Cell Phones: A Serious Epidemic

Recently, I have become aware of a serious societal problem that knows no boundaries. It is a problem that surpasses the constraints of racial, cultural, societal, and even geographical rules. And the problem that is quickly becoming a world wide epidemic is the cell phone- or keitai, hand phone, or mobile depending on your country of origin. The real issue lies not with the cell phone itself, but peoples reactions to it.

Do you remember the first cell phones? I have a vivid image of Saved by the Bell actually. Zack Morris, being the cool guy that he was, of course got his hands on this new technology somewhere in later seasons. And even though his phone was huge, he kept it in his back pocket, always prepared for any emergency situation that came up. And that was exactly the purpose of the first cell phones. They were for emergency calls.

In high school, I got my first cell phone. It was my grandpas actually, and why my grandpa was so tech savvy, I still cant comprehend, but I had it on loan-out during basketball season. Like Zacks phone, it was big and bulky. It had a phone book and the ability to make and receive calls, and that was where the technology ended. I only had permission to use my phone to call my parents during away games, when the bus was about twenty minutes from the school. That way my parents could be ready to pick me up and I didnt have to wait in the dark parking lot in the middle of winter, freezing in my cheerleading outfit. I remember that those calls were so rushed. The goal was to keep the call under a minute so that I wouldnt waste any of the precious minutes on our plan. And once I got my license and my own car, I kept the phone around just in case my car ever broke down while I was roaming around the countryside during my overly active high school days.

At the time, the phone was so cool, but once I realized that it could only make calls in emergency situations, it just became a dead weight at the bottom of my gym bag. I often lost track of it, or left it at home charging for days on end.

Once I went away to college, one of my first big adult moves was to get my very own cell phone. I felt very cool with this phone because it had a color screen. Other than the color screen, there was not so much to do with the phone- no camera, texting cost about a million dollars, and internet access wasn’t even a dream. I carried my phone around all the time, mostly because it made me feel very cool and adult-like. But if I forgot it in the dorm, then no worries.

But slowly, as the years went on, and especially after I moved to Japan, cell phone technology kept advancing by leaps and bounds. My current cell phone has a camera, a video camera, internet access, a bar code reader, a dictionary, an mp3 player, an  ebook viewer, and a pedometer…just to name a few. And I don’t even have an iPhone. When it comes down to it, almost everything a person could ever need is now included in basic cell phone functions.

But, having a wide variety of functions is not actually the inherent problem with today’s cell phones. The problem is the power that people have given their phones. And there are two kinds of power: communication and organization.

Have you ever noticed that cell phones take top priority in our lives? Dont try to argue with me about this. You are simply in denial about the truth of the situation. Think back to the last month. I am willing to bet that at least once you have answered a call or a text while in the middle of a conversation with a real life person. And even if you took the higher road by not answering or responding, you definitely know who called or texted you because you checked the caller ID. Or maybe you panicked because, horror of all horrors, you left your phone at home. Do you stress out all day and worry that people wont be able to get a hold of you? I always rush home and immediately check my phone for all the calls and messages I must have missed. Yeah, more often than not, it adds up to a whopping zero. I am definitely not as popular as I like to believe that I am.

With all of the cool and convenient functions on cell phones nowadays, people are becoming more and more dependent on their phones. I know that in my own life, my cell phone has become an irreplaceable commodity. I seriously believe that I could not function properly without it. I don’t even bother memorizing peoples phone numbers anymore, and actually I never see most peoples numbers because I can just exchange info via infared. I have absolutely no idea what any of the important people in my life’s numbers are.  The only numbers I still remember are the ones I memorized when I was a kid and actually had to dial numbers to get a hold of my family and friends. There are a ton of pictures on my phone, great pictures from vacations that are only located on my phone. The calendar function keeps track of schedule. I would probably die if I ever dropped my phone in the toilet. My whole life would go down the drain in addition to my phone.


So, my new goal, hopeless though it may be, is to detach myself from my cell phone. I am going to start memorizing numbers and writing appointments in a planner. I will no longer sacrifice real life interactions with people for the sake of my ringing phone. I hope that those of you reading are not as sadly addicted to your phones as I am, but if you are maybe we could join Cell Phones Anonymous together.

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225 thoughts on “Cell Phones: A Serious Epidemic

  1. jcartermarketing says:

    This is a great post. Exactly why I carry around a leather notebook in my purse. It’s my calendar, to do list and thought collector. Though, I have most of the same things stored in my cell phone. But either way, I agree with you. We are so dependent

    • losemyway says:

      I too carry around a planner, but more often than not I leave it at home because it won’t fit into my purse.

      • jcartermarketing says:

        I understand that. Hence the reason why my bag is so heavy, haha. I’m sure I’ll be dreaded by onset scoliosis in my old age, or something.

  2. dressingmyself says:

    The strangest thing to me is the sound of somebody walking along the street (apparently) talking to themselves. Sometimes the audible end of the conversation is so fascinating that I follow along, listening!

    But I am guilty of too much phone love. The other day somebody rear-ended my car. When I got out to speak to the driver, I realised that I had my phone in my hand – my very first reaction had been to lean over and get the phone out of my bag! I took pictures of his car/ my car/ the road signs. The effect was strangely calming, and I felt in control of the situation.

    • Josef says:

      One of the best times to have your mobile in reach.

      Same thing happened to me, rear ended and the first thing I did was grabbed to BlackBerry out my pocket and took control of the situation.

      That was almost a year ago and I still have all the info, 50 pics of the accident and loads of notes, voice notes, and video of my car after the accident.

  3. josepht1987 says:

    I really like this post. I agree, we’ve become way too dependant on technology and far less able to communicate effectively with… with anyone. I like your idea and I hope you stick with it.

  4. Michal says:

    People get really mad at me when I do not answer a call immediately. Typically, I tell them that for our two phones, both with data, I pay about $150 per month. This is for my convenience and not theirs and I will call them back when I damn well feel like it. It’s kind of a mean thing to do but what happened to coming home from a weekend away and listening to 8 messages on the answering machine and now folks get all bent out of shape when there is a 10 minute lag time in response.

  5. nfairbairn says:

    I really enjoyed your post. I decided to look at it because I just wrote a post yesterday about cell phones. I am one of the few people left in the modern world, that does not own a cell.

  6. Raul says:

    This is so true! I bought my first cell phone just to use for emergencies…now…I freak out if I leave it at home! Like you, the only numbers I know are the ones I memorized before cell phones. I sometimes miss not being accessible at all times. It’s hard seeing couples at dinner and one person is on the phone or texting. It’s funny how communication technology has only made face to face communication more scarce…

    http://www.wutevs.wordpress.com

    • losemyway says:

      I like being accessible at all times, but I don’t always feel compelled to answer my phone or respond to a text right away.

    • Nora says:

      What I find interesting is that cell phones have eliminated knowledge of manners. Manners include not allowing someone/thing to interrupt a conversation you are in. To me that means that when you are conversing with someone face to face, eating a meal with someone, you do not allow another to come into the scene and interrupt your conversation / time with the person you are currently with.

