That existential question – do I need a cell phone?


Well, my contract is up with AT&T Mobile, and not surprisingly it coincides with an Apple product launch. New iPhones are in the air, and I am due for an upgrade from my 4s.

But instead of diving in and getting the new 5s, I have been thinking a different way. Do I really need a cell phone?

Since I haven’t been traveling much I haven’t really used many minutes on my plan.  I currently have over 5000 rollover minutes (which I think is the most that AT&T will let you accrue), so I certainly could trim back my plan to fewer minutes per month. (I think in the last two months I have used about 180 minutes total out of 1800 allocated (900 per month)) I do not get a phone through work, so I can conceivably just not be “available” when I am on the road – an attractive thought indeed.

Yes, I like having my email, facebook and other apps at my fingertips throughout the day, but do I really need it?

About 6 months ago, I was looking to reduce monthly outlays, and decided to not make any changes in my wireless communications. Mainly because I rely on the text messaging for my Google gmail two factor authentication. If I go back to standard security, then I no longer “need” a cell phone. (that was the determining factor at the time).

Or, I could just give up the smartphone, and go with a feature phone. But AT&T has a whopping selection of only 7 models, and 3 are refurbs.

I even thought of going to an Android phone a while back, and looked at the AT&T store. There is a wide range of quality and “goodness” of those devices. None of them really rocked my world.

So, now that I can cancel my phone without penalty, I am considering going cell phone free. It might be liberating.

$1,200 a year extra cash is appealing. But will I regret coughing up my digital leash?

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By geoffand


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September 2013

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