Thursday, October 05, 2006

Cell Phone? No Thanks

I am probably the only man on earth left that refuses to own a cell phone. Back in 1990 "mi chica" started working for a cellular company called Metro Mobil, which eventually became Cellular One, and the Atlantic Bell and now currently Alltel Wireless. My first phone resembled a brick, a gray brick to be exact, then I had one of those funny looking gray flip phones, then I changed it for a more compact one that I could clip on my belt.

By the year 2000 I decided I have had enough of cellular phones, so when my contract was up I did not renew it. Now I see 10-year olds having their own phones and it boggles my mind as to why a child would need one. I know I'll hear the "Just in case of an emergency" answer more than once, but I rather don't wish for something to happen so they can use their phones.

I have seen people pay $700.00 phone bills, and they still justify having a phone because it may come handy in the event of an emergency, but while we wait for that emergency to happen and since there's nothing better to do, let's text the world in the meantime.

When I went to Las Vegas a couple of years ago, I kept saying "Can you hear me now?" every time I passed someone talking on the phone while walking the streets. I think it's safe to say I said the phrase hundreds of times. I couldn't help but imagine that conversations went something like this:

Guy in Vegas: Hello honey
Wife at home: Hello
Guy in Vegas: I just gambled our life savings and lost
Wife at home: What did you say?
Guy in Vegas: Hold on let me get a better signal, Can you hear me now? I said I lost our money

Now everybody owns a cell phone, and I have to put up with everyone's conversations. While at the bank the guy in front of me was talking on the phone and I had to listen to every single word he said, and to top it off he was a loud talker, and all I wanted to do was to take his phone and shove it where the sun won't shine. And don't get me started with the near calls I had while driving because people are on their phones, that to me it's just plain unsafe.

I heard California will start giving fines for using your cell phone while driving. Hurray for California!

So last night I was wondering if I am the last American without a cell phone?


bozette said...

OMG I couldn't live without my cell phone but I do have to say if someone calls me when I am out and about I tell them I will call them back. When I get home I call them back. I feel it is no ones bussiness what I talk about. So that is why I tell them I will call them back.

EC said...

I am a frequent cell phone user myself, I have been known to drive back 5+ miles home to get it if I have forgotten it. I CAN NOT live without it, but my son is young and although I rarely use it for an emergency there is always "that chance". I am not one of those people that use it while waiting in line and in grocery stores, mostly just driving if I am lost, and to call if I will be late somewhere. RI and NY have the same laws I think, at least RI does... no driving while talking!

Mushy said...

From what I see at redlights - YES.

Elena said...

Tienes rarón, hombre de las cavernas. Odio a la gente que habla y habla sin importarles quien está escuchando, y lo peor, si hay algo peor que mantener una conversación mientras manejan, y es que sigan hablando mientras están ante la cajera de alguna tienda, ni atienden la llamada y convenientemente, tampoco a la cajera.

Chely said...

Cell Phones - There should be a "Cell Phone Etiquette List".

The following, would be mine:

1. Don't use a cell phone while driving, unless you are using an ear piece. (This has been a law for a long time in California.)

2. Don't answer the phone while in line at the Supermarket or Bank.
Take care of what you need to do first. This doesn't make you look important, it just makes you look exagerated.

3. Don't call me back, if I didn't leave you a message just because you see a "missed call". If I didn't leave a message, it is not important!

4. Don't answer the phone if you are busy & tell me, I'll call you back. That's what voice mail is for.

5. Don't use the phone to call whoever, whenever just for the heck of it 30 times a day. Be responsible and have a good reason to use it.

6. Turn it off in Churches, Hospitals and Gas Stations. Be courteous and safe.

7. Don't call your children 20 times a day while you are visiting me. They are home safe with their dad, you don't need to be checking up on them. Don't pretend to be over protective, let them breathe.

8. Don't let your phone ring like crazy if you don't feel like answering the call. If I feel like listening to "Drop-it-like it's hot", I'll turn on the stereo. Press any button, this makes it stop ringing and it'll send the call to your voice mail.

9. Don't ever carry on a conversation on your cell phone while having dinner at your dad's Company Christmas Party and you are sitting at a table full of co-workers who were trying to get to know you. Have courtesy.

10. Don't provide a cell phone to a child that has not earned it, just because all their friends have one.

On the flipside, as a woman, a cell phone has gotten me out of a couple of stalled car situations at night and in the middle of nowhere! It provides the security of knowing that everyone is at my fingertips in case of emergency, when I travel alone to Arizona with my girls and it allows me until now, not to be bugged by telemarketers!

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you do it. I don't have a regular phone anymore; my cell phone and the internet are my only means of communication. I appreciate some of the complaints, but for me the benefits heavily outweigh the costs.

Lovely Lori said...

Wow, I am between both sides. Personaly, I would be lost without my cell phone. Oh, so I touhgt, the last phone I had would ring all day long. (At that time there was just too many people in my life.) I do agree that the phone has been there for me in many emergencies. But let me just share, I've been without a cell for 1 month and I have survived. I actualy feel alot more at peace and have more time for myself.

Jose said...

bozette - I'm sure that there are many people like you that are considered to others, but boy it seems to me I get all the loud talkers, and it's truly annoying.

erin - Last week I forgot my sun glasses and I was only a block away from home, so... they stayed home, sigh. I'm sure having the phone is a safety blanket for many.

mushy - My belief is if you own a cell phone you will use it while driving period.

elena - De hoy en adelante puedes llamarme cangrejo o cavernicola.

chely - I wish everybody would adapt some sort of phone etiquette. Phones are here to stay but in my book annoying cell users can go.

battelrocker - The irony is that we don't have a home phone either, we just rely on my wife's phone which she needs for work, but even her is a heavy cell phone user. She knows I hate it but that's a battle I won't win.

lovely lori - I gave up my phone back in 2000 and if someone needs me they know how to reach me with no problem. Trust me life has not been any harder since I don't have cell phone. I LOVE IT!

1Green Thumb said...

I am very proud to say that I have never owned a cell phone. I don't want everyone being able to get a hold of me all the time. Plus my work cannot contact me 24/7. Once I leave work I am done. Also I guess I will be the only one in the world without a brain tumer : )

MrManuel said...

I love my cell phone and couldn't do without it, but I agree that there has to be etiquette when using it. As for Chely saying it is the law in CA that you can't use a cell phone whil driving, that is definitely not true. Maybe whatever county she lives in has a seperate law, but statewide, not true. It will be soon. I believe the Governer just signed this, but it doesn't go into effect that you have to use a hands free unti for cell phones while driving until 2008.

Angie said...

I am completely and totally with you on this one, Jose!! (Long time no see, by the way.) :) I HATE, with a all capital letters even, cell phones! I HATE that they have become the norm and I WILL NOT EVER HAVE ONE. My husband has one but that doesn't count, because I don't use it. I do not need a cell phone. I don't want to be accessible to everyone all the time. I don't even like to talk on my home phone so why do I want to be on the phone in the car, at the store, etc.
I LOVE Chely's etiquette list. The ringtones these days annoy the crap out of me. Ugh.
I could go on but you've said it all.

Mushy said...

How can you claim to be cool if you don't have a cellphone in your hand when you pull up to a red light without one to your ear?

Seems everyone else does.

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