  7. sunkenbalcony says:

    not all hope is lost! you can certainly conquer your phone addiction. 🙂 I’m cutting my phone service off in a month’s notice because I want to challenge myself. I too carry around a planner and print out calendars for organizational purposes. I’ve also become a bit of a hermit so now I will be forced to socialize with people if I have to ask for directions or anything!

  8. asad123 says:

    It really bothers me when I hear a cell phone at my masjid. I imagine churches and synagogues have this problem too. I find it hard to focus on God, the soul, and heaven when I hear a cell phone.

  9. Mama Tortoise says:

    Great post! I’m one of the last hold-outs to own a cell phone. Friends and family think I’m nuts. And, exactly as you say, they wonder how I can possibly live my life without it. Well, I do. And except for the odd occasion (let’s say twice a year), I don’t feel that I’m at a disadvantage for not having a phone. And I’m especially happy to not have the bill that a phone comes with!

  10. feycat says:

    Great post, but really, what is the difference between losing your phone and losing your planner? Will going back 5 years into the past and lugging a planner around (No, I do not miss my Dayrunner!) really make you less dependant? It just puts your life in a different “device,” one that is no longer digital and full of convenient abilities. I don’t understand how this actually changes much.

    • losemyway says:

      Maybe its the idea that I wouldn’t constantly be checking my planner for updates. My planner can’t receive calls or distract me when I’m talking to people.

    • Greg says:

      Someone stole my brief case a couple of years ago and with it my planner and I was absolutely lost. None of the info in a planner is backed up, so if its gone its gone.

      The phone as PDA not only has the convenience being able to do a search for something, but everything is backed up. So if it is stolen it would be darned annoying, but I won’t miss any appointments.

    • poverty_dieter says:

      The author’s cell phone also holds tons of photos that aren’t stored anywhere else.

      Another difference between cells and planners: People don’t randomly interrupt others to look down at their planners mid-conversation or mid-event because its pages sent them a message from a friend.

      Get it?

  11. Veronica Twizzler says:

    I can barely remember my own cellphone number now with the “bump it” app that allows you to exchange phone numbers, email addy’s, etc by just bumping fists while holding your phone. The reason we rely on it so much is because it’s become our main means of socializing with friends and family around the world. Like everyone is in our back pocket, right where we want them. I like having people that close 🙂

  12. Justin says:

    I like this post. You point out the downside of cell phone use without bashing people or being a grump. That’s hard to do.

    I had a cell phone for about six years and I used to be dependant upon saved numbers, sending text messages, et cetera. In early 2009 I decided I needed to start memorizing phone numbers. Then I canceled text messaging. Then in the summer I *GASP* got rid of it altogether. Our landline has unlimited minutes for about the same price as a basic cell phone plan. I don’t miss poorly spelled text messages. I always carry change in my wallet in case I have to use a pay phone. I don’t miss having one at all and I don’t want one again.

  13. djwills says:

    Cell phones are becoming a little addicting. Because it can do so much, people are starting to multitask more and more. I think it cripples us from being able to give all of our focus on one activity because we are always thinking about what we have to do next. I think I’ll be following your lead and buying me a little memo pad to break my addiction from my phone.

  14. batikmania says:

    My phone is not a very sophisticated one, but I just simply love it. I bring it anywhere, anytime. Maybe I am a cell-addict already. Not good, uh? Well… ya, maybe I have to detach myself from my phone too, sometimes. (but I can’t think of being “far” from it)

  15. fisher26 says:

    I wouldnt say I am dependent on my phone. I have left it at home on many occasions and when I looked at it there were, yep, NO missed calls or messages.

  16. SKhodell says:

    I’m not so dependent on my phone. To be honest, I mainly use it for texting/tweeting/facebook. I rarely call anyone unless it’s an emergency. I probably play brickbreaker more than I call people.

  17. Michael Horn says:

    I only text for quick, easy information. I rarely ever use it to socialize. I use email more than any other form of digital communication. And when I do make phone calls, there’s usually a reason for it. I don’t do it to ‘just chat’ or ‘see what is up’. I use it for a reason. As for my schedule, I use 2 things: a small notebook in my back left pocket that goes everywhere with me and my wall calender. I try to keep those things fairly synchronized and for everything else, I write little reminder notes to myself on my desk. The only time I use my phone for notes or reminders is when there is no paper or pen nearby. And if I put it in my phone, I will surely forget it. It’s just air.

  18. Jessica @ j-wood photography says:

    Ah, cellphones. What would we do without them? Probably have many face-to-face conversations. I have a love/hate relationship with my phone and texting. I’d rather talk on the phone than text. There’s no emotion (other than CAPITALS and !!!!!s) through texting. Oh well. For a while, I was pretty religious on checking my phone for a text or a missed call. Now, if it happens, it happens.

    Great post though! You write really well and its an easy read.

  19. SRQPIX says:

    As a person that collects cell phones (yes I have given away some of them to those in need) I enjoyed this post. I can’t even think of leaving the house without one. I look forward to the first implants (which will be happening very soon).

  20. dweebcentric says:

    I notice people on the train always have their noses buried in their phones – texting, making calls, reading emails, playing games. Whatever. The obsession is with any mode of contact and distraction they can get through that little device. It’s rather depressing.

    On a another note, it’s become harder to avoid contact with people. You know your friend has a phone. Can check a Facebook page. Send an email. A text. Whatever. Unless you have the rare defiance of not owning a cell phone or never having bought into the social network sites, or whatever, it tends to be a point of contention among people who now demand instant access to all social points of contact.

  21. metanoia says:

    We are technophiles… technology has become our master, instead of remaining our slave. Sad thing. What do you see as a way out?

    I would encourage you to read Neil Postman’s “Technopoly: The Surrender of a Culture to Technology” Very insightful and well written book on why we have reached this level.

    Thanks for raising awareness.

    • Charlotte says:

      Great post, losemyway.

      And sadly, yes, we are technophiles. good word.

      I don’t want to be a slave to anything and began withdrawing several months ago. Plan to buy a throw away for road travel emergencies only when my contract is up next month.

  22. sheritrice says:

    I work in the cell phone industry, and although I must say I love new technology, cell phones are getting a little out of hand. It used to be so easy to walk into a cellular store and pick out a phone – all you needed to know was what color you wanted, since they all did the same thing! Now people deliberate for hours, if not days, over what color, what size keyboard and screen, and whether or not their wife will accept their justification for spending $200 on a gadget! Nice observations!

    I write a blog on here as well. Check it out if you’d like, http://www.commissionbased.wordpress.com. Happy Reading!

  23. Cate says:

    Cell phones make sense in developing countries with little telecommunication infrastructure. But in developed countries… they have become annoying and like you said an addiction.

  24. meeshelleneal says:

    What amazing timing! My cell phone JUST kicked the bucket and after three calls to the tech department followed by a sourly disappointing conversation with the insurance company I now find myself entirely without, for the moment at least.

    It is funny how stressed I am with the weekend coming up and people not being able to get a hold of me very easily, but really, what’s the problem? So I miss a party or two – they should have invited me sooner.

    Have you noticed the lack of planning now-a-days? When I was younger we had to figure out where we’d meet, at what time, and have a secondary location for people who might arrive late.
    Now it’s “Meet me in the vicinity and we’ll call to locate each other.”

