Living Radically: Why I Cancelled My Phone Plan

Ever feel like your phone is just a ticking clock, burning in your hands, and ready to blow any minute? Well, that’s how I felt for months before last week, when I up and canceled my phone plan. I know what you’re thinking: ARE YOU CRAZY?! THAT’S YOUR LIFE LINE!

Here is the thing, though: for me, a phone is a tool, and it should be used as such. Over the years, my phone had become a crutch and a time sink, and was no longer serving me in positive ways. I spent more time looking at my screen and talking to people through there that I didn’t realize that I was ignoring real life. In an effort to be more present and enjoy life a little more, I cut myself off. Here is what happens when you cancel your phone plan.

1. Everyone calls you crazy.

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So, yeah… everyone’s first reaction is that I must be absolutely insane for doing this. What if I got into a car accident? What if I got lost? What if I was in trouble? What if, what if, what if… the list goes on. It made me realize that we spend an awful lot of time being worried about something bad happening, rather than just going with the flow and dealing with problems as they come. Now, I will admit that I use Ting, so I do have a phone number (that I will never give out) and I do have access to cell data. I am also using my smartphone. So, technically, if I were in trouble, I can make a call.

2. You become unreachable – in a good way.

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Now, I’ve already said that I do have service through Ting (pay as you go), but I don’t use it unless I absolutely need it. What I do use to communicate are apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, as well as group apps such as GroupMe. I am at school for about 80% of the time, where I have free access to Wi-Fi. When people have to contact me, they can only do so when I am in range of some Internet. Otherwise, I can enjoy some sweet, no phone time.

3. Freedom has never tasted so sweet

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I will definitely say that the moment I switched out my old SIM card in exchange for a new one, I felt extremely liberated. I was no longer tied to answering text after text, or taking calls from sales people. No more annoying subscription texts either! Cancelling my phone plan and going Wi-Fi only has allowed me to enjoy myself more, mostly because when I am out and about, I can’t check my phone for notifications. Unplugging has definitely pushed me to go out and have more fun, and has made a ton more room for hobbies.

4. Bills go down drastically.

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I have been analyzing every part of my life to find new ways to save myself money (woot, college life). One that was a particular head scratcher was my phone bill. I kept my smartphone after my contract was up, and that cut my bill in half. However, I still was not satisfied. I found all sorts of things on Google, such as GoogleFi, Wireless Republic, even just getting an old Nokia. Then I found Ting, which honestly worked best with what I was looking for and with my lifestyle. I just pay for what I use, and I intended to use very little of that cell data. As such, my bill is only $12-$15.

5. You begin to value your time, and be more present.

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The driving moment for me to actually follow through and cancel my phone plan happened late on a weekday night. I felt like no matter how many times I swiped away at notifications on my screen, there were twenty more waiting in line. It was almost as if everyone else was running my life, and I was strapped into the passenger seat. There was no barrier between me and school and work. I literally broke down, and could not talk to anyone for hours. Even my partner was banned from the room until I managed to calm down. My phone had turned into a soul-sucker, and all I wanted to do was go on airplane mode so that no one could bother me again.

Cutting myself off allowed me to control how much access people had to me, and how much time I made for myself. When at school, my school friends can reach me through messenger apps when it comes to projects and homework. While at home, I might shut off conversations about school and only let in ones from family and friends. When I am out and about, no one can reach me, and I don’t have to pay attention to school or work messages at all. My time is valuable, and being present have significantly improved my overall quality life.

Living radically (and unplugged),

Marta

Living Radically: Why I Cancelled My Phone Plan

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