When I mention to people that I haven’t had a phone for years I usually get that weird luddite / your-poor-unhip-bastard look. Then I explain that I do have a phone number via Google Voice where I can be reached by leaving a voice message but not a for-pay mobile or stationary phone subscription. And to add to the confusion, I sold my iPhone a few months ago. The best decision I made during 2012.
The rationale behind this is that I don’t like being interrupted by a ring signal; it’s usually very disruptive to what I’m currently working on. I try to schedule as few conf calls as possible and carry out most of my communication via email or productivity apps. Instead of chit-chatting about what to do, let’s just do it in Google Docs or the equivalent.
A very welcome effect for a scrappy entrepreneur is that I save a lot of money - yearly in the thousands - by not paying a mega-corporation for either the monthly subscription or the hardware.
I also try to meet up with everyone that I collaborate with on a regular basis for quality talks about the things that really matter. This is usually accompanied by a very pleasant lunch and dinner without any distractions from pinging, ringing or buzzing phones.
Getting rid of the negative effects of the “phone” - being interrupted, always-on, distracting, another thing to carry, addictive behavior - I free up important quality time and save energy for what really matters. To simplify - i.e. excluding what’s not necessary - has trained me to be more effective in meetings and during the calls I do have. Finally, it has cured me from the ravaging global disease of FOMO (fear of missing out). There is nothing to miss out on if you are the true driver of your own destiny. Always being accessible by anyone from anywhere is a handicap, not a liberation.
I feel very relaxed and in tune with the universe. All this just by not having a phone. So who’s looking weirdly at whom now? ;)