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Simple Challenge #8 – Cell Phone

Welcome to Simple Challenges!

How did the outside clean-up go?  Was the weather still good for you?  Hopefully you weren’t affected by Sandy last week.

Ready for this weeks challenge?

The Anti-Cell Phone challenge!  (said in a booming base voice)  Remember when phones were stuck to the wall and only cost about $25 per month?  You could talk all you wanted and if you were out shopping or somewhere else people would just leave you a message.

Now, not only are they sometimes 10x the cost for a family, they also follow you everywhere you go, demand immediate attention, and offer silly entertainment any spare moment you might be board.

The fact that we took the huge increase in price and consider it a need instead of a want is a bit crazy isn’t it?

So the challenge for this week:

Pretend your phone is one of those old-fashioned things and leave it on the counter in the kitchen (or somewhere else in your house) …and leave it there.  You can decide how many days this week you want to try it.  If you are at home you can go answer it or go check it whenever you want but it stays put in one place.  It stays at home when you go out, it stays in the kitchen while you are watching TV.  Get the idea?

If you have a home phone you can try and turn off your cell phone for a few days.   Or, if you are really worried about emergencies you can bring your cell phone with you but if you aren’t in the kitchen (or other area you designate in the house) it is turned off.

I have been doing this on vacation, just leaving my phone in the car, and it has been great!



  1. I hate phones anyway, although I do have one I tend to leave it switched off or at home.
    I got my phone years ago so that if I went out horse riding or walking alone and had an accident I could get help. Phones have uses but not to be enslaved to them.
    Text messages often kill communicate as well, as they are so short and stunted there is no real communication

    • oh, horse riding sounds so fun!

    • David David

      To each their own. Sometimes I think there is kickback against fads/modernism to just try to be ‘different’, and that is nothing but a fad, too. Then there are people who have no choice, and people who honestly choose to live simply for it’s own sake. Kind of like people who think being thin or vegetarian or going to church a lot make them more worthy than someone else.

      Text messaging is so popular because it fills a social evolutionary niche. Denying it is to lose out on social evolution. When’s the last time you listened to an 8-track in the car?

      I think choosing one’s technological gizmos can lend to simplicity, not automatically compromise it. A single gadget or two (iPhone and iPad) can replace TV, stereo, phone in every room, slide projector, and boxes of photos and stacks of scrapbooks. And it is much easier to turn my iPhone ringer on and off than a house full of phones! And music? I rip a CD once, then rarely touch it again now.

      For simplicity, it”s hard to beat a text message. A text message with a pic in it to my wife confirms I am buying the right winter boots for my daughter, instead of long drawn out descriptions and second trips to town, like in pre-cell days. Instead I got to do shopping for right stuff and pick kids up from school, go get ice-cream, be home in time for hockey practice, etc, due to simple , quick texting with my wife.

      This isn’t to say that every new thing must be adopted. But better tools should ALLOW life to be simpler, I think.

      And thank God for the phone that called the ambulance when my sister almost got killed by a horse she was walking back to the barn!

      • Samantha Samantha

        But I personally have no interest in music, movies or tv. I never have -that isn’t a simplicity thing that is just my personality. I don’t own a car and I actually don’t know what an 8-track is. I assume that is an American expression or something, as I’ve never heard of it. I go to the jam sessions and such we have here, or the singing on the beach . . . but not the commercial side of music etc.
        I live in a small area, with very few shops so there is no need to use phones to go shopping. As if I was really unsure if I was buying the right thing the shop owners would be more than happy to put whatever on one side until I checked. We have a community here and to be honest . . . half the times phones are out of range anyway and won’t work.
        As I said I use phones around horses and when alone. So the safety issue is covered.
        Phones simply do not fit into my life the way they obviously do in yours, but we live differently to each other and that’s just fine. It is very common in this area for people not to use phones and especially not to carry them with you. Not all the world even in the Western world lives the same and that is a blessing in itself

      • David, I agree with you. I think technology should be simplifying our lives as well. I love my cell phone and text all the time. What I don’t like is that it also sometimes comes with addictive habits. People look at their phone as the last thing before they close their eyes at night and wake up reaching for it. Phones especially have become a way to never have a ‘dead space’ or time to think. Standing in line, even at stop lights there is something to ‘check’.

        With the challenge I don’t want people get rid of cell phones all together, sorry if it came across that way. I just think that we sometimes need a break (like turning it off or leaving it in a different room) to help us realize the addictive qualities of it and realize that it is just a tool not a constant entertainment source 🙂

        • David David

          I guess I kind of did over-react a bit. I also value simplifying my life; At my work in a hospital, I have to be accessible at all times and get texts and calls all night long, any of which can be about a life-threatening emergency, or something very mundane. Having my smartphone in my pocket simplifies dramatically compared to the old paging/phone tag process.

          But when I am at home and about, it’s pretty much just a music box and texts with my wife so that we don’t interrupt what the other is doing with full call. Simpler. However, there is the temptation to pull it out at a restaurant to fill minutes instead of talking. And I do see that as a downside. People seem to use these sometimes as an excuse to avoid interaction, and often in an addictive manner, too. My son talks less while being drove about now that he has an iPhone to read on. I think that is unfortunate, and agree that lots of people could use the break from that. When I am on vacation and go back to our family ranch, tablets and computers are practically never used, and I revel in just sitting and talking with family and friends, and quiet non-beeping walks in the country.

          Oh, and dating myself – 8-Track tapes were the first portable recording format that music came out around 1970 or a little earlier, when I was a kid. Lots of good hippie and rock music was on those huge clunky tapes. And I miss the singing on the beaches and in the mountains that we did back then. Enjoy it where and when it is!

          • David, thanks so much for coming back 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  2. I love this idea, unfortunately I’m 37 weeks pregnant, so if I were to turn my cell phone off right now my husband would come completely unglued.

    • wait…that came out wrong. I am not “unfortunately” pregnant 🙂 This challenge just comes at the wrong time for me to participate.

      • yep bad time. Keep that phone close by. Congratulations and good luck to you! My daughter was born end of November 🙂

  3. Kim Stewart Kim Stewart

    Yes! The yard cleanup is dine. My daughter came out and cleaned up all her toys which were strewn all over the yard while I picked up dog poop. Afterwards, we both took bags and picked up any garbage that was blown into the yard (Plevna is known for wind). Great idea to put away the phone, I have a smart phone and spend way too much time reading Facebook, etc… Hope you are having a beautiful Roadtrip!

    • yeah, I had a smart phone for 2 months and lived on it. It does amazing things but I can’t handle the urge to check everything all day long 🙂
      The roadtrip is going great, thanks!

  4. Bd Bd

    I try to leave my phone home/unanswered during the day on Saturdays. It’s incredibly freeing.

    • Yep 🙂

  5. Were landlines really that cheap in the States and are cells really that expensive? A basic landline, not including any calls (a local call was about $0.30/call and long distance were per-minute) was $30/month here. I can get a capped mobile plan for $40 including all the text and calls I am going to need and a reasonable amount of data.

    As much as I could live without a cell, the convenience it provides–as it is a business tool as well–outweights any that I could derive from a landline. I would do it on vacation but not in my day-to-day life. It is one tool I need.

    • I love the convenience as well. We just have two cell phones now and they are business and personal together. That is what I remember land lines being…around $25+. My husband said our last one (before we cancelled) was maybe $35. Now we pay $170ish for 2 phones but we have only one phone with data (my husbands) and a small plan. I was taking a guess at how much higher minutes, more data, kids having phones, and other expenses would get for bigger families. Taxes and fees make up a huge part of our bill over here 🙁

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