    I could go on and on but you’ve said most of it already.

  25. tangyorangesour says:

    It’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it, but having said that most of your points only relate to your inability to enjoy the level of comfort and rant about how life would have been in the past.

    Cell-phone etiquette’s is only a projection of a person. If a person is oblivious of its surrounding and choose to endorse in activities causing discomfort for others as answering/texting in a meeting only depicts one character.

    To stop exercising one’s mind and pointing fingers as to how cell-phones address book has diminished our memory capabilities is simply ludicrous.

    There are different set of phones catering to different needs. Yet you choose to pick one filled with functions which you hardly will use and then be unhappy of having them. Doesn’t seem like you know what you are getting into.

    We pledge to save the planet by not chopping unnecessary tree’s but yet again just because technology or the lack of knowledge in using it effectively you join a brigade that in a sense adds to the pulp usage consumer base.

    The only epidemic is the notion of not knowing what to do with technology rather than letting one’s insecurity be addressed.

    • losemyway says:

      Thanks for sharing your opinion.

      I will say that I don’t think address books diminish memory capabilities. It’s just sad that we don’t even take the time to look at people’s numbers, let along memorize them anymore.

      Is it even possible to get phones nowadays without a hundred functions? I know that in Japan, where I currently live, it is impossible to get just a basic model.

      And I’m pretty sure that the amount of fossil fuels and non-recyclable materials used to make a cell phone is equivalent to the damage done by cutting down trees to make a planner.

  26. bradshimomura says:

    Wow, well said! Thanks for the reminder of simpler times. A friend of mine challenges me to “unplug” at least once a month by turning the cell phone off and leaving in a drawer for a 24 hour period. It is really refreshing to do!

  27. litastarr says:

    This was an entertaining blog and I must agree with you fully. I always find it really depressing that I don’t even have my best friend’s phone number memorized because of cellphones. The only non-immediate-family member’s phone numbers I happen to have memorized are those that I only talked to using a house phone back in middle school before I, myself, had my own personal cellphone. It’s amazing how technology dependent we are. Good luck staying away!

    • Charlotte says:

      I began making myself use “real” phone numbers again several months ago. It’s truly liberating. And now I can pass on those numbers to others when they ask and can use the landlines (which are sometimes clearer) when I need to. Love it.

  28. karenstuebing says:

    It’s about time somebody addressed this issue. Great post.

    What bothers me the most is people talking on cells and driving. Erratically. Not looking before they pull into traffic. Because whatever they are talking about is much more important than having actual control over your vehicle.

    I’ve gotten used to the supermarket syndrome. You know, have to call home and relate every item on sale that day.

    I forgot my cell phone in my jeans pocket and I washed them and it. I was hysterical. Everyone I knew was on there. As you said, who knows anybody’s number any more.

    I actually took it apart and tried to let it dry out. Didn’t work. It took months to rebuild that contact list. I’m much more careful now. I admit I’m powerless over my cell phone. Good luck to you!

  29. poverty_dieter says:

    Amen! I agree with you 100%. Cell phones are designed to give human beings better communication with each other, but I notice that all they do is train people to have limited attention spans. They interrupt communication instead of fostering it. There are people at my job who are majorly unproductive and inefficient, because they only hear a part of every conversation that happens throughout the day. They’re always staring at their phones and half listening or reading emails. Grrrrrrr!

  30. mct88 says:

    When I was in college at times I would purposely leave my phone to make sure I wasn’t getting too addicted. I would do it several times during the semester.

    At times, I will leave my phone in my car while I’m at work and just have it with me during lunch. Only very important have my work number and if they need to contact me do it via email or call my work number. Or I will leave my phone when I run errands for work and go to lunch. It all depends.

    The “wake-up call” came when I went on a cruise and purposely did not get a international plan so I could fully enjoy my vacation. It was weird but it felt good not to have to keep in contact with “your world of people” The only difficult part was getting in contact with other friends. You would either hope you would run into each other or actually plan for a time and place to meet and hang out.

  31. Cy Quick says:

    The cell phone is a mega-boon on the long-distance coach to advise people at the destination of any delay, or arrange a rendezvous at the coffee shop.

    At first (1999) I used my brain-zapper aka mobile briefly, in fear of brain cancer. But as I realised that my three-score-and-ten years allotment is up soon (September) I should rejoice. It is a good way to go. People will think I was intelligent.

    Cy Quick at sumpnado.wordpress.com

  32. joyfullyoutlandish says:

    I think your goal of “Detaching” yourself from your cell phone is a noble one. I wish you much success. I also appreciate your commentary on this issue as it is an important and distressing one. My husband and I have very low-tech phones. My current phone is from 2005 and does not have a camera or any of that other stuff. I think they made phones better then- they lasted longer.

    We have even considered going back to just a standard land line. The idea that people should be reachable at all times is simply ridiculous.

    • losemyway says:

      Since I live in Japan, a land line is still really expensive! But good luck if you decide to go back to a land line yourself.

  33. Tiffany says:

    It’s crazy how these gadgets have such a stronghold on us! I remember days that I’ve forgotten my phone at home and ended up having a meltdown by the end of the day. Becoming less dependent will take lots of work for me.

  34. pen2sword says:

    That’s why my new goal is to have a pay-as-you-go phone like my dad’s, just for emergencies ONLY. I would say no phone at all, but once I get my driver’s license I’d want to have something in case.
    Plus, phones totally stole most of my friends. it’s like they forget that you can actually dial, and since I don’t text, they never talk to me.

    • Charlotte says:

      This is true. I think it’s just one of the sad myths of today’s “benefits” of better connecting people. Too often it’s a surface connecting that keeps us hidden from the real us. On a deep level, I think it brings more division (and insecurity) than unity. Which is sad.

  35. Jason says:

    I really admire your goal. It took me forever to finally get a cell phone, but I finally gave in to the peer pressure. Like you, though, I long for the days when people would just say where they’re going and when they’re planning to be there rather than keeping it on a minute-by-minute, TBA basis with texting and cell phone calls. And I think it is just a tad frightening that we hand so much of our short-term and long-term memory to gadgets rather than our brains.

  36. Colin L Beadon says:

    I wish I could buy a cell phone doing only did three things. Send or receive a call like an old fashioned phone, and show battery level.
    Nothing,nothing,nothing else do I want but that.

  37. Sherri says:

    I’m definitely addicted to my touch screen Palm Pre. I can see a huge differnce in my attachment to my cell phone since I recently upgraded from my Sprint phone that was barely a step above the Jitter bug.

    My family and friends would laugh at me when I took it out to use. It basically only made calls and I could text…albeit like Fred Flintstone, chipping away one letter at a time. It did have some internet access but the screen didn’t make it user friendly and it wasn’t part of my plan. Now, Oh EM Geee, I use it for everything. Multi-tasking, texting, facebooking, googling, etc. If I think I forgot or can’t immediately find it in my purse I stress and my heart palpitates. I did a short blog on this myself entitled Crack Berries http://sherrismiles.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/crack-berries/

    Next time you’re out to dinner look around and you will be amazed how many people are disconneted from their partners, families, and friends and are interacting more with their phones. Great blog!

