From Always Having the Latest Smart Phone to Not Even Owning A Phone



I really shocked this Indian guy last time I was in Singapore.

I was sitting in the lobby of the hostel, working on my MacBook when he walked up to me, “Hey man, what kind of mobile do you have?”

I looked up and responded, “I don’t have a mobile.”

A look of shock came upon his face and he slinked back, turned around and muttered, “well, that’s different…”

At this point, a smirk had formed on my face. “Haha.. what’s up? I haven’t had a mobile for month’s man..”

He responded, “It’s just different, that’s all. I mean, how do you communicate with people?”


This is the world we live in today. One where people think if you don’t have a mobile phone then you have no way of communicating.

Umm… what?

I don’t know about you, but I never really found the phone to be a great way of communicating anyway. I never really liked phone calls. The quality is not great, and the communication isn’t great either. Text messages are even worse.

In fact, the best way to communicate: the pure way to communicate is in person. The funny thing about in-person communication is most of the communication does not actually come from words – it comes from everything else: gestures, body language, facial expression. All of these are missing in phone calls or text messages.

Basically, I prefer to meet with people in person to any other method of communication.

That may be a surprise from someone coming from someone who travels around the world and mainly works virtually, but hey..  that’s just another reason I don’t need a phone.


I used to always have the latest Smartphone.

I had the T-Mobile Sidekicks, the HTC Mogul, HTC Touch Diamond, the HTC Evo, some Samsung smartphone, oh, and even an iPhone at one point.

And, I’ve realized… I just don’t need a phone.

I like to read, so I have a Kindle for that. None of the other apps on a phone are really necessary. Most anything I need to do can be done with my MacBook.

I don’t need text messages – I have Facebook chat and Skype. And actually, I have text messages anyway. I have a Google voice number with which I’m able to text people with US numbers.

Yeah, about that. I don’t have a phone, but I still have two phone numbers. I have a US number with Google voice and a Hong Kong number with Skype.

The Hong Kong number was the easiest Asian number to get, didn’t require a Hong Kong address or anything silly like Singapore and Japan do. You gotta love Hong Kong. They just make things easy – or at least they make owning a HK-based business and having an HK number easy. I’ve never even been to Hong Kong.

But with Facebook, Skype, LinkedIn, e-mail, an Asian-based phone number, and a US number…. why would I need a mobile to communicate?

It’s a silly suggestion to say the least.

To me anyway.

I like not having a phone. It keeps me grounded. I’m not one of those idiots looking down at his screen and checking his phone all the time. No. If I look at anything – I only have one device easily accessible for that – and that’s my Kindle. So, I’m basically only reaching for a book.

It feels better that way.


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