Monday, July 26, 2010

Cell Phones: Modern Electronic of Convenience and Wonder? Or Demon Message Receptor from Hell? (You Know It's the Latter)

OK, I am willing to admit that my beef is a lost cause.  We are a Cell Phone Nation.  Seniors, soccer moms, and kids -- not to mention power players in the world of business suits -- walk about, phone to ear or nose to screen, fingers flying all over the damn things.  I hate them.  Of course, I have one.

I never wanted a cell phone, but, back in 2000, Jason told me I was getting one.  "I don't want one," I protested (see, I am consistent).  "I don't care," he replied in his inexorably Jasonish way, "You're getting one for safety reasons.  I don't like to think of you out driving late at night without one."  "Oh pooh," I sighed, and dutifully accepted the wee silver fold-over phone.

There are exactly two people in the world with whom I like to talk on the phone -- one of whom I did not even know until a few years ago.  This is not to insult anyone else in my beloved circle of friends.  I'm just not much of a talker (on phones).  Get me settled in with some coffee or adult beverages, and you know I'll chaw on with you until daybreak.  But phones are just so . . . blah.  No gestures; no expressions; no comfortable silences between inspiration.  Who needs it?  Give me face-to-face whenever possible.

Also, I guess my hatred of cell phones relates to my recent decision to reject all the social networking sites. There is such a thing as being too connected with too many people.

Anyway, about three years later, after discovering that we never really used the things enough to justify the $60/month we were spending on them (and I was home with the baby and not doing much in the way of late-night driving), we switched to a pre-pay plan through Virgin Mobile.  Got a cheap, little fold-over phone again, began to pay $20 every three months (savings!), and continued along the path of rarely turning the thing on, let alone actually using it as a communication device.

Then, in 2007, I started watching little Rylee, and -- all of a sudden -- having a cell phone was part of my job.  Her parents -- understandably -- wanted to be able to reach me at their convenience.  So, I dug the dusty machine out of storage and re-charged it.  I used to make fun of people with cell phones attached at the hip; now I was one.  Of course, in the meantime I had become strangely deaf to the cell phone.  For some reason, probably psychological, I simply could not hear the ringer most of the time.  I remember one time, sitting in a Mexican restaurant with a margarita in one hand and my cell phone in the other, waiting for an important call -- and I missed that call not once, but three times.  Yikes.  So, I learned how to use the vibrate code and kept the thing in my pants pocket for a little jolt whenever there was an incoming call.

So, about three months ago, I accidentally washed my cheap, no-frills, fold-over phone with my pants.  Jason went to get me a replacement and found, much to my consternation, that they no longer make that simple receptor device.  Oh no.  Now, you have to have a camera -- and texting capability -- and Internet capability.  He bought me the cheapest phone they had, and I hate it.  It does not fold down, so the buttons are constantly exposed which makes it hard to slip in my pants pocket.  Plus, whenever I look at the darn thing, it's always half-way to texting some gibberish over to Timbuktu or some-such.  I loathe and despise the wretched appliance -- and may just throw it in the next laundry load for spite.

Now, Jason is saying that he needs to upgrade our cell phone system because of his work.  His company would reimburse part of the plan.  So, I will soon have to adjust to a new phone.  Again. I hope it will at least fold over, even if I have to submit to a camera inside.  And, I guess, just because a phone can be used for texting doesn't mean that I have to learn how to use it.  You can lead a land-line-lover to satellite reception, and you can even make her use it; but you can never, ever make her like it.


Arielle said...

Hooray, I'm not alone!

That's pretty much my attitude toward cell phones, too. My husband isn't particularly keen on them, either, but that's what we've got for phones (because his parents were worried about me driving lonely roads with kids in tow and offered to put us on their plan).

Morris said...

You know, like most guys I love tech but I'm with you on this one. I carry a mobile (that's what we call 'em here in Aust) phone mainly because I'm expected to for work, but loath texting. despite all the addons it's a phone and only gets used as such.

Vermonster said...

Texting? What's that? I have a cell phone but literally have to turn it on to give someone the number which is really a waste of time since it's never on nor does it have voicemail. That said, was very glad to have it when my car stalled on the interstate one day!
Coversation over coffe/tea or adult beverage is truly best and maybe we will be able to do that again one day :)