  38. Maureen says:

    You make a great point!

    I’ve noticed lately how irritating it is when people answer a call or text while I’m talking to them–which makes me think I shouldn’t do it either. :/

    I’d take a cell phone over a bulky planner any day, but since my iPod has a calendar feature I’d be free to leave the phone in the car or at home while I’m at work. Maybe I’ll give that a try one of these days. It’d be nice to not be so accessible. 🙂

  39. mkittappa says:

    What makes me laugh is that California passed a law recently to make diving whilst talking on a cell phone illegal- They then had to pass another law about 10 months later to make texting on a cellphone whilst driving illegal, because technically you wouldn’t be breaking the talking on a phone law if you were texting and not actually talking!

  40. neurotype says:

    I think the last thing you mentioned is the worst–sacrificing real interactions to talk on a phone, really?!

    I finally picked up texting and it’s so convenient when people are at work…things have come to a point where talking on a phone is more intimate than some people are comfortable with.

    (No data plan or unlimited texting = no internet browsing, it’s pretty effective at keeping me in control outside of the house.)

  41. Gamermomma says:

    I can honestly say…no. I don’t call or receive calls when with other people because no one but my husband and my ILs have my number. It is for an emergency (I have small children, so I see it as a necessary evil when we are out without the kids). I do get an occasional text…but my phone is a Virgin Mobil so I still pay for minutes-they know it-so if they have something to say they call the landline (gasp!) and leave a message on the answering machine (double gasp!).

    Hell, even my voice mail on it says NOT to leave a vm because I don’t check it. Call the house phone. I don’t even remember my pin to check it…LOL

    And for the record…I have yelled at people that have answered their phones when they are out with me (especially in a restaurant) or otherwise visiting. I find it rude and if you have better things to do or people to talk to than hang out or talk with me…then why are you with me?

  42. The Gates of Lodore says:

    Remember the final episode of seinfeld? I think it was 1997 (?). Anyway, one of the “cultural observations” was how rude it is to make a personal call from a cell phone in a public place. Now I hear people making business calls while on the toilet in the airport.

  43. kaykay says:

    great post. now, everybody will say that (cuz it is) and behave exactly the same with their phones. what annoys me is how people do indeed no more respect the people AROUND them, this includes inside families, where teens are sitting at the breakfast table, texting and mum tweets while dad is reading his emails. the portability of our little communication center makes it so easy to be forever present online and with those far away, that we forget how to properly communicate and focus when we are together.

  44. goingalpha says:

    SERIOUSLY!! 😀 love it! 🙂
    i LOVE my cell a little too much.
    i love my ipod more though.
    cant wait to combine the two when verizon gets the iphone!! 😀 😀 😀 haha:)

  45. truthspew says:

    Believe it or not I’m one that understands cell phones as being an item that one needs, not that one has to have or want.

    As a result, when I don’t need to do so I don’t carry a cell phone. In fact only time I have a cell phone is when jobs require it. Otherwise I’m an email guy. Email me and you’ll get a response.

    In fact I’m anxiously awaiting the build-out of Clear’s network in my city. That way I can take the laptop with me anywhere and be connected.

  46. maasmith7 says:

    I agree with you 100%. I’m nearly 22 years old and have never had a cell phone. Everything I’ve heard about them from my friends has only convinced me further that I don’t need one. They scare me, quite honestly. I also get so tired of hearing everyone brag about all the wonderful things their phone can do. I’m tired of everyone thinking I must live in a cave because I don’t have a phone.

  47. lifeaftereighty says:

    I’m on my 5th cell phone … it’s a Jitterbug (a little less intimidating than the other four) and all five of them were for emergency only. They are a poor excuse for a line phone, not reliable, patchy, awful voice quality BUT when you’re desperate, they’re wonderful.

    You can afford to miss your plane.

  48. xiaohui says:

    Haha, great post, whacks all the nails on the head. I got my first phone at 17, and my brother got his when he was only 12. I have friends who use their first phones at 6 or 7. It’s unbelievable how a hp has transformed from being a tool to a toy for so many of us. I still take pride in that fact that I’m content with just SMS and Call functions on my phone, although a camera, radio and mp3 would be nice. Doesn’t change the fact that my hp IS my organiser, and only organiser at that. Thanks for the reminder.

  49. Lulu says:

    cell phones are killing sometimes. My students do not focus on lessons,just because they want to update their statuses on facebook via cell phones.
    Cell phones can be good and bad. But I feel like we are being controlled by technology.

  50. kingdiz55 says:

    I got my first phone when I was in grade six. (only a few years back) Though I never overused it even being in the texting capital of the world. I always found prepaid to be too much 😛

  51. Paolo Baluyot says:

    I “ditched owning” a phone for two years and it felt great!

    By “ditching to own a phone”, I meant that I told my parents not to buy me a phone at all, even though they badly want me to have one. They even wanted me to have the latest models out there!

    It felt great because when I go to school each day, most of my friends actually appreciate that I do not carry a phone because it’s just with me that they are able to tell stories EASILY, and not having to press a number of keys. They what they told me. hahaha.

    ^_^

  52. The Alchemist says:

    I have lost my cell phone many times and nothing ever really happened. I bought another one again. Sent out hundreds of e mails to everyone and notred down their numbers. But life went on. I did not lose any of my appointments, schedules and those few really close friends.

    So, I am just trying to say that cell phone is no big deal. In its absence we come to know that life is just as normal as it was, or maybe better because like you said we start noticing real people and touch base with real life w/o virtual aid 🙂

    Great Post! Congrats for being freshly pressed and I am glad you have started realising that cell phones are really no big deal 🙂

  53. graduating2soon says:

    HI. My name is [my name] and there’s a reason why cell phones were created: to make communication easier and more available. Yes, I agree that smart phones, while offering many advantages and useful tools, offer cripple and rot brains with useless and pointless applications.

    Yes, since Socrates’ concerns over the technology of the written word, there is always a resounding voice, like this blogger here, that is against new technologies. Yet they always win, and the pointless applications slowly weed themselves out.

    Sure, new communications technologies lower our reliance on memory but with that small sacrifice comes so many advantages and positives that they outweigh the negatives. How useful is it to have a smart phone when doing a gig at a bar show in Boston when you’ve never been to Beantown before and forgot to MapQuest directions when you were home on a computer? How great is it to have a phone book that can house endless amounts of names and phone numbers (and addresses, notes, etc.) that you can access on the spot?

    Christ…this is what I get with a communications major and $210,000 of high-prices education.

  54. IAFN says:

    I dropped my cell in the toilet tonight while I was tussling with my three year old. I screamed and the three year old looked at me like WTH??
    WHY I had it in my hands is the BETTER question. The phone is TOAST and I deserve it!

  55. nicolerigets says:

    I have never experienced more freedom than since I got rid of my cell phone. The release took one week and I discovered there is nothing more important to me than life active and happening in the moment.

    I’d admire you for your decision to quit the (often obnoxious) cell phone habit.

    Two of my friends recently quit: we felt we were deluded into believing we couldn’t live without it. Hah!

  56. Piscean says:

    Hi good post. Bought a very basic phone. Just to receive calls. But I do keep myself up to date with the technology. It is an amazing invention. Brought people a lot closer but also annoying at times, when u get unsolicited calls.

