How and why Fox only pays $10 a month for her cell phone

The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.
~Anthony Robbins

The other day I had to put minutes on my phone. I hate that, it’s expensive. I pay for them $100 at a time…$0.10/minute. Those minutes last me, on average, 10-12 months.

A hundred bucks a year isn’t a lot for phone service. Not when I was paying $50 a month for my old phone. I don’t have a bells-and-whistles phone. I don’t like them. Some people do. My phone has no camera, effectively no internet, no email, no Pandora, no IM. I don’t do text messaging.

But I get away with only those minutes because I don’t talk on the phone. It’s strictly for people to contact me and that’s it. If you want to talk, send me an email or an IM. It’s cheaper that way, since I’ll be on the computer already, even if I’m only playing my stupid pet game or taking out hordes of zombies.

And if you really want to talk to me? Call me up and say “Hey, let’s meet somewhere and have something to eat.” For me, that’s light years beyond my sitting around with a crick in my neck getting distracted because the stupid ladder zombies are climbing over my tall nut defenses. Not to mention those long awkward pauses. I don’t talk on the phone well. The only long phone calls I make are to people whom I don’t get to see who don’t have the internet. Those cases are few and far in-between.

And really, if you want to have a conversation with me about just stuff, I’d rather do it in person, anyway. If you have something quick to say, a phone call or IM is adequate for that. Emails for me tend to be long-term conversations with people who live far away, or nonsense about Things We Forgot to Mention or Things That Are Cool Found on the Internet or Hey, Guess What My Retarded Cat Just Did. But nothing beats sitting around with a tea or a beer or a pizza (with tea or beer) and just talking. If the conversation lulls, we can go get ice cream or make fun of the chick in the muumuu.

The only reason I have a cell phone (instead of a land line) is because it doesn’t require me setting it up all over again every time I move, and it’s on me in case of an emergency or if I see a crock pot for sale for five bucks and need to know if Dargon wants it. I’m an in-person person. I just don’t get the long phone conversations people have with people they could easily catch up with in person. Hanging out in person is much more fun.

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6 Responses to “How and why Fox only pays $10 a month for her cell phone”

  1. This is precisely the reason I don’t use things like Facebook, and rarely get on instant messengers. I dislike indirect communication, and I’d much rather talk to someone face-to-face than using text or a phone. That being said, I also recognize that when your pool of people to talk to is as large as they tend to get in society today, some use of this is necessary.

    I do, however, love my droid. Being able to listen to soma.fm anywhere I go is absolutely worth my parents deciding I needed a smart phone.
    It’s doubtful I’d have one if I was covering the service myself.

  2. Dargon Says:

    If the crock pot is larger than 1.5 quarts, yes.

    As I have said, we are in a similar boat. The main difference here is that I would enjoy a smart phone, I’d use a number of the bells and whistles, but I do NOT think it is worth the price of the service. Considering most things a smart phone has I already have, albeit in a fixed location, I’ll just not pay the money and wait until I get home.

  3. Craig Says:

    If you weren’t in the US, it might cost you even less :). Here in Australia (and I think in a lot of other countries) only the person making the call pays, not both sides. I’ve never thought a system where you pay when someone else calls you seemed very fair.

    I used to have a real cheap plan like you. Vodafone had a really good plan (not sure if they still do something like this) which was like post-paid but without the contract. In effect, you only ever paid anything if you made a call. The calls were more expensive per minute (or 30 second block) than if you were a regular contract, but if you didn’t make many calls that didn’t really matter. If you never made calls, you never had to pay anything.

    These days, I’ve taken the hit of getting an iPhone, which I in no way regret due to the utility it brings, but because of that I ended up on a $39 a month plan. Add on data and handset payments and it works out to around $59 a month. It’s worth it for me, but obviously not for you.

    • Here in the US, $59 is about what you’ll pay for the cheapest plan available. I was paying almost exactly that much for a regular phone, no bells, no whistles, no text messaging or internet, and that was the cheapest plan they had.

      I wish I only had to pay when I called. If that were the case, my minutes would expire before I used them all.

      • it’s certainly possible to spend a lot more on phone plans, but the minimum monthly obligation in order to get an iPhone is definitely less here.

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