Nope! I Don't Own a Cell Phone!

It's probably not too surprising that somebody who ditched his PDA for a dead tree would have unusual opinions about technology... but I get quite a few odd looks when I tell people I do not own a cell phone. People react with shock, anger, and sometimes envy.

I can understand why some people find them useful, but for me a cell phone has absolutely no value. Staying connected? Hardly... Email, instant messaging, and the internet are connected. Cell phones are leashes... and they are on proprietary networks that work hard to reduce your connectivity.

Only recently have new bluetooth phones made it easier to transfer phone numbers, ring tones, and photos to your computer. What took them so long? Oh yeah... if you have to use your cellphone's network to transfer data they get to charge you more money. Silly me.

I did use a cell phone back in the early 90s. Remember those monstrous analog bricks? You don't?! Man, I'm old.

Anyway, it was useful because my girlfriend at the time lived in Wisconsin, and three members of her family were constantly commuting the 40 miles from their home to the University of Minnesota campus. The cell phone was really useful to catch somebody in transit so they could bring something that was forgotten. Without a cell phone, that 80 mile round-trip could sometimes mean the difference between passing and failing a class.

But then I started noticing something... they stopped planning their day as much. They would constantly forget things, and not care because somebody else had a cell phone: there was always another chance. This may have been a coincidence, or maybe the radiation in the phones was making their brains wonky, but I think it was a genuine behavioral shift.

This led me to the conclusion that cell phones are crutches that enable people to be disorganized. What's the point in planning anything? If something goes wrong, you can just call everybody on their cell phones and relay the new "plan"... assuming that the muscles you need to formulate a plan haven't atrophied...

I'm not the only person who has a deep dislike of cell phones. Steve Jobs is notorious for it... although he is mainly annoyed with their generally crappy user interface. I'm not altogether certain that he owns one. UPDATE: this blog post was written in the pre-iPhone days, so I'm pretty certain Steve Jobs now uses one currently...

Well, what about my job? Don't I have to own one so people can easily find me? No... I don't have one for the explicit reason that I don't want people to easily find me. I'm a software developer; that sometimes takes a lot of focus, and you never want to be interrupted when you're on a roll. Still, people do have legitimate questions that I need to answer. I am more than happy to answer them over email, or preferably on a public forum (such as the Stellent Yahoo Users Group), but phone calls really irk me.

I cannot do my job efficiently over the phone: I need text messages to send people command-line scripts. I need email so they can send me error logs, and I can send them links. I need the internet so I can test their systems over the web.

The phone gives me nothing. It doesn't help; it hurts. It slows everything down. I cannot speed-read a phone call, and phone calls are rarely as well-thought-out as an email. People addicted to the cell phone crutch do not comprehend this. It is inconceivable to them that I greatly prefer an impersonal email over a friendly call.

Well, what about an emergency? Easy... living in a connected world means that somebody or something nearby probably is connected. Whether its a phone booth, a good Samaritan with a cell phone, or an email kiosk at a coffee shop, I'm set.

And besides, what's wrong with good old-fashioned planning for an emergency? Can't you do basic first aid? Can't you fix a flat tire? Can't you build a fire with a Coke can and a bar of chocolate? Better not lose that cell phone then.

In all, I'm not completely anti-cell phone. I just see absolutely no value in them for me, and in fact they make my life harder. I feel that they are making people less organized, less capable of short-term planning, and less able to find things on their own. Why bother Googling, when you can just annoy somebody?

You can always tell a cell phone junkie by how they write emails... they expect an email to be the beginning of a dialog, as opposed to a request/response. They are the ones who send messages about as informative as this:

"Something's broken. Please fix it."

hmmmmm... let me think about it... *delete* Oops! Your blackberry must have been roaming, because I never got your message. Maybe you should try UPS.

Update: after stating my new company Bezzotech, I needed a dedicated, reliable business line. Since SkypeIn is still sketchy, the cheapest route to this was a cell phone... so I broke down and got one. Although in protest, I leave it at home most of the time.

comments

Agreed

I couldn't agree with you more. I've never had a cell phone and have never found a single situation where I would need one. They are annoying and expensive. One guy I work with just bought one that has a mini-keyboard, 2 screens, a camera, plays videos, recieves e-mails, and so on. I found this ironic because we're both computer technicians, so unless your driving and want to wreck, or at the beach and want to be bothered, when would you really need all that when your around computers all day? Not to mention he payed some $240 for it, plus the plan. Not to mention everytime he receives an e-mail or is sent a video he has to pay extra to view it.

I admit, I feel pressured to get a cell phone occasionally, simply because everyone else has one and there's constant ad pressure. I think I might actually see more cell phone ads than vehicle ads. But then I think, well if I got one, when would I use it? How much money would I be wasting every month? How much of my freedom and solitude would be taken away? And the urge quickly vanishes.

No Cell Phone For Me

I've never had a cell phone, and never wanted one
either. I usually don't answer my home phone when
it wrings either. I'm a hermit, and I value my private
time when I'm not at work.

I work with young people, ages 16 - 24, and I certainly
see some of them seem to have an addictive relationship
with their cell phones.

Once in a blue moon I have to talk on a cell phone
at work, and honestly, they creep me out at bit.

More power to you! I'm a

More power to you! I'm a member of generation Y, and I hate the stupid things. I get the same responses too when they find out I don't have one. Makes me want to scream.

I'm the only one of the 22

I'm the only one of the 22 people at our office that doesn't have a cell phone

I'm also the only one that has any money - and I'm always getting hit up for loans

Maybe I should get that cell phone?

No cell phone here

I think the previous poster should start charging interest. I think people who take a call in the middle of a face to face conversation should pay a fine to me. I think the vast majority of people talking on a call phone at this precise moment really have nothing to day. I think funny ringtones are fine if you are a load. Just turn them off in public because nobody wants to hear it. Especially in the office or other tight places. I think people on cell phones talk like people with headphones on. They talk but don't really listen. They only want to hear themselves talk. It is called self importance.

If you need me this weekend I will be out. Leave a message. Life is calling me.

