Home » The Water Cooler – Could You Live Without Your Cell Phone?

The Water Cooler – Could You Live Without Your Cell Phone?


The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile outages hit customers nationwide this morning. Most of the service has been restored, and the carriers haven’t announced the cause of the outages.


QUESTION: Think about all you do on your cell phone on a daily basis, and tell us, could you really live without it?

Talk about it.


Warm Kitty February 22, 2024 - 12:05 PM - 12:05 PM

Yes! Live in real time.

Badge1104 February 22, 2024 - 12:10 PM - 12:10 PM

It would be hard to do since I still work. I know some affluent friends that have their cell phones turned off all the time. But they keep them in their glove box of their cars for emergency use only. They say they are much happier and less stressed!

Original G February 22, 2024 - 12:23 PM - 12:23 PM

Turn the thing on about once a month.

S February 22, 2024 - 12:31 PM - 12:31 PM


Captain Bebops February 22, 2024 - 12:42 PM - 12:42 PM

I don’t live on my cell phone or even over the years on any phone for that matter. I know others do. I use it mostly for business. I’m not asocial but an early computer user got used and preferred email to phone calls. Not into messaging either but have relatives that love that. 🙄
Outages I’m a little used to because my carrier (one of the majors) definitely had some bugs to work out with wifi calling since like many houses of mine’s age have foil lined insulation and am basically living in a Faraday cage and over-the-air calls have problems being received.

domo February 22, 2024 - 12:53 PM - 12:53 PM

oh yeah…. just get rid of everybody’s and I think we would all be better off.

Dawg February 22, 2024 - 1:00 PM - 1:00 PM

I’ve gotten along most of my life without a cell phone, and I can get along for the rest of my life without one. I won’t even miss it. Not only that, but I don’t like them. Well, actually, it’s some of the users that I have a problem with. Too many of them talk too loud while in the presence of total strangers, they are annoying, rude, ill-mannered, and inconsiderate. Most cell phone users I see are totally oblivious to their surroundings, and every time I see people texting, I can’t help but think how sorry they will be in a few years when they develop painful arthritis in their thumbs.

Angry American February 22, 2024 - 1:05 PM - 1:05 PM

Don’t own one and never have.

Angry American February 22, 2024 - 4:12 PM - 4:12 PM

Hey folks… most of us lived without this our entire young lives. “Has life improved?????”

USA JIM February 22, 2024 - 1:08 PM - 1:08 PM

Science….. What a crazy thing The good news is if you limit how often you use your phone, you will notice life-changing benefits, including:

Less anxiety and stress. With less stimulation from calls, texts, social media updates and “urgent” emails, you may have less chronic stress and anxiety.

More clarity. “Implementing healthy boundaries with your phone use will help you think more clearly all day long because you aren’t bombarded with communication and overstimulation,” he says.

Deeper connections with others. When you put your phone away, you’ll improve your relationships because you’ll be present and able to focus on the other person and hear what they are saying.

Sharper critical thinking and creativity. Think of the last time you wanted to remember a fact, but couldn’t. There’s a good chance you said, “I’ll Google it.” While that’s not a terrible thing, immediate gratification shuts the door on critical thinking and wonder, says Buttimer.

More mindfulness. Smartphone overuse can significantly decrease mindfulness because it distracts you from the present moment. Suppose you’ve had a vacation planned for months and when you arrive, you spend your time taking and posting photos on social media. “A photo is fine, but it doesn’t recreate the moment,” says Buttimer. “You miss that sense of wonder and enjoyment you get when you are present.”

More gratitude. “We may be grateful for our lives, but then look at social media and see someone else’s vacation, new home or well-behaved children, and compare those things to our lives,” he says. The constant comparison can lead to discontentment and unhappiness.

A healthier body. Less screen time can help you sleep better and be more mindful of your meals. Getting enough sleep and eating healthfully are two of the most important aspects of your physical and mental health.

Kentucky Derby February 22, 2024 - 1:19 PM - 1:19 PM

I’ve been living without a cellphone (personally and professionally) for years. Cancelling my cellphones was one of the wisest decisions I’ve ever made. Healthy boundaries are a blessing. I don’t need it, and if I ever need one, someone with me probably has their phone on them.