  57. Cheryl McNulty says:

    Wow, I was just thinking about this whole thing myself. i never liked the idea of carrying around a cell phone with me 24/7. I have a pay as you go phone and it’s just enough. Recently, I just started this real estate job, and a cell phone is a real estate person’s friend. Even though I know I will probably have to upgrade, I am dragging it out as the phone I have now is still doing what I need it to do. I have a voice mail at the office and I can check that if I need to. I think I would go nuts if my phone vibrated or rang every 5 minutes. This way (voice mail or e-mail), i feel i am still in control and I am not interrupted. I hate phones!!! 🙂

  58. Songbird says:

    lol!! I remember the first cell phone I saw was my father’s back then it was called a “car phone” and it came with a huge battery type of devise you had to carry with it- so not really a “mobile” version…lol

  59. Paul / Jen Dare says:

    This is great and congrats on making it to Freshly Pressed!

    I wrote a bit about people not hanging up when they were in face to face interactions with someone here: http://darefamily.wordpress.com/2010/03/03/hang-up-already/

    I also dropped a hand held device in the toilet once. One of those fancy two-way pagers. I flushed it too. Don’t ask. 🙂

    I agree, we need to use common sense. Tools are great, technological advancement is fine, but we have to keep things at bay. Things I hate to see regarding cell phones/hand helds:

    ~A Dad, out to dinner with his family, on the phone the whole time.
    ~A daughter and Mom shopping and the daughter hunched over her screen, texting the whole time.
    ~Children, very young[!] running around with a handheld, playing a game or something, not even willing or able to look someone in the eye when they speak to them.

    every new advancement comes with new temptations to abuse.

  60. Anna says:

    I searched long and hard to find a simple phone that does only calls and messages. I have found one. It does other things too – barely – but I don’t bother about that. It was the cheapest phone on the market and they will probably not exist for very long, so I better stack up 🙂 I love my agenda (that fits in all bags) with its post-it-stickers and messy, lived in look. Seriously, I see what you’re saying, and I hate it when somebody’s phone takes precedence in a talk/meeting with me…so rude! And usually it’s not even important. I hate it when people expect me to be constantly available – even on the loo? And I hate it when vile ring-signals disturb the peace at a nice restaurant, during a movie or whatever.
    I say; get a life…start smelling the flowers, lie on the grass and watch the trees.

  61. naughtynappies says:

    Thank you for the post. I find myself wanting to detach from my blackberry more and more these days, and hopefully I will and start carrying an organizer notebook again one day.

  62. sleepinginthewoods says:

    Very interesting post, I agree on enverything. And good luck for your anti-cell phone goal! I’m aalmost there too, I use the cell phone only in case of real emergence!

  63. agatha82 says:

    Great post! I have a mobile but I only use it to text people if I am running late and that’s it so I am pleased I’ve not succumbed further (and no, I am not 90 years old…lol)
    What really irks me are the people who chat on their phones LOUDLY ugh! – Please SHUT UP! The rest of the human population isn’t interested in hearing about your life.
    Personally, I’d go back to a time before they were invented…sigh

  64. S. says:

    The best way to distance yourself from cellphone addiction: get a phone that has basically no functions. I have a b/w Nokia that doesn’t even have a calendar (inconvenient sometimes…) so my phone is more of a clock than a means of communication. I only constantly check it if I am expecting a call. I spend about $15 a month on the service.

    Now, computer addiction…. that’s another story. My life’s in there! 😛 But it never travels with me, unfortunately.

  65. Olivia says:

    Congratulations.. your post appears in freshly pressed.. thats where I picked it from..
    Very precisely picked up topic and post.. and a very cool website..
    Well.. I never bought this evil till about 5 years back- would you believe it? I always thought that way my bosses wont be able to intrude in my life after work..
    I have a cell- and a very basic one..
    And you are just right about every word..
    Cheers..!!

  66. Bambi Crackhead says:

    I myself am the exception I guess, I do freak out though when I leave my phone at home, but more for those safety reasons that if there’s an emergency I can’t call anyone.
    but I think it’s really refreshing that I am not alone with this! so best luck with your “recovery” 😉

  67. Susan J. Elliott says:

    I make a conscious effort to not let the cell phone rule my life. A ringing phone is a request, not a command. I don’t want people to think they can reach me 24/7. Sometimes I leave it in my car all weekend. I let my home phone go to voice mail.

    The other day I saw a young woman in a Hansom cab in Central Park yakking on the phone. 1) she paid a lot of money for that ride and 2) she was missing the information the driver could give her about what she was seeing. Dumb.

    When I see people just ignoring their surroundings because they are always on cell phones I think it’s not only dangerous but they’re missing out on fabulous thing.

    When they have a great experience instead of savoring it and telling everyone later, they immediately phone someone. All goings ons go on externally. They are cutting short their opportunities to experience and savor that experience.

    I have lost my cell phone so often that people never ever expect a call or text back. They know I’m probably not even within ear shot of my phone. And most of the time they’re right. You go around once and I don’t want to go around on a cell phone missing the entirety of my life.

  68. thatrichardlopez says:

    Even when I *had* one I didn’t think so much of it. I’ll gladly say that I did get a kick out using the camera-function when I worked at a factory since it let me amuse myself as some sort of secret/amateur photographer, but convenience is hardly anything to dismiss. But life lived out of permanent convenience (Does that make sense?) is hardly life: it’s a chore well-managed. And who wants to constantly manage when at the end of your life you are going to die? How is *that* worth managing? Especially, I think, if you consider the very, very simple fact that the better you simply manage, the more you simply manage, the less there is any risk or surprise. To each their own, I’d say only a coward would want that.

    Thanks for saying this. Cheers.

  69. Ivan Harris Sr says:

    Losemyway,

    You did a very good job with this post. You are very correct when you say that this is a problem. More & more people are beginning to understand that Radiation from cell phones is very serious for us & especially our children. We have been kept in the dark about a lot of the dangers from Cell phones & other devices as well. Thanks for doing your part to shed light on this disturbing problem.

    Concerned About Your Health,
    Ivan Harris, Sr. “The Value Creator”
    http://budurl.com/emfprotectionforyou

  70. barrymanana says:

    The really annoying thing about having to listen to someone chatting on a mobile/cell phone is that you can’t hear the other half of the conversation – do the decent thing and put it on speaker phone!!!

  71. Chrono says:

    Huh? Your phone saves you time by keeping track of things you don’t need to remember. But you want to spend more time using pen and paper, etc…why?

    It also keep you connected to people and information, and it does a great job. If you don’t like at least the social part…why not spend more time with people who do not use phones in general?

    Why torture yourself by forming a relationship that fulfills many needs for you, and then trying to control that relationship by rejecting some of the benefits? Why would you move your relationships backwards?

    Do you also do this with the people in your life?

  72. Ivan Harris Sr says:

    Here’s the reality, no one is going to give up their cell phone right? Why? because today we need them. If traveling in a very rural area you need a way to communicate with others if your car breaks down . . . etc So, since we know we’re not giving up our phones or other technology; just protect yourself while you use them.