I can't believe there's more

I can't believe there's more people like me! I hate cell phones and will never get one! I'm a community college student and I'm constantly pressured to get a cell phone! Even my Sociology teacher said that I'll need one, especially when I transfer to a four year college and if I don't get one, I'll be a dork! I'd rather be a dork than an addict! I live in LA and I'm the only one that I know of, that does not have a cell phone! I see how people behave around me and it feels like something out of a twighlight zone episode....it's creepy! Everyone's addicted to their cell phones, even my 60 year old mother! There's not a day that goes by that I don't see people constantly glued to their cell phones, checking for text messages, missed calls, tweeting, instant messaging, taking pictures, emailing, listening to their music, etc. It's impossible to have a one on one conversation with a person, without being interrupted by a call from their cell phones. Dating has been impossible...social life has been impossible. Even my broke ass neighbors have cell phones! I've even seen a homeless dude with a cell phone! What is with those things? What's the deal? Why are people addicted? Everyone is turning into a zombie and I feel pressured to conform and be like the rest of them! It breaks my heart because I feel alone in this World! There should seriously be a special group for non cell phone users, because everyone else is too busy having a relationship with their cell phones! This is a quote I wrote: "Every time I'm out with a friend, having dinner or getting drunk, I see them glued to their iphone, checking for text messages and missed calls. It seems like they're having a love affair with their cell phone and I'm the third wheel! Now when a friend asks to hang out, I give it a second thought; because having dinner with them is so much more pathetic than having dinner by myself." I won't be surprised when people will one day have the choice to plant blue tooth in their ears and have access to their Iphone on their palms, to make it all more convenient. I know I'm repetitive, but it takes being repetitive to get it all off my chest and feel a little better.

Wow, I admire you, and you

Wow, I admire you, and you will NOT be a dork if you go to college and don't have a cell phone. I don't know why your professor would tell you something like that. Maybe s/he was just joking? Or just jealous! I don't have a cell phone either, and when I meet someone else who also does NOT have a phone, I just think they're the coolest person since sliced bread! And also, you will NOT need a cell phone in college if you don't have one. People have been going to college for hundreds of years and have gotten along just fine without cell phones. I went to college in the beginning of the 2000s when not everyone had a cell phone; I didn't have one, and I had a perfectly great college experience without one! So go you, don't break down and get one! Because you're right, this world is turing into a Twilight Zone electronics zombie special!

nice

hi im only 14 yr old and u no wat i have no cell phone either

yea

youre not alone, i dont have a cellphone either, its even been for the first time in my life now that i own a housephone.

cellphones not only are like taping a magnet to your head dangerous, everything you say is so true about how people behave.

Its like they have this new 'sense' and stopped using the old senses of physical actual social contact anylonger.
they look at their cellphone while you try to make eyecontact, there is no connection anymore.. exactly like zombies.

if that is the world of the future i have got to move to a country where people still live without those wicked apparats.
:/

(currently i live in netherlands, and its hell here with all the new social media integrated multifunctional phones over here, sigh)

We're the last people on earth

I, too, hate cell phones and find them disruptive. I like looking at things when I ride the bus, or take a walk, or drive. I like paying full attention to the people around me, and having uninterrupted conversations. And you're so right about the plan aspect of it! I grew up in the 70s and 80s, and I think there's something weird about people not being able to just say "I'll meet you at X place at Y time," and then just doing that. I sound incredibly old, but back then, we knew who our real friends were; they were people who kept their word and showed up even though hours and even days had elapsed since the appointment was set. Poor kids these days, they must feel so unimportant and insecure. Ehhh...get off my lawn! But I digress. Okay, I admit I recently got one, but it's left at home 90% of the time, and it's got the cheapest plan: 10$/month/ 25 cents a minute. In other words, there's no incentive to use it. My husband and I got it only for travel. The thing that pushed us (finally) over the edge was trying to get to Manhattan from JFK, and having to run to the payphone to ask where the hell our town car was, then while on hold, our car kept getting snagged. Anyway, I would say it's also for emergencies, but, really? I lived four decades going on road trips, on overseas journeys, and walking down the not always safe streets of major American cities...with no cell phone! How ever did I survive? Common sense.

Ah! Some company at last...

I am so glad you all posted. There was an article this week in the New York Times about us - "cell phone refusenicks."

Over-technologized society

To my mind, cell phones are the quintessential example of our over-technologized society. I'm 34 years old, highly educated, and I have no intention of ever investing in a device that creates brain tumors and (as a previous poster said so eloquently) keeps me on a constant communication leash.

I enjoy technology as much if not more than the average person; however, devices such as cell phones, PDAs, blackberries, etc., establish an unhealthy human dependence on electronics.

Detractors like us will always be criticized, questioned, and even ridiculed for our hatred of cell phones. It’s a simple principle: many people refuse to follow trends and to succumb to peer-pressure simply for the sake of being absorbed into the collective crowd.

The Simple Life

I had one when I was 18-24 and it was ok then, I guess. I mean remember Nextel? *beep beep* and then you hear the other person? That was neat I suppose. It was easy to get in touch with people. But then they decided to drop me, and $50+ bucks a month didn't seem worth it to me anymore. I had some life changing alterations and the cell was the first thing to go I said F it and the heck with it.

And since then life has been so much simpler.

I as well find it nice not to have calls "blowing up" in my pocket and to not be found easily.
So many people can't believe it when I tell them I don't have one. I love it.
But now, with social networking and other such tools, (Facebook for me) I can get a hold of all of those same people and even more and write to them (like a text) chat, send pics, links, ideas, even more stuff - FOR FREE. It works for me since I have a mini laptop it goes with me everywhere I can do way more things on here than a cellphone. So I decided that if people do need to get a hold me I should have some number to get a hold of me by. Skype is now booming and working very well. I bought an online number for less than $40 a YEAR. Not monthly. And I can do the same things as a cellphone (minus text but I hate texting) except it doesn't fit in my pocket boo hoo

Nothing turns me off than being on a date with a chick and she's texting and answering phone calls during dinner. HOW RUDE!

cell phonesd

Jeez, I thought I was the only one on the planet that didn't own one. I live in Japan where probably 99 percent of people my age have one. All my friends think I'm strange for not having one. Some people think I'm joking, like I have one but I don't want to give my number out or something, Hillarious! One guy was always kind of suspicious,that I had one on the sly. When I had something come up and needed to make a call, he looked at me and my bag just to see if I'd pull it out, but I said, hey can I use your phone for a second, after that he believed it. When people ask why I always say "I don't like to be interupted when I'm daydreaming.!"

Argueably there are some valid concerns my parents have brought up, I'm sure we've all heard them.
What if there is an emergency, someone in the hospital etc?
and of course if your applying for jobs atleast here you need to put your cell phone on the resume. Otherwise
it would look weird and if they called you at home and you didn't answer they might not leave a message.
Oh the last, it reduces the abilty to network branch out with people. If you are meeting someone in a busy
place and they are late or you get lost from each other, then it's hard to find them. I'm always searching for
pay phone when this happens and I hate touching my face to those germ invested montrositys.

Sure there are reasons not to have them in my life outweigh the concerns I mentioned above.

I am not alone

Wow. Others like me. Funky.

Never owned a cell. Don't want to. Similar reasons - email is connectivity enough, and I just don't want people hunting me down. What I love is the people who imply you are a BAD PARENT if you don't have a cell. I mean, what if your kid scraped his knee at school and they couldn't contact you??? Well, presumably, the school nurse is trained to a)handle minor stuff and b)know when to send kids to the hospital. Even if I had a cell, I'm an adjunct professor. If I was teaching a class, I would have the cell off. Calling me would have no effect. I also work at least a 45 minute train ride from home. I can't get there any faster than the commuter rail. I don't want students hunting me down when I am off duty. I don't want people with too much time on their hands wasting my time saying "Hi! What are you doing? I'm not doing anything!" blah blah blah. I'm not a recluse, I just value fewer meaningful interactions to constant drivel.

