Today, I paid $20 to Skype for a personal phone number good for three months. Incoming calls are free (as far as I can tell) and $14 more got me credits for making calls, which are only 2.3 cents/minute. Say I speak for 5 minutes per day, which is more than I typically do, that means $14 gets me almost 5 months. I am breaking my cell phone contract ($110) rather than pay $50/month for the next nine months until my contract is over. Friends: You will find my new phone number on my Facebook page. It comes with voicemail, too. If you ever really need me, I’d suggest you first email or message me on Facebook because I am always on both of those.
I am doing this for several reasons:
Saving money. I hate bills and I hate cell phone companies. At $50/month that is about $600/year. At $20 every three months, and $14 every 5, that will be less than $150/year. I will save 600 - 150 = $450/year.
Cell phones are stupid machines. If you have a smart phone, it might not be as stupid as most but it is still stupid. They have a penchant for jumping into toilets, distracting you from more interesting things, ringing during class/meetings/conversations, breaking, and being stolen. I despise all of these things and I’m looking forward to putting them behind me.
Cell phones are oppressive. To me, ignoring calls is rude and if someone calls me while I’m not necessarily immediately busy, I owe it to him or her to pick up. Cell phones stay in your pocket all the time and they offer you no acceptable reason for not talking on the phone if you are able. In maximizing your accessibility in a sense you maximize your freedom of movement, but paradoxically you make yourself beholden to anyone calling you at any time and thus you limit your freedom (unless you ignore calls or turn your phone off, options I never found attractive.)
Abolition of Phone. Decision. February 2, 2011.
Murphy, Justin. 2011. "100% of my telecommunication will now be through the internet," http://jmrphy.net/blog/2011/02/02/3073952396/ (August 13, 2017).