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It was just over a year ago that I cut the cord with my cell phone carrier.

I had been growing tired of carrying the weight of so many consumer contracts in my life. These are all lifestyle restrictions as far as I can tell. Some things needed to go.

The phone was an easy target. An iPhone plan with SoftBank was costing along the lines of ¥7000+ a month with very little talk time allowed. I started paying attention to how I used the iPhone: turns out that for me the phone (the ability to make a voice call using a string of digits) had almost nothing to do with how I used the iPhone.

My heaviest usage was messaging, social networking, picture-taking, writing, and syncing. The few times I made a voice call were with people in Japan who had FaceTime, or people in other countries for which I always used Skype or some other VoIP.

The crazy part of it was that since 2011 I had also been carrying an eMobile pocket wifi which runs around ¥4000 a month. Essentially I had two contracts with two companies that served the same purpose, except that the SoftBank contract only provided connectivity for the phone; in other words, it was less useful and more expensive.

Having the internet available at all times is crucial for me, but clearly the phone wasn’t, so I decided to consolidate. I ditched SoftBank and upgraded my pocket wifi device to an LTE contraption with 9 hours of active battery life and the ability to connect 10 devices at once.

Twelve months later I’m still content with my decision. In fact, I don’t usually think about it at all as nothing has really changed.

I’ve just removed another set of contractual rules, regulations, and restrictions from my life.

I might get a phone again at some point; if I do, I want to get it for a specific reason, not simply because all humans have phones. For now, I’m still enjoying the sense of freedom that comes with not having one.

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