    Take care,

    Ivan Harris, Sr. “The Value Creator”
    http://budurl.com/emfprotectionforyou

  73. Chrono says:

    Oh, I had to re-read your post. I see now. Your cell-phone is ‘irreplaceable’ and you’ve become so dependent on it “you wouldn’t be able to function” if you didn’t have it.

    In other words, you’re not a very flexible person. You adapt to things over a long period of time, and then if thing change, it’s going to take you a long period of time to adapt again.

    I suppose that’s human. But still not a reason to be all controlling and panicky. Probably this is an ‘entertaining’ post at best. I think my analysis entertains me a lot more. Hahahahaha…

    • losemyway says:

      Well, the post was meant to be entertaining, so your analysis was a bit heavy. But whatever makes you happy is cool with me.

      And actually, I am a flexible person, which is probably why I feel frustrated that I’m not at all flexible when it comes to my cell phone.

  74. Ivan Harris Sr says:

    I don’t get it. Are you making a joke?
    Because I’m not panicking about anything just stating the facts about people, their cell phones and other technology. It is a very serious matter.

    Ivan

  75. upstreamer says:

    good thoughts on what i agree is an international oddity. i wondering what kinds of stats exist on different nationalities and cell their phone-itis…
    upstreamer

  76. goldenpast says:

    A very interesting post!
    “Have you ever noticed that cell phones take top priority in our lives? ”
    ALL THE TIME!
    it’s unreal how much importance cellphones have in daily lives of teenagers, and adults.

  77. Nora says:

    I’m in between right now of having had a cell phone and looking at cell phones on the market today. I want an ereader and a digital camera with zoom and a GPS. Wanting all 3 of these gadgets and knowing I can get them on a smart phone as well as full internet and emailing! Ugh! As well as I only have local phone calling on my landline. Also, I just got back from three months in India and without a cell phone I would have been in trouble many a time without having that phone accessible to me. I love to travel and want an unlocked international phone as another feature also! Temptation looms humongous and dark in front of me and above my head to become a toting smartphone user , a cell phone user once again!

  78. emma says:

    Colossians 2:10 ” I have been made complete in Christ….”

    Colossians 2:12,13 ” I have buried, raised, and made alive with Christ.”

  79. Sean Bailey says:

    Great post! I’m so dependent on my phone and I haven’t even upgraded to a smart phone yet! (Soon.. soon). I’m completely dependent on it still and like you I never remember anyone’s numbers, so if I’m without my phone and in an emergency situation, I’m kind of doomed.

    • losemyway says:

      I feel a little out of the loop. Everyone keeps mentioning smart phones, but I have to admit that I have no real idea what that means!

      I live in Japan, so I’m not up with American cell phone trends.

  80. teganor says:

    For an 18 year old, I don’t use my phone at all save for a few calls to up date my dad on something that I’m doing. No text messages. I have a prepaid cell because I use it so little. But…I make up for all of that with internet addiction. 😦

  81. michaeleriksson says:

    I find that people (at least in the past) gave even their normal land-line an undue weight. For instance, why should anyone want to have a phone next to the bed? Yes, OK, there may be the odd nightly emergency when one has to jump out of bed and run to the hospital to check on a car-crash victim; however, this is extremely rare outside of fiction. It has certainly never happened to me, nor anyone whose house I was in at the time (mother or father when I was younger, girl-friends when older); and even the day-time score amounts to a total of, IIRC, one case in 35 years. In contrast, the risk that someone with another daily rythm (or from another time zone) calls with a non-urgent message at the wrong time is considerable.

    Speaking for myself: I bought my first cell in 1995 or 1996, but have not owned one for the last three years—and probably have a post-2000 total of less than four years as a cell owner. I even often have my land-line phone turned off (when sleeping, wanting to do this-or-that without interuption, or, on occasion, when having forgot to turn it on again).

    • sittingpugs says:

      I like your first paragraph. I think only characters in films need to have a phone by their bed. The house I spent most of my childhood in had a phone in the master bathroom.

      People like to have their bases covered. Depending on how many floors a house have, owners like to have a phone on each floor. Sometimes two. One in the kitchen, one in the den/office, one in a hallway, and one in a bedroom (or each bedroom).

  82. Ancilla Irwan says:

    might be a good idea to start to push ourselves to not contact or be contacted by others through mobile phones for let say two days in a three-month-period.

    i had experience, when i was really got hectic with daily routines, and it was so nice 🙂

  83. 80 gigabyte apple ipod classic says:

    We know that would come, didn’t we. There is a new type of cell phone coming out every month with different features and a different payment plan. With that we now have iPods, iPhones, iPad…there is no end to it. Isn’t technology wonderful!

  84. Eugene says:

    Interesting post. I think about role of cell phones in our life. Today people spend a lot of time with thirs cell phones and become nervious when phone stay in home, for example.
    We become phone-dependent 😦
    I can’t say that is very bad, but not good.
    Remeber, it’s only a phone, a piece of plastic with hi-tech elements in it.

  85. starrypawz says:

    I’m a 17 year old who is for the most part unwillingly married to my phone now. I remember when phones started coming more widespread and even I think a few people when I was in year 5 and 6 owning them.

    I believe my first phone came into my possession a year or two into secondary school, the first one was a second hand grey screen model that broke, it was then replaced by a nicer phone that went missing/stolen, then one that ended up in the washing machine by accident the phone after that lasted me until 08 (was pretty much indestructible it survived going into a bucket of disinfectant containing water) when it finally got replaced by a newer phone.

    None of my phones have been particuarly advanced, they’re nearly always the cheapest available ones on pay as you go that come with a camera.

    Until I started college in 08 my phone wasn’t really used that much, it came with me to school (until I left a year early) and also came with me to Guides (as a part of the ‘pocket pack’ you had to bring it was ‘phone or change for a payphone’ you can guess what popped up more) but I never used it that much.

    Now I’m in college it’s on nearly all the time. It’s still more of a case of ‘people ring me more than I ring/text them’ and my mum once freaked out to no end that one day I accidently left it on silent on the way home and she rang me about 20 times. (so much so she rang my friend’s parents to see if I was with her)

    I generally do not mind not having my phone around with me all the time (just as long as I have a rough idea where I left it)

    I’m someone who could probabaly manage without a mobile, I do not have much of a social life and am quite content with not having an ‘all the bells and whistles’ model of phone. Calls texts and a camera is fine with me.

    I remember though whilst in school with my phones predecessor (which had no camera) someone was quite shocked when I bascially said ‘I’ve had this phone a few years and intend to keep it until it stops working’ they were going ‘oh but it’ll be so out of date!’

    Frankly I don’t care. I know someone who seems to constantly upgrade their phone (they’re on contract) but with me as long is it works I’ll keep a hold of it.

  86. youvejustbeenconzified says:

    Good point. I’ve mused on some of these things myself. Fortunately I’m not organised enough to make use of all the organisational wonders that modern phones offer.

    But, isn’t this divorce with your loved one a kind of fear of the reality that without your phone you’re nothing? Yeah! Right, and this is what scares us so much that we rely on a piece of plastic and metal with wires and LCD etc. to run our lives. Think of the times when there’s a panic if someone doesn’t answer their phone and the automatic ‘why don’t they answer their phone’; as if the incident were some form of social suicide.