Guido February 22, 2024 - 1:20 PM - 1:20 PM

I bought my first one ever last fall of 23. I hate the thing! It’s nice to have it on me in my aging days. I was prompted to get one after a bad fall last year. But the thing drives me nuts. I like my tablet and laptop much better.

Exit 12A February 22, 2024 - 1:34 PM - 1:34 PM

Yes, but it would make coordinating with others days less convenient and timely.

Paul February 22, 2024 - 1:45 PM - 1:45 PM

No. I need the phone for work and play.

whatever February 22, 2024 - 2:25 PM - 2:25 PM

Better practice not having a cell phone. AT&T going down could well have been a trial run.

Roz February 22, 2024 - 3:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Yes, I don’t use the one I have. Only for emergencies. Should charge to battery.

Hanne Jeppesen February 22, 2024 - 3:09 PM - 3:09 PM

I did for years, but now I’m use to it. First of all my managers at work often text about work schedule etc.
When I worked at Macy’s in Palo Alto, but lived in Concord, one night driving home after work my car died in the middle of the San Mateo bridge. It was about 10 p.m. and raining. Because I had a cell phone I could contact a towing company right away. My car totally died, didn’t even have emergency lights on, I was able to just make it to one of the turn outs, but it was a scary experience, and I was glad I had a cell phone. Besides that I’m now use to always have my phone with me. If I have to stand in line at the Grocery store I can read Claycord and not be bored standing in line. So while it has it’s drawbacks, it has more positives.

Mika February 22, 2024 - 3:34 PM - 3:34 PM

No. Its an essential tool these days. Banking, mail, research, shopping, communication, entertainment, etc. My guess is most of the posters here saying they don’t are probably of the older persuasion.

Abe February 22, 2024 - 3:57 PM - 3:57 PM

I’m doing that now.
I have a wifi phone line on the computer.
No cell phone, I’m loving it.

Itsme February 23, 2024 - 8:36 PM - 8:36 PM

Abe when your WiFi goes out no cell phone?

Jeff (the other one) February 22, 2024 - 4:02 PM - 4:02 PM

While I do use my phone for work at times, in part for the security set ups (authenticator, etc.), and on occasion, actual phone calls, the bulk of my phone use is as a Walkman (there is a throwback to the rest of you seasoned citizens). Could I live without it? Yes, probably make things more enjoyable, to be honest.

Cautiously Informed February 22, 2024 - 4:38 PM - 4:38 PM

We had no cell phones when I was a kid, a teenager, and a young adult. We actually talked, interacted and did things with each other in person and face to face. We actually had fun, prospered, we’re successful and survived the world.

Dorothy February 22, 2024 - 4:57 PM - 4:57 PM

I have one but usually turned off. I have it for when I need it not for everyone and their 16th cousin down the line.

ClayB February 22, 2024 - 5:12 PM - 5:12 PM

Nope. With MFA, I have to have it to do my job.

JJ February 22, 2024 - 6:01 PM - 6:01 PM

Of course I could live without it.
But why, I love taking impromptu photos, that now are printed out and grace my walls. Yes, they are that good.
And I track my steps, which makes me keep moving. Oh, and yes, it’s a phone, too.

I haven’t had a landline for five years, and I don’t miss it. Texting is convenient for a quick question. And setting up appointments. And it’s fun receiving texts and photos from friends and family.

Hanne Jeppesen February 22, 2024 - 7:57 PM - 7:57 PM

I agree there are more positives than negatives. It is also cheaper, I can text and call all over the US for $35.00 a month. My landline was much more expensive, especially if you had long distance calls, which most probably did, and then you had to call certain hours to save money, and depending how long you talked. My girl friend in New York and I have some marathon conversation, often up to 2 hours, no extra charge on my cell, not the case with a landline. Besides that I’m not spending money on a camera and developing pictures, and no running to CVS to get your film developed, so saves you time too.