And as far as the "OhmygodwhatifthereisanEMERGENCY???" crowd. I have dealt with missed trains, broken down cars, and busted bike tires without cell phones, and I did not die.

You said it best. I don't

You said it best.
I don't want people with too much time on their hands wasting my time saying "Hi! What are you doing? I'm not doing anything!" blah blah blah. I'm not a recluse, I just value fewer meaningful interactions to constant drivel.

I LOVE IT !!
My feelings EXACTLY.

Agreed. I'm a 21 year old

Agreed. I'm a 21 year old male and have never had a cell phone, and have no intention of ever purchasing one. As others have said the world IS becoming a Twilight Zone episode, zombies/borg are among us. I MUCH prefer face-to-face interaction, unfortunately there are getting to be less and less people in the world who think the same way. There is a phone in the house, and an internet connection on the computer at home, that's more than enough for me. I also don't like to be interrupted if I'm out for a walk and enjoying time alone. If a REAL person walks up and wants to converse, that's fine, but I don't want to be pestered by a phone.

I've found that most people who use cell phones have absolutely nothing to say. They're just bored and want to hear a voice, they are so addicted to all of this "social networking" (social DE-networking more like it) that they've forgotten how to pick up a book or learn an instrument or put together model trains or whatnot to fill in the spare time. My sister for example, said she wanted a guitar and wanted to learn how to play one, then she finally got one as a gift and she has had it for over a month now and hasn't even touched the thing. What's she doing in the meantime? Sitting on Facebook or Yahoo Chat almost the entire day, and if you go in there and see what she's up to, it's nothing meaningful. It's "Haaaaaaaaaaaaaai" -- "Oh haaaai yeaaaah" that sort of thing, just addiction, they have nothing to say but can't get off the chat. I could even understand being on the computer playing a game or something but just staring at a chat screen when there's nothing to talk about, I find that really depressing and I feel the same way about cell phones.

As far as people saying "You need one in case of an emergency!", I've gotten along just fine so far without one. Even with payphones rapidly disappearing (not good -- I actually prefer payphones because I don't want to have a phone 99.9% of the time, only the 0.1% of the time I need to make a call), anyways, even with payphones disappearing if I need to make a call then statistics are in my favor that the next person I see will have a cell phone, or I can go into any nearby business or knock on any door and ask to borrow their phone, even offer to pay them for their trouble. The fact is I'd rather offer someone a dollar or two to borrow their phone for the whole 2 minutes it takes me to make an important call, on the very rare occasion that I need to do so, than to become a slave to a cell phone that costs much more in the long run and only distracts me from myself. There is little that is more revolting than being with relatives who I haven't seen in months and trying to hold a conversation with them but they won't even look me in the eye because they are texting on their phones. I never want to become that person.

Ummm, you argument has a hole in it.

You can say the same thing about land lines! When I didn't have a cell phone and had a land line, I still had friends who were bored calling me for stupid crap, just to talk drivel, so does that mean you don't have a land line either? Where do we draw the line?

I do agree that we don't have to be reacheable at all times, because being 42 years old, i do remember a time when I didn't want to be reached all the time or wasn't in a rush to check my phone messages at home or didnt check my email every 5 minutes. I own a cell phone, ditched my land line but keep my phone off most of the time. It's just for emergencies and to replace my land line. I see it as carrying my land line with me wherever I go but only answer it when necessary but keep it off most of the time.

I don't see much of a difference between a land line and a cell phone besides the obvious portability. It's the morons who choose to talk loud on them, or drive while texting who annoy me!

Still no cell phone, the year 2012!

I just read your comment, now 2012 I'm hopping you are still cell phone less. I loved what you said about " bad parenting " I love my kids with all my heart but because I don't have a cell phone I'm a neglectful mother. Wrong, just the opposit if you ask me, I'm not a helicopter mom, and proud of it. I always tell people if there is an emergency at school they better call 911 first. I get laughs and your rights, but always the initial surprise that I'm not at my child's beck and call. I like to think of it more like, I've taught them the skills to manage life when I'm not there. We communicate face to face, make plans and then we do our best to follow through.
Now the big challenge, my daughter is turning thirteen and I have to be cool and get her a cell phone. This is a hard one for me because if you haven't guessed yet, I Hate Cell Phones. I'm 40 years old and have had one pay as you use phone to travel with. I know, I know people traveld for years without them. I traveled alone, driving 12 hours, some years pregnat and three other kids. It made my husband and family happy to know I had a cell phone in the car. Give and take and compromise. So there, I don't even know where it is this minute. But back to my point about getting my daughter her first cell phone and feeling good about it. It's a generation thing, what to do. If my parents had denied me a Walkman or boom box or talking on the phone tying up the line for hours and hours how would that have effected me and our relationship. How important is it for these kids to have a cell phone? I don't know the answer. If I knew then, what I know now, then yes I could have survived without my Walkman/boom box, hours on the phone but it would have changed who I am. I feel it's my duty to respect past and future generations. My one hope is I can teach my daughter how to be a conciderate cell phone user and avoid many of the bad habits listed in previous comments. So since there are no cell phone etiquette classes my only choice is to teach my daughter my self and hope she receives this message coming from her lame non-cell phone Mom. Wish me luck!

A feeling of freedom

I, too, am a proud non-owner of a cell phone. And I have never once missed having one.

I also have never owned a

I also have never owned a cell phone. As a 27-year old computer geek, people look at me funny when I tell them. I'm honest though, I just say I don't want people bothering me 24/7. If you need to contact me, leave a message on my home answering machine or write me an email.
It troubles me that the availability of public phones has dwindled rapidly with the rise of the cell phone. It used to cost less than a dollar to make an emergency come-get-me call, now it's a 2-year contract for a cell phone. Too bad there's no phone booths left, they'd make great places to hold a cell phone call.

Communication Is a Two-Way Affair

I don't have a cellphone, mostly because they are expensive and the sound quality is awful.

As for "emergencies", I once had a difficult time finding a relative's house for a party, so I called him from a pay phone. He didn't answer. None of the other relatives there answered, either. I used their cellphone numbers and they had their mobiles with them, but I still couldn't get through despite doing the right thing (using a pay phone). And yet, they still try to get me to buy a cell phone.

Meanwhile, I have since learned that this relative's directions were wrong. He also has a GPS navigator in his phone. Perhaps these two facts are connected.

Gauk, you are absolutely right about phone booths. Bring them back with a way to improve reception and people will use them again, especially in large concrete buildings.

