After more than 10 years with Globe, I had my postpaid cellphone service cut last March. I was going on a long trip overseas and did not want my parents to be bothered about making sure my monthly phone bills got paid on time. Besides, my not-top-of-the-line cellphone would not work in Tokyo where they only accept J-phones, and neither would it work in LA since it was not triband. Secretly, I also wanted to know how long I can survive without a cellphone.
"'Di mo kayang walang cellphone," said my high school friend A. And so she offered me a triband mobile phone on Globe postpaid plan that will just cost me P500 a month. "$10 dollars lang yun no," she said. She'll even take care of paying Globe; I'll just have to leave postdated checks with her. I said I'll think about it.
But before I knew it, I had 10,000 things to do before leaving Manila last March 16. So there was not even time to think about it.
It's now June 4 (and--gasp--I'm 40 years old and 5 months old today! Well, no one can tell as long as my grey hair doesn't show and I'm in my sneakers, hehe). That means it's been almost 2.5 months since I gave up my cellphone. And... I survived.
Sure, I miss the forwarded jokes and inspirational text messages, as well as the hoax warnings of bomb threats in the malls. Also the funny "Can u b my txtm8" messages from people I don't know (and don't bother to respond to). I miss the "wer r u" urgent messages when I'm 5 minutes late for appointments just as I'm parking in a crowded mall, and the kilometric chika from my girl friends. I also miss the prayer requests that come in via text, as well as the coffee invites from my closest friends.
Yeah, I miss them all, but I discovered many things by being cellphone-less.
1. It's good to wait. In fact, I can wait. And yes, people can wait for me. And one can wait creatively: read a book, write a note, go people-watching and check out the latest fashion, study the menu four times and learn the many different toppings that can go on a pizza.
2. The pay phone works. Just drop the coins, dial, and voila! You can be the one to ask people, "where are you?" when they're not on time. Plus, this is a great way to use up all the coins in your purse so your wallet will not be as heavy.
3. Not everything is urgent. If a message can wait, I can send it by e-mail. Back in Manila, I could launch 30-50 text messages a day, some of them not urgent (example: Hi! Are you going to X's party next Friday?).
4. Talk is better. Instead of texting and asking if someone is free to meet up later today, just pick up the phone for immediate feedback. Oo nga naman.
I'm not saying that I'll never have a cellphone again. But being without one certainly opens up one's eyes to other possibilities. :-)
BOOK OF THE WEEK: Turn by Max Lucado is a small thin book I picked up at the bargain bin at Barnes and Noble. This is a must-read for all people who want to see their countries go forward. God will bless their land if His people humble themselves and pray.
VERSE OF THE WEEK: If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14