    Try as we might to drag ourselves away from technology it’s going to wrap us up and leave us more and more vunerable as the years go on!

  87. Mohit says:

    Too good wrte up , i am totaly agree with as i’m too cell phone savvy and want to get rid of mobile as now i wannt peace

  88. sittingpugs says:

    I like this post very, very much. Thought-provoking. I particularly enjoy these two segments:

    But, having a wide variety of functions is not actually the inherent problem with today’s cell phones. The problem is the power that people have given their phones. And there are two kinds of power: communication and organization.

    Have you ever noticed that cell phones take top priority in our lives? Don‘t try to argue with me about this. You are simply in denial about the truth of the situation. Think back to the last month. I am willing to bet that at least once you have answered a call or a text while in the middle of a conversation with a real life person. And even if you took the higher road by not answering or responding, you definitely know who called or texted you because you checked the caller ID. Or maybe you panicked because, horror of all horrors, you left your phone at home. Do you stress out all day and worry that people won‘t be able to get a hold of you? I always rush home and immediately check my phone for all the calls and messages I must have missed. Yeah, more often than not, it adds up to a whopping zero. I am definitely not as popular as I like to believe that I am.

    I’ve used fewer than half a dozen cell phones in my life. Like you, the first “one” was usually loaned to me when I went was away from home for more than an hour. I used my own cell phone most often during college (early 21st century), making and receiving calls. Though I use my current phone to take pictures, I don’t send them anywhere; I don’t connect to the net or play games. It’s not a smart phone either.

    I still view it as an in-case-of-emergency device. I’ve virtually stopped calling friends just to say hi. On the flip-side of the caller being able to return messages or calls, which is a huge convenience, other people are quick to worry if the person they’re trying to reach is not answering the cell, is not responding to text, is not on AIM or MSN or Facebook or gchat.

    What if the phone is charging, what if the person is asleep, what if the phone is turned off? Then again, the lack of response in a timely fashion could actually be a sign of something serious, that something could be wrong.

  89. Toothpic says:

    This post really made me think. I am slighty addicted to my cellphone and I am always checking it. Last night I turned it off and completely focused on everybody at the party last night. it was SOOO liberating

  90. 4initalia says:

    I am one of three people over the age of nine in this country who don’t have a cell phone. The other two are my husband and son.

    When we lived in Italy, we had them; on the first day of school my kids were forty-five minutes late coming back on the bus and suddenly it seemed like a great idea.

    “Where are you??” and “I’m in the supermarket” sounds a lot cooler in Italian, but that’s what most cell phone conversations are about, in any language.

    Last night, we went to a free concert in downtown Denver. Five for Fighting. We were twenty feet from the band, in a crowd of healthy, happy people. The band sounded great, but most of the people, most of the time, were playing with their cell phones.

    Checking aps, taking a million photos…of each other. There’s a live band, a big crowd, and everybody was maniacally focused on their phones.

    Night of the Living Dead? Zombies? The undead have a huge advantage over real people: they don’t need to recharge their elctronics.

    Thanks for a great post – you’re not the only one who’s creeped out by this!!

    4initalia.wordpress.com.

  91. Anakin says:

    I’m a cell phone addict… D: I’ve been working on becoming less addicted. But for me, I check and see who’s texting or calling, in case it’s my parents, or other adults who need to get in contact with me. If it’s my friends, I’ll leave it until I”m not with people anymore. But I’ll come to Cell Phone Addicts Anonymous with you. 🙂

  92. brianandalison2010 says:

    Zack Morris… so awesome…I remember when I had one of those phones. Now if that dosn’t start to date a person , what does. I’m just laughing at myslef as I think of when I used that thing… it was like a brick being held agaist the head. Man… those where the days. Thanks for the post, I too am and addict, I think I have gone even the next step, as not only is there the phone calls that I wait for, it’s now the email sound of the “(bing) you have mail” tone on the thing that I crave. Is there hope for me, or have I dropped over the edge?! :~)
    Cheers,

    Brian

  93. Jen says:

    Haha. I don’t have my cellphone attached to my hip at all times, but this does ring true. I’m an internet addict, so I definitely use that part of my phone… and currently I don’t have a video camera or a digital camera so I have resorted to using my phone for those purposes as well.

    The downside is I can’t take pictures or videos of myself like I need to for my job and learning.

    I hardly ever use it for calling people.

  94. ashleylharnett says:

    Technological dependance is not a bad thing, so long as one does not loose the ability to function without the technology. The attitude inspired by frequent use of technology like mobile phones is not a negative one, I am often criticised for the amount I use my phone to access the web, send and receive emails, take photos etc; this does not change the fact that I think mobile phones, with all of the associated gadgetry are a boom to our information world, with a smart-phone one can have the news about everything in the world beamed literally into the palm of one’s hand – how can that be bad?

    Yes, I agree, it is annoying when people answer a phone mid conversation with someone they can see – but have you ever considered that phone calls are just the same as having a person coming up to you in the street and demanding loudly and repetitively that you speak to them. If your best friend interrupted a conversation you were having in the street you’d hardly ignore them would you?

    • losemyway says:

      I think that you make a good point, but at least if my best friend were to come up to me in the street, I could include the person that I was already talking with in our conversation.

  95. David Spira says:

    I fail to see why it’s a problem that we can’t remember people’s phone numbers.

    It’s useless data.

    It’s not like storing my girlfriends number in my phone instead of memorizing it is going to impact the quality of our relationship.

    With regards to your issue of phone etiquette…

    There are obnoxious and impolite people all over the place, and they don’t need a phone to be obnoxious or impolite. Poor manners pre-date mobile phones.

    Finally, maybe the immediacy of communication has changed the norms of politeness. Norms do change, and it’s a good thing that they do.

    • losemyway says:

      Unfortunately, you are right and there are always going to be rude and obnoxious people no matter what technology we do or do not have.

      I wonder what your girlfriend would think if you told her that her phone number was just useless data to you? 😉

      • David Spira says:

        It’s a cute argument, but it’s beside the point. The digits that make up her phone number have just as little bearing on the quality of our relationship as her social security number, credit card numbers, or former student ID numbers.

        Our conversations, and the time we spend together are where the meaning actually comes from.

        Be honest with yourself. Do you really truly believe that a number that is randomly assigned by a telecom company is a deeply meaningful part of your personal relationships?

        And by the way, I asked. She doesn’t have my number memorized either. 😉

  96. scarsarestories says:

    :lol:, slawman

    Indeed, the joys of electronically mediated communication! I think all of this cell phone technology (the addition of web browsers, “apps for almost everything!”, etc.) is causing a decrease in face-to-face human interaction – the foundation of society, as we are social beings.

    Also a conundrum, though, as without the blogosphere, heavily connected to these devices now, I would not be able to get my message out – although I would certainly never type an entire blog post out on my iPhone!

    Important post, Cheers!
    scars

  97. onlyhem says:

    nice blog….i get the reality what my mobile can do with me.. we have to think about that what technology for us. In some way we are helpless without some instruments like mobile, computer, internet etc. this is such a bad sign. We have to think again about this…

    Thanks for sharing with us..

