Though at least a few people are giving up their cell phones as a cost-cutting measure, it can be quite a luxurious state of being. These people might not be throwing away their tether to society because they are so rich they don't have to worry about technology—in fact, they are doing just the opposite—but the very lack of that device gives them a certain power that other people don't have. To those of us who are addicted to our connections to the world (and Facebook), the idea that not having a phone at all could provide something glamorous sounds insane. And, at times, it sounds like a pain: We need our phones, and without them we are hopeless. But, when reading through the accounts of such people's lives, at times they have something we don't: freedom.
People expect less of you when you don't have a cell phone. Melissa Hildebrand, for example, just leaves if her friends don't show up on time for something. "She gives them 15 to 30 minutes to show up. If they don't, Ms. Hildebrand finds something else to do," writes The Wall Street Journal's Anton Troianovski. Can you, punctual smartphone owner, imagine doing that to your tardy friends? "You didn't show up at 12:30 on the dot, so I decided to stop wasting my time with you late losers and do something better than wait around." That would not fly for people with phones. However, without a phone that responsibility seems to diminish.