What a Year Without a Cell Phone Taught Me

I survived!

A year ago, right before I left for a four-month trip in Europe, I cancelled my cell phone contract and haven’t bought a new one once back home. At first because I was totally broke, and then, I kind of forgot. It’s been a year and six days now, and I can count on one hand the moments I felt the need to own a cell phone.

A year without a cell phone taught me a lot:


  • That I need to check correctly where I’m going before I visit a new place, not to rely on a phone’s GPS
  • That I can ask my directions when I get lost (people are always helpful)
  • That I can chat with my friends via Facebook and it’s as fast as texting because they all use their cell phone
  • That I’m much more present when meeting with friends, and I have zero patience when they spend the whole time texting
  • That I can save a ton a money
  • That I need a watch at all times
  • That my doodling skills aren’t entirely gone (I mean, I have to entertain myself in class)
  • That I have more time to read in the bus
  • That I can leave the house with lighter pockets, and a freer mind
  • That I don’t really need a cell phone
  • That I don’t need a cell phone

I’m sure eventually I’ll have to get one, but as long as I’m able I will manage without.

Am I crazy?

Is anyone else feeling like they don’t really need a cell phone or like their life would crumble if they lost theirs?

Anyway, just felt like sharing this. Feel free to share in the comments!

19 thoughts on “What a Year Without a Cell Phone Taught Me

Add yours

  1. Cool post! I once lived without a cellphone for a year and it taught me a lot. One of the most important things it taught me was to enjoy the moment and not to live through a lens/phone.


  2. I finally got a smartphone last April after having a basic prepaid phone for several years, and I’m 27 now. I thought that I “needed” one since it has so many helpful apps and such. But I’ve felt that it’s been such a drain on my money considering how few people I call/text (I used it much more for work [calling coworkers to let me into buildings and texting coworkers with questions/help] than to communicate with friends and family). Yes, it’s been great with its Maps app for whenever I’m lost and Facebook for killing time on lunch-breaks, but I’ve realized that I really could live without it.

    I’m thinking of ditching my phone, for many of the reasons you list. And it would probably be beneficial for many people to at least try to go cellphone-less for a while. Hey, even I remember a time when we were totally fine without them, and our parents and grandparents were perfectly fine without them for most of their lives.

    Great post, and good for you for going against the masses by going sans cellphone 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Marica! And it’s great that you can realize how it’s not worth the money. It’s true that it’s a form of distraction when waiting but then we’re also kind of missing out on what’s going on around us.
      Funny that you mention a time when grandparents were perfectly fine without them: it reminds me that my grandmother got a cell phone about four years ago and I swear that she still has no clue how it completely works. She must’ve used it three or four times for emergencies but she definitely pays too much for her use. I’m sure she’d be better off without!


  3. A great post!
    I use the cell phone minimally; I don’t even have a pre-paid card, neither do I suscribe to any plan. (I share the data and usage with my grown-up son, though we have separate phones.)


    1. I’m glad you enjoyed! It’s great that you can use it minimally and not fall into the marketing traps of the phone agencies. They can make us feel like we need the biggest plan and all of the apps and how much we’re going to save money by the end, but not really.


  4. You are an inspiration- truly. I would love to try to do this one day (i hasn’t considered it until reading your post). I have to admit though that even when my cell phone dies I accidentally try to check it at least every 2 minutes until I can charge it again- so it might be a little difficult for me. But these last few months in Europe have taught me that I can go without “data” and “calling” on my phone- so as long as I could find a good camera and a way to talk to relatives, I think I could do it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you could do it too, and you should! 🙂 I remember the feeling of checking my cell phone every 2 minutes to make sure I haven’t missed out on something, but like Gretchen from ChicNerdReads says not having that habit makes it so much easier to live in the moment and truly enjoy it. It’s true that travelling gives some distance, though, and then it’s much easier to let go entirely! You’re almost there 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for writing this. I have a cellphone but I only limited that for calls and texting for appointments and emergencies. Most time I just ditch my phone or even turn them off for entire day. And so much like you, I have zero-tolerance when meeting friends seeing them keep texting of nothing importance.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A good post, as many have stated. I think there is a distinction between smart phones and cell phones, as I use a prepaid ($25.00 every 90 days) phone and not a smart phone. That way I have a phone available for the occasional call or text without the large expense.

    Liked by 1 person

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