  98. Melissa says:

    That´s absolutely truth! We are so dependent, sometimes it scares me. Even knowing that people won´t call me, I get desperate if I don´t have my phone with me. And sometimes, when I loose a call because I´m in the bus or in class, I get desperate because I always feel I missed something really-important-that-will-change-my-life. Or course, most of times it´s just my mother.

  99. theboywhofoundfear says:

    this is so true… My iPhone has just become an extension of me! I don’t know what i’d do without it!!

  100. rhondabelle says:

    Great blog :o)

    I cancelled my phone contract last month. At the start of the month I was sad. Yes, as pathetic as it sounds, I was sad about the necessary loss of a luxury I could no longer afford. A month later I hardly even miss it.

    In the fall I might get a prepaid phone because I live in a very rural area and I don’t like being without some sort of communication during the winter on the off chance I hit some ice on the road and end up in the ditch. But then again, I might not get a prepaid; I don’t often drive alone anymore. We shall see.

    We’ve cut our cable for the summer too. I think if there wasn’t hockey on during the winter we’d live without that since 24 and Lost are done and I’ve got all the Criminal Minds on DVD.

    As for the internet I’m hardly on it at all now… I use it to listen to music and stalk facebook, but that’s about all. If I want to know the weather I’ll look outside and if I want to know how someone’s crops are growing I’ll go over to their farm and see for myself. I could just bring my Sirius into the house for good music selection, and I only stalk facebook for the drama, so I could really live without internet if I had to.

    And now I want to go camping and get away from the ‘finer’ things in life.

  101. Colin L Beadon says:

    What I hate most about cell phones, is certain people who use them and insist everybody traveling in buses,trains,or drinking in a pub, or bar, wants to know their business. And so talks at the top of their voices, to be certain everybody hears they have just made huge deals, or huge sexual conquests, or divorced their wives, or…. I could go on.

  102. scribblenpaint says:

    Never owned one. Never want to. I have no intention of being ‘on call’ for anyone, and it really annoys me when I’m having a conversation with someone and whoever rings is always more important than me. I think *that* is the height of rudeness.

  103. Liv says:

    Great post.

    I just recently got a cell phone, a simple little Net10 pay by the minute deal. I’d like to get a “nicer” phone- iPhone/ Smart Phone/ aka expensive phone. It shocks me how much some people pay each year just for a cell phone.

    I could get on fairly well without my phone. My macbook, on the other hand….. =|

  104. koshermuffin says:

    I loved your blog post! I have an iPhone and put nearly everything on it, but I wouldn’t say I am totally dependent on it. Sometime, I leave my phone in the other room just not to be bothered! I hate that people get upset when you don’t immediately respond to them. It’s so silly!

    And now, my ten year old cousin has a cell phone and she is constantly texting me. I think that at 10 years old, a cell phone is a little ridiculous. Especially one with texting enabled!

  105. dthanja says:

    …awesome post! I’ll add my two cents by saying I got my first one just last year…’because I was traveling’, I told myself, and for the most part, that was true. I was able to keep in touch with family and friends as I moved about. Lately though, wow… I am like you in that I have seriously questioned my phone’s existence and ‘raison d’etre’in my life. I have way too many apps(there, i said it-I own one!)and way fewer calls than I imagined I would at this stage. I definitely see the fewer calls…as a good thing! I long for the days of ‘face-to-face!

  106. beachblogger says:

    I soooooo agree with you. There’s nothing more insulting than sitting down to a dinner for two and having your date answer a call. They look shifty and apologise but it doesn’t make any difference. It’s just rude.

    I’ve resisted owning one myself for many years, till finally a friend thrust an old one upon me. It has no functions other than call and text, and I only turn it on when I’m on my way to meet someone. Otherwise it stays in my bag for emergencies, and that’s the way it’s going to stay. I have a $20 per top-up deal on my sim card which covers my needs.

    Frankly, with an answer machine at home to pick up important messages, and no pending emergencies, I don’t see why I should be available 24/7 for anyone.

    You’ll be surprised at how free you feel without it, and at how much cheaper life can be …

  107. Kristen Ferrell says:

    This evening my husband and I went to a friends wedding. Upon arriving, he realized that he had forgotten his precious mistress (his iphone) at home. We proceeded to have the first night out in years where he didn’t hop away to the corner to answer a call, text people while I was trying to talk to him, check his email or facebook while in a group of people, etc. It was wonderful beyond belief, and really opened my eyes to just how these little devices have invaded our lives and stamped out common social graces.

    I will be hiding his before we leave the house together from now on.
    🙂

  108. Persuasion says:

    The biggest curse of the cell phone era is the fact that it has led us to incorrectly prioritize our lives. We no longer prioritize people, things, and tasks by importance … we prioritize by who calls / texts us most recently or the latest notification that goes off on our phone …

  109. Peer Spektive says:

    After I lost (or maybe it was stolen) my cell phone some months ago I’ve bought the even cheapest and easiest cell phone I could get. I only can phone with it and send SMS. No camera, no internet, no additional functions. It’s the easy way to wean of the cell phone without any withdrawal symptoms. It prevents the cell phone cold turkey… 😉

  110. Kostas says:

    I’ll admit the darn things are addictive. With all the functionality these new devices have, it’s quite hard not to get pretty attached. I see what you mean about getting back to basics though, personal interaction is always better than a text message (though they come in handy too).

    • michaeleriksson says:

      Your comments points to an interesting division of cell-phone users, namely those who use it for contacts with others and those who use it as a tool, in and by itself, e.g. to surf the Internet,listen to music, or play games.

      As an aside, I find the claim “personal interaction is always better than a text message” to be patently wrong: Different people have different styles of communication and different situations benefit from different kinds of communication. Cf. e.g. http://www.aswedeingermany.de/50Humans/50NonRTvsRTCommunication.html

  111. Scary Girl says:

    Good luck with that.

    Here’s hoping your friends won’t wig out over you not answering. Never used to use my phone, now that I’m out more often and seeing more people I need to have it on me at all times. I get why (health problems, friends worry) but still…

    Pet hate of mine is people who leave a conversation to text or talk on the phone – er, hello, I’m right here, person on phone can wait. It’s like a Pavlovian thing, one beep/trill and they’re all BRB PHONE.

  112. autoidmart says:

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  113. Cell Guy says:

    I use my smartphone as a replacement for my PDA, which was a replacement of my Franklin Planner. Yeah I’m dependent, but if I lose my phone I’m better off now (I can view my agenda on my PC or the web) than I was if I lost my paper organizer.

    I went from paper to PDA’s back around 1998 and have not looked back. Now that same functionality is in a carrier subsidized phone, so that’s even a better deal to me. My cell phone is all of that now.

  114. HTC says:

    The very worst thing about cell phones is people using them to play music on loudspeaker on trains and busses. Its so annoying, I dont know why they cannot use their ear plugs.

  115. funny says:

    When you find yourself without a lighter there is no need to get upset, get i
    – Lightr. There are many websites that offer them for free
    and you can easily find lots of them. We showed him the laptop with the
    videos, he goes browsing the videos as everyone else is doing
    their own thing when he freaks.

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