23 Comments

  1. I just be one of the few people in the world happy to not have internet on my phone. I t was a struggle for me just to accept texting as a means of communication.

  2. This is how I’ve felt since cell phones became mainstream. Remaining disconnected is the reason I’ll only bring my cell phone when I think I might need it. I don’t want people to feel that it’s a reliable way to contact me 24/7 – then I’ll have to keep it on my side at all times. There’s a phone where I work, and I have an answering machine and email at home; whatever it is, it can wait.

    Even today, I only have a simple pay-as-you-go Tracfone, and I’ve never sent a text message in my life.

    1. Same here. When I tell people why I don’t carry a cellphone, I say “Because sometimes I WANT to be unavailable. I’m not a paramedic; I don’t need to be summoned at all hours every day.

      There’s nothing I hate more than being in a room full of friends who are all talking to someone who’s not even here. They’re in my presence, and I’m in theirs, and neither of us is getting to enjoy each others’ company. It’s just awful.

      1. And at the same time, the cell phone junkies will say something about “being connected to the rest of the world” as the reason they have to be staring at those screens all the time. Instead of, ya know, looking at the actual world around them and communicating using spoken language in a face-to-face conversation.

        I have given up on a few friends who have decided that texting and Facebooking is the only way they want to communicate.

  3. I have a 3G phone that could access the Internet, but I will never do that. I learned to text so I could communicate with grandchildren. I will never understand why people can’t live five minutes without checking their phones.

  4. Going against the grain here, but I upgraded to a smartphone a year ago and I love it. GPS helps me out frequently, I’ve got a goddamned library of books in my pocket, I’ve always got a camera if I need one, not to mention it keeps me in instant contact with my family (we live in different countries).

    They can facilitate rudeness, but that’s the fault of the person. The phone itself has definitely been a positive for me.

    1. I’m just wondering wondering how one deals with the social pressure that comes with owning such a device?

      Because I feel the same way about owning a smart phone (though I don’t), that it could be useful for all kinds of things. I owned a simple pre-paid phone for a year, but gave up using it when I felt the social pressure to carry it around and have it switched on. People would be asking for my cell number instead of my land line, even insisting that they didn’t want the latter — perhaps afraid that someone else might pick up the phone and they would have to *gasp* ask for me. And then, of course, they would ask in a sort of plaintive tone why I didn’t carry my cell with me all the time. Maybe I’m over-sensitive, but this expectation of always being available really stressed me out. Now I can just tell them, “Sorry, I don’t have a cell phone.” and don’t need to justify why I keep it switched off or leave it at home.

      So I am wondering if a lot of smart phone users don’t want to be jerks, but are bullied into it by their network of friends who want a chat/text/facebook/whatever reply NOW and not later.

      1. I suppose this is where being a brooding loner and cynic helps me – nobody ever asks for my cell phone number (and I mean NOBODY).

        The only times I give it out are for work-related reasons, because nobody in their right minds ever socializes with me.

  5. I resisted getting a cell phone and then resisted upgrading as they started dying, but I’m happy to have a smart phone. Text messages are handy for quick notes, but not conversations. Having the internet available is handy when I NEED it for looking up addresses, phone numbers, or directions on the fly.

    BUT, I will not use my phone like a toy. Waiting in line? Be patient… there’s no need to play a game or check Facebook. Eating food? Eat it… don’t photograph it because nobody cares.

    1. Really, you would prefer to wait in line and do absolutely nothing? What is wrong with catching up on the news? What is wrong with getting in a few pages of the novel you are working on? The smartphone is the ultimate PC, and it does much more than games and social networking.

      1. What’s wrong with a few minutes of quiet contemplation? Must every second of every day be spent staring at some goddamn screen?

      2. I can understand using a phone to pass time if you’re already waiting in line for the next Star Wars film, but I see too many people refusing to sit and wait five minutes for a restaurant table. In school, the professor would have to make a copy of something, which takes less than a minute, and more than half the class whips out their cell phones. I think it’s important to engage our surroundings at some point, just to see what we’re missing. I sometimes drive without any music or radio, just to pay more attention to what I’m passing and hearing.

  6. I must be the only person left who has never owned a cell phone, and people just don’t get it. When people find out, they act like my car will break down and suddenly I’ll starve to death or die of exposure in the wilderness. I live in north Jersey, not the arctic. And if my car breaks down I’ll do the same damn thing I would have done fifteen years ago, I’LL START WALKING. This video is actually a fairly accurate depiction of the world around me, and I don’t like it.

  7. “They can facilitate rudeness, but that’s the fault of the person. ”

    Exactly, people are blaming the device, but it’s the user, and the user will be anti-social with or without the phone.

    How about instead of isolating people, it is bringing more people together. Someone couldn’t make lunch? Now they can join, even if they are waiting for an appointment, or lying in bed with a fever.

    1. I agree somewhat with you, but I have seriously watched people that I never felt were rude or inconsiderate people completely change since cell phones have become so prominent. They yak loudly in public, ignore people sitting at the same table as them, text and talk while driving, etc. It seriously bothers me to watch people I used to think were great devolve so quickly because of the shiny new toy they have an obsession with.

  8. As a very small business owner, my mobile phone is very important. Occasionally there is a call that really can’t wait – and you never know when that call could happen.
    That said I don’t like having to carry a mobile around but would rather just carry it if I felt it might be useful on that trip / outing. Some day when I retire I will do just that.

  9. yeah…so I started out on the side of most of the people in this article. I was one of the last of my friends to get a cell phone, and same for a smart phone. I didn’t want people to have constant access to me whenever they wanted, or even that expectation.
    .
    What I’ve found is that I don’t really feel pressured to pick up the phone or reply every time it beeps/rings/blinks/vibrates/dances. And I think that’s the core difference. Like so many of you rightly point out 99% of the public feel (pressured?) that they have to engage the darn thing immediately, the moment it becomes available. It’s like we’re all 14 with a new girlfriend all the time, for everyone we know (and don’t, in many cases).
    .
    But yes, being the person who, even while in possession of a phone, but who doesn’t live through its screen, I can relate to this video. I want to leave the thing behind a lot of the time. But here’s the problem, and why I did get a phone in the first place:
    .
    I can bitch about it, and cry ‘You Darn Kids!” all day long. This is where things are going, and the reality is people aren’t going to change. It;s likely it will only go farther in to this thing. Is it bad? Maybe for now. Maybe it will make more sense later on. But resistance will only make you more disconnected from others, unless you can dig up some pocket of folk who aren’t yet absorbed. Good luck with that.

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