Bella February 22, 2024 - 6:33 PM - 6:33 PM

The operative words; i.e., really live without it. Yes. Would I want to? No. Still have business to handle etc; i.e., Age.
CPUC is going to get the application soon from the #1 Telcom Company who continually want customers to come back to them for cell service. With their power still in place, they’ll get the approval they want in the Concord area to take away the landlines and right now no changes to VoIP service in my area Code. We shall see. I’ve only seen my specific area code at this time. I will provide my feedback to CPUC on this.

Atticus Thraxx February 22, 2024 - 7:37 PM - 7:37 PM

Yes, First three days would suck, but yes.

Setmefree February 22, 2024 - 8:29 PM - 8:29 PM

Be hard to go to the bathroom without one. It helps

ClayDen February 22, 2024 - 8:30 PM - 8:30 PM

If forced to live without it, I guess I could. We were early adopters, back before the flip phone days. However, I consider it almost an essential part of modern life. My cell phone is with me all of the time, except when I go to sleep for the night, I put it in the other part of the house. We do have a landline phone in our bedroom though. Our cell phones come in handy all of the time, often using the GPS to respond to traffic or jus navigate. We do a fair amount of traveling and it is very useful for that. We had an issue with a hotel in Italy last year; the hotel was unacceptable and we ended up in a parking lot across the street searching for a hotel, which we found and then used the GPS in our phone to navigate to. A few years ago we used our phone to navigate to a hotel at night in a driving rainstorm in North Carolina that I don’t think we would have made it to using a paper map. We also text a lot with friends and family, often to see if it is a good time to talk, which we then do with our phone. We also share photos frequently. BTW, we are “of an older persuasion.”

Atticus Thraxx February 22, 2024 - 9:49 PM - 9:49 PM

You write well. Reading your posts is effortless and engaging. Antler used to write like that and I miss her.

ClayDen February 23, 2024 - 11:01 PM - 11:01 PM

Thanks for your kind words Atticus. I enjoy writing and have done a lot of it in my career as an aerospace and aerospace systems engineer and manager. Engineers are not known for their writing ability and I often felt like I was part English teacher when I was reviewing their work before approving it. I was known as one of the best writers in the organizations I worked in and was often asked for help in reviewing or to help write significant documents. I firmly believe that a technical writing class should be a graduation requirement for all engineers; unfortunately it is not.

I miss Antler too.

bob February 22, 2024 - 9:04 PM - 9:04 PM

Don’t have one… Never had one… Not a problem, just call (landline) and… Talk with people… Only issue is when they want to text you, with a security code..

KAD February 22, 2024 - 9:50 PM - 9:50 PM

LAN lines no longer work if the power is out since they went to Voice over IP so it is necessary to have a cell phone.

Itsme February 23, 2024 - 8:43 PM - 8:43 PM

The old landlines work when power goes out, except the cordless phones. Any landline phone directly plugged into the phone jack work when power goes out.

Old-school guy February 22, 2024 - 10:02 PM - 10:02 PM

Yes, but then I need to read maps again and find my old Sony Walkman.

Lou February 23, 2024 - 5:57 AM - 5:57 AM

Yes I get hammered with scam calls all the time. Called AT&T and the FCC to complain and they can’t do anything to stop it. So strange must be a lot of money involved.

your neighbor the immigrant February 23, 2024 - 6:19 AM - 6:19 AM

Yes. I kind of missed the times when I will dial a friend or relative on the line line without looking at the phone book and will asked if they knew how to get to a certain place driving and they will tell me how and I will draw a map in my head, and will get there with no issues. GPS has got me lost lots of times or takes me longer route.
I also miss reading an actual book. I read so much online that I have not picked a book or magazine for the longest time.
Walking into a travel agency and book a vacation, I remembered those exciting moments, now I book online and stress about the whole process.
I think for me life will be less stressful without the cell phone and I will get more done in a day to day.

American Citizen February 24, 2024 - 9:57 AM - 9:57 AM

Wish I could. Work would not allow it given my role.

caskydiver February 26, 2024 - 1:58 PM - 1:58 PM

I did so for the first thirty some years of my life. Would be hard to manage without one nowadays, but yes, I can LIVE without it.

Redhead925 February 27, 2024 - 8:14 AM - 8:14 AM

I feel like people who “can’t live without” their cellphones are under 30 years old, lol!

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