Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Celling Your Soul?

I don’t have a cell phone. I don’t want a cell phone.

Okay, I just wanted to get that out in the open and out of the way first thing. We did have one for two years - biggest waste of money I can ever recall! I never turned it on and I can’t remember ever having used it to make a telephone call.

I did receive calls from it when my spouse was carrying it, typically at inconvenient times and consisting mostly of “guess what I just bought at a garage sale” or “I’m on my way home” – usually when they were within ten minutes of arriving at the house.

Recently I saw two comments regarding the necessity of cell phones: “cell phones are a fact of life in this on-demand life” and “the world demands immediacy.” Notice that the word demand is in both of those statements as in “insists, orders, commands, or requires.” Well, I guess that I have just gotten too far in life to let others have that kind of power over me, to demand that I be available twenty-four hours a day whenever they decide.

And no one even bothers with the “you might need it in an emergency” pretext anymore. They are just annoyed when they can’t reach you whenever they want. In fact, they are downright insulted when you explain that you have your cell phone turned off because you wanted it turned off.

Or, occasionally, they are shocked that you have really decided to intentionally turn it off! What a concept!

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While we are on the topic, what is with those strange ear-clippy phone things that always remind me of Star Trek costumes? Anyone who remembers clip-on earrings has got to figure that those things must hurt by the end of the day. Do you remember your mother getting home and pulling off her earrings the minute she walked through the door?

Additionally, the ear-phone wearers are insulting those with whom they are doing business in the real world; real people who are apparently not important enough to merit their undivided attention. If that is the case, then they don’ t need my business.

2 comments:

Spokey said...

I got a cell phone in 2000. A client was demanding (heh heh) 24x7 or some ridiculous response. They actually wanted me to wear a beeper which I refused. Never wore one, never will. I also never saw a Seinfeld episode, but that's a different topic I guess. Anyway I agreed to get the cell phone.

I have no problem not answering my cell phone or the land line. Just be self confident and answer when/where you want. I didn't bother picking it up this evening when my partner called. He'll wait. The world will survive.....

Val said...

OK - I'll chime in, belatedly of course. I have both a cell phone and an ear-clippy thing. My family used to refer to blue-toothed equipped folks as "Borgs." Now that we are among that group, we berate the "Borgs" a little less often, strangely enough. I still hate both devices, and use them as little as possible, but here's how we joined the ranks of those connected.

It was one of the major winter storms, probably during 1993, when my husband left for work in Parsippany before 7 AM. Around 11:45, his boss called our home to ask to speak with him - he still had not made it in to work! I calmly asked his boss when it was appropriate to check in with the state police. He said now would be a fine time, but my husband did make it in shorly afterwards, beating the search party by a mere 20 minutes. No, I never placed the call to the Saint Bernard crew, but being home with two young children, I persuaded him to bite the bullet and buy one of those little phones. Of course, the majority of my calls to him consisted of "bring home milk" during those years.

Time moved on, and those two small children are now older teenagers and even young adults, technically speaking. My husband and I were both working when lifts were needed for band rehearsals, rides to the kids' own jobs, and other worthy causes. So those cell phone became a necessity.

Even more so when those kids started driving. I cannot count the number of authentic emergencies we have responded to recently, where kids stranded outside in the night, getting lost and running out of gas on remote roads, or hitting a deer and not being able to drive safely, required our running to the rescue, our navigator honed in on their exact location. Even if we weren't called, how would the kids have been able to contact the police, or anyone for that matter, without a cell phone? So much for not needing newer technology!

We travel more frequently these days, and while away we have only our cell phones to stay in touch with our kids. I cannot even imagine being without them at this point. Much as I still absolutely hate the little wireless umbilical cord, and am secretly pleased when I forget to turn it on!

This brings me to that newest small device, the "Borg-maker!" You see, along with my kids, I have continued to age. Along with aging comes loss of hearing. Now, "spokey" can attest to how hearing-challenged I really am. It must be as tortuous to carry on a cell conversation with me as it is for me to use that bugger. The annoying little Blue-Tooth does make it easier to hear. So as long as we are stuck with cell-phone technology, we may as well be able to HEAR those cellphone calls. But I only don the "ear-clippy" thing when I am driving. Or desperate to hear someone.

Good thing no one really wants to talk to me. So I don't have to use these items too often anymore! :-)