I Hate Cell Phones

I hate cell phones, I grew up without one and I do not need one now. I think it funny how people say I can’t live without my cell I wonder how they think life was like before the cell phone. It is so sad to see people answer their phone in the middle of an entrance of a store blocking everyone’s way and not even caring. Cell phone are bad because it gives people a delusion of self importance.

I don't have one because I don't want one.

I don't have one, simply because I don't want one. They seem useless to me. I'm 12 years old, and when people in school ask If i have a cell phone, probably because they want my number, and I tell them that I don't have one, they are shocked. They ask me why not, (my 10 year old sister has one), and I say because I don't want one, and they're all like, "Well you'll have to get one sometime" and I'm like, "No, I don't." and they're like "But If you don't get one you'll be kidnapped on the school bus!!" yeah right. My Mom's trying to make me get one. She's not pressuring me too hard, but she keeps telling me, "so what if you don't want to be texted or called? Just don't tell anyone your number." What's the point, then?

no cell phone

I give you tons of credit for not succuming to the pressure of owning a cell phone, especially at such a young age! There is so much peer pressure at 12 (I have a 12 yr. old daughter), and she wants every new gadget there is! Kudos to your strength and individuality!

Oh, and when my Mom told me

Oh, and when my Mom told me to get a cell, I just said "Did you have one when you were a kid?" her: "No." Me:"You're still alive." her: pwned.

Hey!

At least ur mom told u 2 get a phone! i'm practically a sitting duck!

They're (usually) just a waste of money

A 12 year old does not need a cell phone. I'm 13 and everyone around here has a cell phone. Seriously, what are the chances of us getting raped at McDonald's or something like that? You'd have to be filthy rich to even need a cell phone when you're a teenager. I care about how I spend money. I don't go to a restaurant every other day with my friends. That's what my brother (17) does. He'll go to a stupid restaurant with $13-$20 meals a couple times a week. My mom can make dinner for the whole family and 2 leftover meals for $8, while still having leftover ingredients. You see, kids nowadays can't invite others over to dinner, but they can spend a fortune at a restaurant. The only time when you'll really need a cell phone is when you commute long distances or you're not home a lot. A pre-paid cell phone is also good for emergencies, but then people will make comments about your phone. A phone generally costs $500-$1000 a year. I can buy a nice computer or Photoshop with that money. In fact, I can even save up for college with that money. Another thing is, its considered "proper" to society for all teenagers to have a cell phone. My 9(I think) year old nephew is getting a cell phone soon. His little "girlfriend" already has one. Does anyone see something wrong with this? Is society too unorganized to plan things ahead of time? I can just say too my mom that I'm walking to my friend's house after school and I can tell her if I'm staying the night or if I want to go home at 8 PM. When you've got a cell phone you call right after school is out, she won't answer, and your plan is ruined. And this is why I don't have a cell phone.

One last thing: My Aunt (60 something) didn't get a cell phone not too long ago. She barely uses it and she has lots of friends. She works at an airport.

hey youre right

dude i'm a 14 yr old girl and i have no cell either my dad says im too young but he gave my big sister her phone when she was 10! omg talk bout a hypocrite! but to get a hold of me here is my e-mail 16mangsier@dnhcsd.org my name is cc.

Thank God I've got company!

I'm sick of sharing the streets, sidewalks, restaurants, elevators (and parks, too!) with jabbering cell phone users. Must these people be plugged in 24/7? Why? To what end? They choke the aisles of my grocery store ("Hello, babe. Hey, what brand of dental floss do we use?"), they delay me at the checkout because they simply can't SHUT UP even as the poor cashier is waiting to be paid, they transform my every bus and train commute into an interminable chatterfest. Oh, and if there are any fellow movie-lovers out there, please answer me this: Is there anything more annoying than to be seated four or five rows behind someone who just can't resist checking their phone and filling the theater with their POISONOUS BLUE GLARE every five minutes???

AGREED!

Movie lover right here! I HATE people talking on cell phones during the movies. I HATE Hearing their ringers going off. What is even worse is being at a live performance like when I was at a tour of Phantom of the Opera many years ago. It was the last act, last scene and right at the pinnacle of the emotional poignance, off goes a shrill cell phone ring in the silence between the next sung phrases. ARRRGGG! I wanted to launch myself onto whomever it was with the cell phone and bash it into the wall!

I hate cells

I had a cell in the mid ninties for a year before they were popular. After the plan was out I never got another one. I think they are stupid. There are so many people using them just to yak about nothing. I wish they were not invented

Thinking about going without one as well.

I agree. Mobile phones were originally made only for emergencies as well as traveling. But since more and people were using em often, they started making ones with extra features. They outta bring back regular phones as well as beepers, they're cheaper.

I don't miss having one.

I got rid of it last year. The only times that it is a bother to not have one is when someone says, "Geez, I wish you had a cell phone. How will I know when you're on your way over?" Um, because I'll be there when I said I will be there? I get annoyed at how connected everyone has to be but I guess it shouldn't matter too much. I want no part of it myself, though. I like to read a book on the bus, play with my son at a park, enjoy dinner with my wife, et cetera, without a beep or vibration or lousy-sounding Country song interrupting us.

"We" are getting harder and harder to come by. It seems that some cell phone users think "we" are arrogant, out of touch or self-righteous. I don't think I'm better than everyone else but I value time to myself and un-interrupted time with others and I won't give those things up. I'm quite computer-savvy and know all about Blackberry's and whatnot. People assume I'm a Luddite. Nope. I just like quality time, beit by myself or with others. (And I like saving money, too.)

Thanks for this post.

I never use my cellphone

I got a cellphone in 2005 for "emergencies" (e.g., flat tire somewhere, if I was late to pick up my granddaughter, etc.).
So now I have been paying $32.00 a month for five years for a phone that's almost never turned on; the battery is usually dead because I forget to recharge it, etc. If I break down on the road, there's almost always someone who will come along and help and if I'm in the middle of the woods, there will be no cell service anyway. I, too am sick
people walking around like zombies talking on cell phones and oblivious to so many of the interesting sights that surround them. I can't stand people who take calls while you are in a conversation, or worse yet, text while they are talking to you. It's rude, plain and simple. I enjoy the internet as much as the next person, but turn the computer off in the evenings and go out on the deck and enjoy the nature around me. I don't answer the phone if I don't feel like it and have no voice mail (if I can't get the message, I don't feel obligated to call back). I think it's sad that people are actually being controlled by something that was supposed to be a convenience, whether that thing be a cell phone, Facebook, I-pod, etc. God help these people if the airwaves all fail one of these days, the internet goes down and the satallite TV
gets messed up. They might actually have to slow down and connect with the natural world around them :) And oh yes, I am getting rid of the monthly mobility service.

Hear, hear! I agree

Hear, hear! I agree wholeheartedly and have thought the same on (almost) all counts. It is refreshing to still occasionally hear the voice of reason!

I just wish this were printed on the front page of the NY Times (or similar) where even more may see it. Rest assured, I'll be excerpting and forwarding and referring others to this article in the future.

