at school today or maybe so that Sweetie Pie's teacher can inform you that his out-of-control biting habits are becoming a real problem, all of which can be communicated on the $25.00 home phone line.

    Yes, ladies, that device that transports all the information you ever wanted or didn't want to know is merely an object from which you may need to find some freedom.  Wouldn’t most of us actually enjoy not being “findable” for just a few minutes?  After all, even the baby has to walk around for a little bit before she finds me on the commode, but my son's orthodontist's office can connect with me right away just at the touch of a button.  Re-route this nonsense to your house and gain some sanity. 

   You may ask, "but what if I miss a call?" I don't know about you, but I have found over my 25 years of "talking on the phone" that there are very few calls I have missed that I was sorry about, but there are many calls that I have received that I was more sorry about.

How It Works for Me

     Here's what I do know, and let me clarify, I do still have a cell phone for emergencies only (and that does not include calling my sisters to let them know that Chic-Fil-A has Buy One Get One Free milkshakes sale running until Saturday, though I must admit, I was tempted). 

    This emergency phone goes with either my husband or me (usually whoever the chauffeur of the day is for the children).  It is 50 peak minutes and 250 off peak minutes for only $25.00-- a lot less than the $115.00 we were paying.

    On the cell message, I kindly inform the caller that "my new number is…" and then spout off my home phone number, which all my friends and family should have anyway, but may not remember where they've placed the number as that old relic hadn't been used in years.  "Why call on the home phone when we can catch her anywhere?" (Even the bathroom.)

    Yes, my dear friends, I have been liberated.  Sure, I now have to be a woman of my word, and if I SAY I'm going to be somewhere, well by golly, I do not have a cell phone to call and conveniently give myself an extra ten minutes.

    No, I have to actually arrive when I say I will.  I have to plan ahead ('cause there are no Hubby Calls asking if he'd pick up milk on the way home,) we just have to do that thing that none of us enjoy - WAIT. 

    Is it inconvenient?  At first it is, but you know what I have found?  I spend more time talking with my kids than other people.  I have 100% focus on my husband when he's talking to me because there isn't his phone, my phone and our son's phone beeping, brrrringing or playing music to get our attention.  There's silence, and it truly is golden.  We just don't realize it as a society because for most of us, it doesn't exist. 

Time For You To Decide

      So, what do you think?  Either I'm nuts or I'm on to something?  But here's the reality.  What I have found over these past few months is so priceless, I would gladly give the cell phone company their $115.00 just to keep my phone the way it is.

    I would give the cable guy his due just to keep the bombardment of racy commercials from flashing across my screen and I would buy stock in AOL if they would tell me my Internet access would not be coming through these house lines again.

    Why?  It isn’t that I believe that the technology of today is bad.  In fact, you're reading this article today because of technology. I just understand that for my husband with his busy work schedule, my teenage son with the teachable moments that come up now when I would've been on the phone then, my two baby girls that need/have my undivided attention, and myself who could use a few less distractions in life, it works for us and our family.

    It may not work for you, and there is nothing wrong with that.  I would just ask you to do one thing.  Go to your family and ask them to give up their cell phone for one Saturday so that you can spend the day as a family together.  See what the reactions are and base your next steps from there.

    God may just unexpectedly reveal something to you as He did for me.  It's a shock at first but so are those paddles when they get placed on the breathless body right before revival occurs.  It's a jolt I would take all over again!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Cindy Aitken

Reader Comments...
2010-06-17 13:06:54
"Amen, sister! We (gasp) don't even get a signal at our house, and I tell you that it is NICE. The cell phone is almost exclusively for my husband and me to communicate when one of us is going to town.

We didn't intend to become weirdos, but we have become a strange family because we eat meals together, read books together, and arrange our schedules around the family agenda. Because we are home more, we are accessible at home. What's best of the whole deal is that we are accessible to each other."
        - Adria

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