I was having lunch with some girlfriends the other day and one of them said, "Ya know Jen, I was talking about you with a friend. I told her I actually knew someone without a cell phone--you." Yes, I admit I do not own a cell phone-neither does my husband nor any of my kids. How do we survive you ask? Well I might want to add before you ask that question that we also do not have (nor have we ever had) an answering machine or caller ID, or (and this is the big one) TV. Now we do have a television set and a DVD player, but no cable, netflix, or anything else. When you turn our TV on--it is just a blank screen, and we have been like this for almost 13 years. Can you believe it? When my kids go over to my parents' house they have always been amazed that something comes on when they turn their TV on. Why do I go without?
Cell phone--my girlfriends in the big city always say, "Jen, you need a cell phone!" and I always say, no I don't. Why would I want to talk on the phone in the grocery store? I live in a small town, and I am either at one of 4 places during the day if I am not at home--at my kids' school, at Wal-Mart, at the college taking my class, or at the library, and when I am in one of those 4 places the last thing I want to be doing is talking on the phone! If there is an emergency at school, the school knows if I am not at home they can call Ben at work. He doesn't travel. They always answer his work phone. He is easy to get a hold of. Now I admit when we have gone on vacation we have borrowed my mom's cell phone so we can call her, but other than that, I don't feel I need or what one. And if I don't have one, my kids have no way of justifying that they need one, and why would they need one when everyone else has one? I just tell them to call me on their friend's phone. Saves me money :) Now I realize some people have to have them, but we are luckily not those people.
Never wanted an answering machine because that would mean I would have to call someone back--caller ID same thing. I prefer to be ignorant until I actually talk to a real person on the phone. I am happy with that.
TV--When my almost 13 year old what 6 months old I sat down with her on the couch one night and turned the TV on. It was 7 p.m. and we just had total basic TV because we were poor grad students, but what I saw on this basic TV channel at 7 p.m. made me blush, gasp, and quickly turn it off and glance at my daughter and think, "I am sure glad she isn't old enough to understand what she saw," and then I got to thinking what if she was a few years older and had turned that on, and I wasn't here? It was totally unacceptable to me, so we got rid of TV and have never regretted or looked back since. Ben has been super supportive and hasn't had a problem with this either, except when the Olympics come around every few years. We solved that problem by having my mom record them each night, then we just watch them commercial free the next night. It works pretty well, and we just try to avoid reading headlines to know what happened or who won the gold. My philosophy is there are millions of good books out there waiting to be read, and why would I waste my time watching a show when I can be reading a book to my kids, or with my husband or by myself? Please feel free to disagree. I know there are lots of good quality TV programs out there, but there is also lots and lots of trash. For me, I can't see wading through all that trash for a few good things. So, we go without, and my family and I survive and thrive and live very normal and happy lives. So now you too can say you actually know someone who doesn't have a cell phone, and I am okay with that label :)