However, though true and all valid concerns, my biggest problem with the whole cell phone phenomenon is not so much the various annoyances, lack of privacy, freedom, behavioral changes or other issues mentioned by Brian or subsequent commenters, it is the fact that it is quickly becoming not a matter of personal choice whether one has a cell phone. (Just notice the posts here from all those that "hate cell phones", "don't like cell phones", "don't want a cell phones" but have a cell phone.) In those few rare emergencies that I need a telephone when away from home or work, I'd be perfectly happy to use a payphone ..if there were one available.

My car recently broke down, not on a dark, desolate country road but in the parking lot of a large suburban shopping center. I walked to several retail stores, a theater, a few restaurants, etc. looking for a pay phone in the obvious places (in the lobby, near the restrooms, etc) but found none. Asking staff for the location of the payphone, I only received odd looks and strange reactions.

Often there were bystanders willing —actually anxious— to offer the use of their cell phone but, as much as I appreciated their help and kindness, in addition to making me feel hypocritical and cheap using their cell phone because I don't have my own, to me, it further demonstrated the problem, the backwardness and collapse of infrastructure. To build an infrastructure is progress. To systematically disassemble an already existing, functional infrastructure is not.

Obviously, it must be far more expensive for all involved to remove already installed, up-to-date, functioning pay phones than to do nothing at all. The only motivation and reason must be to force people to have to have cell phones, pay more expensive rates to make already huge companies even richer.

How was this allowed to happen? Perhaps, the same way so many cities paid millions to disassemble and remove perfectly functioning streetcar systems in order to sell more gas, oil, rubber, and automobiles.

Should there not be some sort of government intervention?

I'm sure it's not too late to do something about this. Is this not a Monopoly/Antitrust issue?

I agree with everyone here.

I agree with everyone here. Has anyone tried using a cell phone blocker/jammer? The cheap ones ($30/$40) will only shut down people about 5 feet away from you. But there are nicer ones that are more expensive ($300) that will shut down the entire building you are in. Cell phones are very vulnerable and are easily shut down.

no cell for me

I am so at peace with out a phone. Had one and hardly used it . What can be so important things can wait and when I am out and away from work it is my quality time not chat on the phone time. I love my peace and quite.

I have been in same boat however now no more :(

I happen to read this pretty late, I have never liked this thing called cell phone, and spent years without it, however as many has stated above, all near and dear used to barge me for not having a cell, after living peacefully for many years last year i got one, but still most of the time keeps it in silent mode and use a prepaid connection,

i think its not a bad idea to keep one with you, however use it when you must,

cheers

If cell phones supposedly save time, why are we so rushed?

I'm 27 years old and I still get looks from people when I use a pay-phone.

There are certain situations where having a cell phone would be handy, but I still prefer to keep that leash away from my neck. It seems to have a drug-like effect on the populace.

We are a society that is in a constant state of panic and rush, we are doped-up on mood-altering drugs 24/7, and we can't seem to find happiness.

Try simplifying your lives.

I absolutely agree with this.

I absolutely agree with this.

I recently picked up "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau and though it was written in the mid 19th century, I find myself amazed at how much of what he says applies even today. In fact, it probably applies more today than it did when he was alive.

What do they talk about anyways

On the way to work every morning, I see this twenty-something jabbering away on her phone. She has this thing glued to the side of her head for thirty minutes or more.. What is so important that people have to talk while they drive, or even worse text while they drive. I don't have one of the damn things and I don't want one. They're too expensive, and I don't see the need for one. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I don't need a leash with a million applications....

Ever since cell phones became

Ever since cell phones became extremely popular -like 5-7 years ago- I have increasingly felt weird. I am an extremely social person, I enjoy fun. Now I just feel alone! I feel that I have some sort of social anxiety now too. It's really ironic that they make us less connected, when their ads say "stay connected". It's true that they are an addiction. We shouldn't NEED anything. I can recognize addiction in myself very fast, whether it's a person, a food, a substance, whatever, and this is why the god-damn cell phone makes me feel weird as hell because I hate depending on anything at all. I don't want it. Death to independence! I have gone without a cell phone before, like 2 years ago, and that sad thing is that I felt like I had no one. I questioned if I had anyone. I still question it a little, in the fact that almost all of my relationships are shallow. I am embarrassed, extremely embarrassed to admit that, but it feels that no one has time for me. I often blame myself too, that it's my fault because I can't emotionally handle answering or carrying my phone more than half of the time, so it's like I didn't fit into that quarter-of-an-instant-plan the caller decided he/she wanted to involve me in. This lack of planning does not work for me! I want to know in advance when parties are happening, when dinners and events are happening. Give me a time-frame! WHEN will we actually sit down and connect! I only want my friends to call when they really need me. Socializing is screwed. Anyway, how to get over it? I'm not sure but reading how the cell hurts others makes me feel not so alone. This is a big challenge to put my social life back together, as this was never a problem in human history.

It is true that true social

It is true that true social contact has been warped into shallow generic, anti personal behavior, almost psychopathic if you ask me.

The best advice i can give you, when you feel alone; to keep going where 'your passions lie, 'you dont 'need other people's collective opinion to be what you want to be, and you dont 'need contact with people who bring nor take no value whatsoever to that contact. You are NOT alone, you may be outcasted by the 'world of today' but we are here as you can read from all the comments on this page, and think about it this way: if ever the energy supply of electronics dies out wich may well be happening through either solar storms or a lack of minerals for the construction of electronics (wich is currently a monopoly of asian countries, comparable with the oil of the west that is running low) then a whole lot of people will be not only socially but also practically handicapped, but not us, not you. You will be capable in life, you can hold your chin up.

You have character, you are capable.
The mindless may all call you a nobody, but how much is their opinion worth really. I say you're a somebody.
Thats how you get over it.

Love what I'm reading here!

I do have a cell phone, but I am very much considering letting my plan run out. Just because you own a cell, goofballs think you are always available to speak to them. I recently had to block a person's number after receiving six phone calls and a text message in one afternoon. The caller didn't even state what the flurry of calls were about in the text. I like my space. If someone calls, call once and leave a message. I'll call back when it's convenient.

Unnecessary

I hate cell phones at this point because of how others use them. People in college level classes right now can't seem to go more than a half hour without checking their phones or texting someone. And then they wonder why they lose track of what the instructor was saying. I truly believe that all of this instant, constant communication is causing damage. To people's attention spans if nothing else. The fact that people are criticizing others for not using cell phones and believe that not having one somehow handicaps a person really bothers me.

Cell phone slavery

I never wanted a mobile phone, but my wife insisted I had one and bought me one. I am on pay=as=you=go, and £20 lasts me ages. I hate mobiles, they are an artificial need, and I only use mine once a week or fortnight to text to arrange to meet friends. They encourage people to be rude, are intrusive and charmless. You can hear all kinds of conversations in shops, on trains, everywhere you go, and I hate it. Pity they can't make their use in public illegal

I thought I was the only one.

