A Few Days Without A Cell Phone: Can It Kill You?

Real Estate Sales Representative with Fieldstone Real Estate

A Few Days Without A Cell Phone - Can It Kill You? I think, maybe, it can. But I survived, and I am going to buy myself a Tshirt that says "I survived 4 days without a cell phone in 2009". I deserve it. It is scarier than any roller coaster I've ever been on.

These days, my phone does more than just make and receive calls. Each morning, I plug in my appointments, and add in any phone numbers or email addresses I might need for the day. I set alarms to remind me if I am running late. I type in the addresses where I will be going each day. If I will be unable to return calls for a large portion of the day, I record an outgoing voice mail that explains that to clients and friends, so they know when they can reach me.

And then, I am off. Running from meeting to meeting, my clock tells me if I am on time, and my alarm reminds me when I am not; the nav system tells me if I make a wrong turn. Each time I leave one destination, I call, text or email whomever I plan to meet next to make sure we're on schedule. When writing a contract, I can pull up my calendar to check the dates, and use the calculator to make sure the figures all add up. If someone needs me, my home and office phones both forward to my cell, so they don't have to dial more than one number, where they will hear my message about when I am available to talk with them. I can easily check my email between appointments, to make sure I have not missed any important messages. I snap photos of houses I see, funny signs, and special smiles from people I meet. I can even take a video of the song my preschooler sings at the parent luncheon. Should I have some down time, I could take a break and watch a little TV if I wanted. Most importantly, it is everywhere I am; and it's everything I need it to be.

Without it, I am not sure I can drive from my home to my office without getting lost, and I certainly do not know the phone numbers for my children, parents or siblings - let alone business contacts.

I used to think cell phones have taken over our lives, maybe even complicated them. However, this week, I bought a DC to AC adapter for my car, which fried my cell phone, car radio and power outlets in the car, I very suddenly had to learn how to adjust my life. In my 4 days without a cell phone, I used twice as much gas getting lost, and running to places where I could check my email and voice mail and make calls, rather than being able to do these things from anywhere. I wasted a great deal of time, too. I was stood up twice - costing me hours of waiting and traveling to meeting sites and waiting again, only to learn that the clients were delayed, and the mom of one of my girls from my Daisy troop couldn't find the playground where she was supposed to pick up her daughter....but alas neither could reach me; and so I waited...

I did not have more time to "stop and smell the roses", and it actually meant sacrificing time I would have normally spent with my family. After 4 days without my cell, I now realize it is adding "balance" to my life. I can negotiate contracts at the playground. I know where and when to meet people, and I can even find my way; I write better contracts and actually have time to talk to my mom... all thanks to my cell phone.

I've come to no longer loathe, but to truly love, my cell phone. In fact, I think she deserves a name, a people name. I think I shall call her Sally. Thank God for Sally. I hope never to be without her again.


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Valerie Spaulding
Windermere Peninsula Properties~Allyn~Belfair~WA - Belfair, WA
Allyn-Belfair-Hood Canal-Local Expertise!

It does seem to be our saviors! I do not use mine as efficiently as you do, but I am lost if I do not have it - all of my sign and ad and website calls are through my cell so I would be lost if I thought it were not with me to be able to return a call. I used to have one that had all the bells and whistles and decided to give it up because when one app didn't work the whole thing didn't work. Fortunately we are a little slower paced being rural and email in combination with a cell phone keeps me in line... Course there are days when I would love to chuck my cell phone as well (LOL)....- but just know I couldn't!

May 24, 2009 01:37 PM #1
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Honestly, I can live without my cell phone.  It does enter my mind sometimes that I could end up stranded on a street somewhere, but (knock on wood) I doubt that would happen.  My cell does not run my life.

May 24, 2009 01:42 PM #2
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

I can't imagine 4 days without a cell phone.  That may be "h#!l for all of us real estate agents

May 24, 2009 02:04 PM #3
Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

I did a one month experiment and didnt carry my phone.  It was a bit of a forced experiment between cell phone repairs, but it was interesting.  None of my clients cared.  They all waited for a call back.  No noticable decrease in business or income, but sure a lot of relaxing time.


Once I get my business to a completely automated stage I hope to find a method of operating without a cell phone again.

May 24, 2009 02:05 PM #4
Vicky Chrisner
Fieldstone Real Estate - Leesburg, VA

Robert - my clients didnt really mind, either... it was ME that was having the issue.  I was waiting, waiting and running, running.  I got NO extra relaxing time without my phone.  Of course, I am good about turning it off when that's appropriate...but when I want it on, I really need it to work!!!  Sally and I have a new agreement, I think we'll be fine going forward.

Donna -  My cell phone doesn't run my life, it is more like it manages my life - time management and communication management.  I could live without it, but I don't want to anymore.

Russ and Valerie - thanks for the sympathy.

May 24, 2009 02:17 PM #5
Amanda Audsley
Century 21 Goldteam Realtors - Junction City, KS

2 days ago I thought I lost my lifeline, my brain...my blackberry...ridiculous right? Well after about an hour of searching in tears at the point of having an anxiety attack I found it. I left it in the cupholder of my sister-in-laws truck when I moved it out of the driveway and had 6 missed calls and 4 new emails. Major eye opener for me, I need to learn to not be so reliant on my phone. :)

May 24, 2009 02:56 PM #6
Lynn Pineda
eXp Realty - Boca Raton, FL
Real Estate Promises delivered in SE Florida

Vicky, oh how I can relate to what you describe. Cell phones really can make our lives easier .... what did we ever do without them? The alarm feature you mention is a real favorite of mine that I have really come to rely on.  good post!

May 25, 2009 01:39 PM #7
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