How nice it is to be in the midst of like minded people such as yourselves. I've noticed a trend in increasing absentmindedness as well in regards to people who are constantly on their cellphones, it's a byproduct of an increasingly thoughtless and superficial age. I'm an 18 year old college studying Mechanical Engineering and the sorts of looks that people give me when I tell I either don't like cellphones, or when I ask for a payphone are absolutely absurd then break off on to some tangent about how absolutely invaluable their cell phones are. They then proceed to ask me what I would do in the case of an emergency, and I simply say "I can take care of myself". I can hardly stand this connection addiction, I suppose cell phones serve as some sort of crutch that allows them overcome their own hidden feelings of loneliness, who knows.

Their are few things I find more annoying than the constant texting I see in my college classes, the masses of huddled teens hunched over and the incessant tapping (I'd say beating, due to their enthusiasm) of the flesh of their thumbs hitting those tiny plastic keys, and in some cases a touchscreen. It actually makes me sick to a slight extent, I sometimes get this unpleasant feeling in my throat whenever large groups of kids are doing it. I guess it's something about how they all seem to have the same facial expression, hunched over like fiends clutching their phones.

I believe the greatest tragedy of this "connected" age we live in is the lack of internal development evident in some, these people seem to spend their entire lives socializing, investing time and energy and thought into other people as opposed to investing those resources in developing themselves, their own hobbies, their own thoughts. I find this to be very ugly.

I truly Agree with you All.

I also get a sick feeling watching all the mindless people in town texting and talking on stupid cell phones . Its so sad I am 35 years old am still young but recall in my mind in a play by play of sorts walking in the mall looking in all the stores everyone chatting having fun gah i Miss it . How in the heck would anyone today pop a quarter in a racde game and actually play the dang thing without stoppin n texting someone so stupid . Simple Times for me am not buying into technology . Heck give me a original nintendo and some tecmo bowl and contra and am happy texy away morons am happy being real and not superficial. Thanks Ya'll many blessings......

Please let me keep my landline

What scares me is the fact that many people are ditching the landline for a cell phone. If this continues, it looks like many of us will have no choice.

I am also into older types of technology. Currently, I have two phones in my home. One is a corded, touch-tone from the 80's (like the one Jerry Seinfeld had on his coffee table), the other is a Art Deco rotary phone from around the 1930's.

I agree somewhat but disagree.

Here is where I disagree: I am older, in my 40s, and remember the days of having to find a stinky smelly payphone, sometimes in a bad part of town (I am a New Yorker), so I don't miss those days and much rather have a cell phone. Cell phones are a great invention, especially when you don't have a land line, or are trying to save some money. Hence, why I ditched my land line. I am not one of those people who answers his phone all the time, or checks his texts (I don't text actually, because I think it is idiotic to do so and don't "get" why younger folks do it, when they can make a quick phone call!). I turn it off at work, when I am out in public, I have it on vibrate and don't answer it unless it seems like it would be an emergency. But we ALL need a way for people to get a hold of us. Whether it be a land line or a cell phone. If a person also hates land lines, then it must be because they want to be reclusive or live like hermits. To each their own. I need a way to communicate with my family long distance and find out where my wife is because I worry. I could do it via a land line phone or a cell phone. Phones are not the enemy.... people who use them inappropriately, are!

I hate those who text and drive or those who talk on the phone while they are paying the cashier at the grocery store. Ugh. But to the one who said that it is too bad that you can't make talking on cell phones while walking down the street illegal, I say to you: why not make conversations with a person sitting next to you on a bus or walking next to you on the street illegal too? I see NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER between the two. If you don't like hearing other people's conversations, then put on a ipod or read a book or mind your own business. Talking on a cell phone is the same as talking to someone next to you: only difference is that the person on the other line is far away, but you are still making conversation.

Where I do agree: Where it DOES get annoying is where people chat on their phones louder than they should. Sometimes they do it without realizing and others do it to annoy us. THAT should be illegal! And the ones who check their phones incessantly are weird and need a social life. I just don't get it, but maybe its because I am older. I find texting stupid. What is truly annoying is hearing those clicks of the keypad! Ugh! But... to each their own.

I only need a cell phone to communicate with family and I love the convenience of having a cell phone where you can be reached outside of the home. I don't miss the days of having to wait until I got home to listen to my voicemail messages, to hear if a date was cancelled or a change of plans has been made. I don't miss the days of waiting like an idiot at a movie theater for a friend to show up but cancelled because of an emergency, and didn't know about it until I got home, wasting gas and precious time. I love being able to make a phone call outside and not have to wait until I get home to make a friggin' call. I think people on here who are dissing (yes, dissing.... I am old and from the 80s!) cell phones are because they find the other stuff that goes along with their use that I have discussed extremely overrated and annoying, which is fine. I agree. I don't like bells and whistles on my cell phones, and don't find texting practical. But I still love cell phones and am glad they exist. As I said, don't blame the cell phone, but blame the annoying irresponsible users.

Free at Last!

For the past few years I have slowly dwindled from having a phone, to having a pay-plan, and now I have finally decided to ditch it all together. I have a phone at work, so family can call me there, and the public libraries in my area have phones the public can use, so I use those when I need to make a quick call. But I do not need a cell phone nor do I want one.

The only reason I can see having one is for emergencies. But back in the day you didn't need one, you fixed a tire yourself or had a first aid kit. Now if it were some serious car accident I can see it, but (knock on wood) I have never been in that situation.

People who use cell phones/iPhone annoy me more than anything on this planet. Everyone in my family has one and they lose respect from me every time they use it. My dad has a twitter account (wtf?), my mother is so obnoxiously loud when she talks on hers, and my sister reads the tiniest print on her iPhone at all hours of the day, not to mention texting every five seconds. It is unbelievably rude and pathetic to me. Sometimes she will be on it when we are going somewhere or sitting someplace, and it feels like a slap in the face as if I am not there.

My next goal is to get rid of my computer. That will come after I graduate from graduate school; I will only use the one at work then. I find that people who use this technology are actually worse at communicating than those who do not, like myself. I get plenty of socializing done just by working or going out. I don't need a sad little screen in my face all the time. I hope more people begin to realize how truly miserable cell phones make everything.

And the next person who is talking away on a cell phone when I am in a bookstore is going to hear from me, and not through an ear piece.

Thank God

I'm a 21 year old girl without a cell phone. I don't like them. I don't like people that are addicted to them. I don't like being the only 21 year old female in a school without one. It scares me how I can't have real conversations with people anymore because they don't know how to converse. I only find good conversation with those that are older than me. I hate people who text and drive or even talk on the phone and drive. What disrespect they have for the safety of fellow drivers! I hear "Well, I can actually text and drive"...bullshit.

For emergencies, I figure that I can handle things myself. If I have a flat, I will walk. If I'm injured so badly I have to call 911, chances are that I wouldn't be able to dial and give them my location anyway.

Logic. Use it.

i hate cell phones

I absolutly abhore the cell phone. The contant interuption and the way people fall all over themslves answering cell phones. As if its an emergency. Think about it, really How many "emergencies" have you had in your life? and if you say "it was when my so-n-so called and said so-n-so was dead,well that is not emergency(they are already dead).Also the fear that it generates and makes you think emergencies are just around the cornor, and i havent even touched on the health or cost.

Love Hate Relationship

I think about when the horse and buggy was outdated and Henry Ford started his motor company (I'm not that old though ). Yes, cars are convenient and make you more productive. But while gaining speed and ease of travel we have also lost something. I have a car and I know I have made this trade and that's why sometimes I ride a bike or walk places. Even taking a bus now and then gives a different perspective on the places you pass along the way and the different chance encounters that you have with people - people that you actually have a conversation with - face to face.

I can think of many technologies that have a trade off of this nature and cell phones are one of them. Are cell phones convenient? Oh absolutely! And I love that. But, I don't want to rely on a cell phone. I hate that.

I see people texting on the freeway all the time. I always wonder, "What is so important? What's the emergency?" Maybe they should text that they will be crashing in the next few minutes. What the average "Jane" or "Joe" call emergencies nowadays are actually inconveniences. In "real" emergencies, cell phones can come in handy. However, I think back on all the so called "emergencies" I've had in my life and discover that there really weren't that many of them and I was able to handle all of them without a cell phone. Imagine that. So, the "what if you have and emergency" argument is weak.

I avoided getting a cell phone for the longest time. I took my sister's "dead" cell phone and put it in my house just so I could tell people I have a cell phone. LOL. When they ask what my number is I tell them I don't know because my cell phone doesn't work and I wouldn't use it anyhow. My sister finally gave me one with pre-paid minutes on it so I could join the rest of the world. Was having a cell phone more convenient? Yes!!! Oh it was awesome! Did I hate it! YES!!! I couldn't stand thinking I have this gadget that I have to keep charged, then carry it around with me on the chance I have to do some type of instant communication - a leash. And, it was all free to me but I still didn't like it.

Because I was given a free phone, I take it with me sometimes and leave it turned off. I also take change with me so I can make a phone call on a pay phone if I can find one.

When I forget to bring my cell phone with me I feel free. I like that I forgot it! But, then again, I know I lost convenience. And I actually don't mind that at all - until I have an "emergency", which doesn't really happen that often. Yes, I want both! Freedom and convenience. But, cell phones don't work like that for me.

When I forget to bring my cell phone with me I also feel like I'm missing something I might need. I hate that feeling. Thanks for nothing cell phone.

I love owning a cell phone and I hate that! I hate that I have a cell phone, but I love owning one. Ya know, just in case I need to tell somebody some useless information that could have waited until I got home.

Narcissism is not a virtue

I play solo guitar at a restaurant which is popular with twenty-somethings. These icky little narcissistic blue glow-faced twats (not all, but most) are so self-involved that they cannot hold any conversation at all without either texting whilst speaking or staring down every ten seconds. It seems as if an experience to them is not real unless they can take a photo of themselves doing it and then posting it to facebook or whatever. Looking a person in the eyes while communicating? Not any more...

My fear is that this hyper narcissism is going to bite humanity in it's collective ass. The signs all point to it; people are dying in droves out on the roads and it will only get worse.

I proudly don't own a cell phone and I refuse to participate. Like many of you, I am the only person I know who does not have one. I am also certain that every single person I know envies me for it, secretly or not. I also refuse to participate in facebooks, tweets, twats, or anything else. I have a land line and internet connection at home, and life is good. I own my own business and business works just fine without that crap.

"But what about emergencies"? Yeah, right. Gimme a freaking break...

When Henry David Thoreau was told about the completion of transatlantic telegraph lines in the 1800's, he replied that he hoped New York and London had something to say to each other, other than if the Princess had the whooping cough. The parallel to today is stunning.

Keep up the good fight!

Hate Cell Phones Here Too :)

It's funny how people back then survived without cell phones, we live in a society that owning a cell phone is the "norm" for everyone. I have had friends that pressure me to get a cell phone, ticks me off because it makes me feel like a misfit or something just because I don't own one. One even said, step into the modern world haha, I am in the modern world geez I have a laptop,nice computer in my living room,wii system, so many games and I'm told to step into the modern world, wtf?? And as for emergencies I didnt have a cell and I didn't die, imagine that. So much for having a cell huh?

The crap creates the

The crap creates the narcissism in an age full of it. People are addicted to it because of the feeling that they're not loved. That's why they have to spend every minute of the day with it. Facebook, Twitt crap. It's all the same. Very sad.

Dumped for being uncontactable! :D

I had a guy dump me (we'd been on a few dates) after he found out I didn't own a cell phone - seriously!

Apparently, it bothered him that we couldn't send late night "snuggly" texts before bed, and he liked being with a girl he could contact whenever, to send little texts to and just generally, keep in contact

Sounds creepily obsessive, awful clingy and slightly stalker-ish to me :P
I was the problem apparently lol - think he did ME a favour ;)

So glad to have found this article, and glad not to have fallen in with the sheeple
Continue to stand your ground, neo-phone-luddites ;D

Glad I'm not that alone

I always feel like that (like most of what's been posted here), feels nice to remember I'm not that alone =)

I've always though about going cellphone-free but a year ago left my full time job to be freelance... Now I'm really FREE xD
Less Working hours, learn new things every day, each day is different and make more money (or maybe I was underpaid? haha). BUT, I now use my cellphone for my freelance work, for checking my mail inbox (to know when i get the next order) without staying put by my computer all day, so I can go out or do other stuff.
My problem is, I also get stupid calls and "please do me a favor-it's an emergency job-and by the way I won't pay you" calls from people I don't see that much and tend to call only when they need something from me (the kind of stuff I do for a living). Some I just ignore, but others are more complicated in nature.. Also, I am quite dumb in the "Just-say-no" game when I'm asked for my number or when they actually call me to get something out of me, so more than often I wish I had no cellphone to begin with, (I also hate when people text while having, say, dinner with you or that some people think it's polite to start a phonecall while you're both still engaged in an actual conversation AND expect you to keep up so you know which words are for who???! (really?? come on!!) Either you are talking to me or you are not, right?) ...And I'm sure I wouldn't miss the phone for "social" matters/not a facebook fan either so.. That's pretty much it.. Need it as a tool for working.. But otherwise HATE IT. Or, as someone posted, hate the bunch of people that use it improperly. Ah! Right, but in case of a very rare and improbable extreme emergency, I'd sure like to have one around, though.. (a tool is a tool)

I guess I just came to hate the so called "NORMAL PEOPLE from today" and the things they "preach" and how they put you down for not being like you shoud (like them, or like "everyone else") in this (not so) new weird (to me) world.

Greetings to You all, and thanks!

28 years old
south american
Audio Engineer

Hmmm....

Good luck finding a pay phone....

WOW U PEEPS R UNLUKY!!im

WOW U PEEPS R UNLUKY!!
im only 11 and i had a cellphone when i was 8

Ignorance

I used to have a phone, but became too addicted to it. Now, thankfully, I lost the phone, and my life has changed path. I am more liberated than I was before, and people envy me!!

Wow!

U dont have a cellphone!?
I had my first one when i was 8 yrs old! im now 12 and i own a Blackberry curve, an iPhone 4S and an Android HTC! Alienss...

WOW indeed !

You must feel really important having all those phonesat 12, all you need now is a life :)

RE: Wow!

And all your allownave money goes to pay for you gadgets? Allowance? Trust fund?

I need one for scholl

Do you give them away????

As an cell phone industry person

As somebody that has worked on and off (recently, mostly off) in this industry since the days of analog that the OP mentioned, I have a ton of respect for this thread.

I admit, there was a time when I thought cell phones where a fantastic idea, and to a degree I still do. BUT, cell phones are not phones anymore, they are handheld computers with phones installed on them. It was close to the turn of the century that I found I could not understand where the industry was going.

Maybe it is my old(er) age kicking in, but I think people have got WAY ahead of themselves with this technology. A statistic I saw recently stated that something in the realm of only 15% of network usage, pertained to making phone calls. The remaining 85% was all texting and data. I also don't have a problem with texting, when it is used properly. Texting is good when you are picking somebody up and want to just quickly tell them "I am outside" or to quickly ask my girlfriend to pick up bread on the way home. But kids these days have entire conversations through text messaging. Conversations that if spoken, would take 10 minutes, but kids rather stretch this out over a period of a day or two via texting this conversation back and forth. I think something is lost in a conversation through texting as well. You have the opportunity to pause and think more about what you are typing, which in the context of a raw, live conversation, defeats part of the point. People tend to be more REAL and honest when they don't have as much time to think about what they are saying. Again, there is a time and place to have the opportunity to think about what you are writing, its called email (or snail mail, if ANYBODY does that anymore....i do)

Another thing about texting, is it cannot convery emotion properly. And no, emoticons are not an effective replacement for seeing true facial gestures.

As far as data, I cant see many reasons why having on the fly data access at all times, is necessary. Helpful, sure, but I think the OP said it best. People have started to become to reliant on this technology, and have stopped thinking for themselves. For instance, I was visiting somewhere I had never been and was a bit lost. Most kids would pull out a nifty map application on their latest smart phone. I like to ask for directions, or a REAL map. Hey, asking for directions allows you to make some "Actual human contact!!!!" You might actually make a friend, or get an awesome tip on a good place to eat that most tourists would not know about.

I think the aspect of cell phones today that bothers me the most (in a nutshell) is how the younger (Keep in mind, i'm only 35) generation seems to be losing a grasp on reality, and would rather bury their face in the screen of their phone then make a solid attempt to try and communicate with people face to face. I have literally had kids bump into me because they can't bother to look up when walking.....WHILE TEXTING!!! Absolutely KILLS me inside!

I think cell phones are fine overall, but they need to be approached with a certain amount of social responsibility, and other forms of responsibility as well. Like any powerful tool, use wisely.

Just my .02C

Free At Last

I recently resigned from a position that "required" us to have cellular phones in order to receive emergency texts and to contact local hospitals, etc... (paramedic). They did not PAY for the phone NOR the service, yet they wanted us each to have it. Anyway, I found that on my days off, the first thing I did leaving work was turn my cellular off. Then it stayed off for the entire time I wasn't at work, only turned on when I went back to work. Of course the first thing I had to do upon turning the darned thing back on was to delete all of the numerous texts that had been sent by my workplace (training has been cancelled, to be rescheduled, turn in your time cards, blah blah blah). Seriously, I hated having that cellular and was so happy to finally quit my job and that same day, I cancelled my service as well. Now, my girlfriend will say, maybe when I return to college next fall I should get another one, "for emergencies." Whatever!??! If it's a true emergency, believe me when I tell you this- someone else will call 911. In fact, the dispatch centers are usually inundated with 911 calls at the slightest fender-bender because everyone in the surrounding population who happens to drive by it, calls 911. Secondly, I think that after being a paramedic for 13 years, I can probably handle any "emergency" that happens to me on a 30 minute commute. And if I can't handle it, then a cellular won't help me either.

I hate cellphones and the culture that both enables them and is enabled BY them. They are caused by and contribute to mental laziness and social apathy. People mistakenly believe they allow them to be more connected, but I disagree. How many times have you been at lunch with a coworker or friend, only to have conversation interrupted by them glancing down to read a text? Or to send a text? Or to update their twitter, etc? And it's like they don't think the moment has any value unless it can be photographed and uploaded to Facebook. Seriously! Even at work, I'd be trying to do a basic assessment in someone's home, and THEY called 911, not me... and instead of answering questions, they are talking on their cellphones!! "oh yes, the paramedics are here now, yeah, i've been sick the past week and today i feel awful, yeah i'll be going to the hospital, the paramedics are here right now..." and we have to wait for them to wind down their phone conversation! But I digress.

I've actually had patients who talked on their cellphones the whole way to the hospital.

It wasn't always like this! Back in the 90's, people had cellphones but they weren't as common, weren't as easily transported in a pocket or a purse. Relationships don't have to hinge on a tweet or a FB update, we don't have to put forth our whole lives for the scrutiny of all of our digital "friends" via FB. We are not required as human beings to be available every minute of our lives to receive a moronic text or phone call initiated out of the boredom of the caller. What ever happened to planning a get together, and everyone shows up at the same place at the same time and talks to one another face to face? Can you imagine a family meal in the 90's where everyone sits quietly eating, faces cast downward to read endless updates on their iPhones? It's so common.

Anyway, I know I'm preaching to the choir. I'm so, so SO glad to finally be free of that electronic shackle and I won't ever go back to owning a cellphone. Good grief, I am turning into a Luddite. I also sold my car and started commuting by bicycle two years ago. Hey, with the $$$ I saved from no longer having to buy insurance, pay property taxes on it every year, etc... I bought a nice Surly. :-)

I think with the $$ I'll save from ditching my cellphone (roughly $800/year) I might buy my girlfriend some upgraded wheels on her titanium wheelchair. (smile!!)

Cellphones are for the masses. I choose to walk my own unique path.

We're 2 weeks away from 2013

We're 2 weeks away from 2013 and I STILL refuse to carry a leash. Why would I pay a monthly bill just so my boss can ask me if I can work on my day off, or so my wife can yell at me in the freeway for not emptying the dishwasher? I'll never NEVER own a cellular phone.

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