Thursday, November 29, 2007

What did we do before cell phones?

I'm one of the last of the people I know to get a cell phone. I finally got one last June and honestly, if my company didn't pay for it I would probably still not have one. I haven't used it very often although it's been nice to have it when I did use it.

It's one of those super mulit-purpose phones that does everything but the dishes and vacuuming. It does e-mail from business, home, Yahoo and g-mail, surfs the intenet, organizes my calendar, keeps track of my address book, tells me who called and provides my with voice messages when people leave them, plays games, takes pictures, syncs with my GPS and computer and sends me reminders of things I need to do.

I say IT because I still don't know how to do all those things on my own. Occasionally one of the younger people in my office will stop by and give me a brief lesson on the finer points of cell phoning. The things I can actually do by myself are quite handy.

It still has my original message, "Hi it's me. Leave me a message and if I can figure out how to use this thing I'll call you back." Since I still haven't figured out how to use all the features, this seems to be an honest message and I'll keep it for another few months - or possibly years.

I'm becoming somewhat attached to my little cell phone although not as much as those who can't seem to function without them - you know, those who talk and text while they aren't paying attention to their driving, or their children, or to their own privacy while they're giving their account numbers out over their phones in crowded places. I'd ask what they're thinking, but obviously they aren't.

I went without a cell phone for 58 years and actually survived. I'm not sure some people I know could do that.

If you didn't have a cell phone, would you be able to function?


Church Lady said...

I hate cell phones.

DH is always on my case ("I called you, why didn't you pick up?"

"Sorry. Must've left it in the car.")

I don't want to be reached anytime, anywhere.

But now that everyone has one, that is the expectation. If I didn't have children, I wouldn't own one.

And I'm not a Luddite! (heeehee)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

(Previous comment removed by me due to glaring typos!)

Honestly? Probably not. The damn thing does come in handy. For example, the entire year my stepfather was sick. I got updates from my mother or stepbrothers from the various hospitals around the country he had to go to. And when he died and I had to help call friends and family, I thank God I had the thought to make sure those numbers were already in the phone because I knew there wasn't a chance in hell I would remember any of them when the time came.

Bernita said...

Er...I don't have a cell phone.

Mary Witzl said...

I'm grinning all over my face: I don't have a cell phone either. I've gotten on just fine without one, and although I can see Emily's point, like Church Lady, I do not want to be reached anytime, anywhere. And hooray for Bernita: can the people who don't have cell phones maybe start their own tiny little club? We could meet once every five years, maybe communicate by snail mail.

Am I a Luddite? Maybe. We don't have a t.v. and I'd rather not have a car or a phone. But I love my computer, so I guess I'm in the clear.

Ello said...

Honestly, my cell phone is really for emergencies. Funny story, when we were first getting cell phones, my husband didn't want me to get one because he thought I would talk too much on it. Well, he forgot that I am not a phone talker, even on my landline. I'm too antisocial. I like writing not talking. Turns out he is the one with the cell phone addiction. How funny is that?

The Anti-Wife said...

I either forget to charge mine or I leave it on silent mode. I consider it for emergencies or to check e-mail occasionally.

It does come in handy occasionally, but some people use them almost every waking hour. That's not handy - it's obsession.

The Anti-Wife said...

If my bosses hadn't insisted, I wouldn't have one either, but they were worried about me traveling without one plus it's very expensive to make phone calls from hotels and pay phones now so it's better for reporting in.

My computer is my true addiction - that and my microwave!

The Anti-Wife said...

I don't like talking on the phone either. I'm a bottom line person and hate small talk. I always want to yell, "Get to the point!" Don't know if I'm so much anti-social as just private.

cyn said...

i am with the CL about loathing cell phones. don't get me started. i don't carry one. i do have one in the car for emergencies, and i get it loaded it up with pay per minutes and charged for that sole purpose.

i think cell phone use is rampant and out of control. i think people will just install a chip in their brain next, and snap their fingers to get all their incoming calls and messages downloaded to the brain.

i am not that important.
you don't need to reach me.
and i don't want to be reached.

now if you took away my internet access...i'd die.

Leigh Russell said...

Oh dear, I never go anywhere without my mobile phone (as we call them here in the UK)... Three reasons.

1)I like the security of knowing that my family are fine because they'd call me if there was a crisis.
2) In my day job as a teacher, I could call for help if there was a medical emergency
3) If my car broke down I could call for help.

You could accuse me of being a worrier... but I write crime thrillers, and all my plots begin with the same question: "What if..."

My publisher says she doesn't know how I sleep at nights. Actually, I sleep very well (my phone beside my bed...)

Leigh Russell said...

and I am a Luddite! My phone is just that. No camera, no video, no email, no games, nothing but a phone! My brain couldn't cope with anything more complex than that.

The Anti-Wife said...

Cell phone use is totally out of hand. People managed to survive without them for hundreds of years, but now some are addicted to them.

If you use it for emergencies and necessary communication and use it responsibly, I have no problem with it. It's those who are irresponsible or intrusive in their use that piss me off. Thanks for stopping by!

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Anti-Wife
Yes - there's nothing more annoying than a long train journey, a good book, and someone nearby on the phone. Why do people always SHOUT on mobile phones? There's nothing more ridiculous than a whole train carriage being disturbed by someone yelling, "Don't tell anyone but..." I always want to shout back - "Can you shut up? I don't want to listen to your one-sided conversation." But of course I'm far too polite to do that. One day... Perhaps all mobile phones should have a built in microphone so that voices are automatically louder on the receiving end. That way, people would have to just whisper into them or else deafen the person at the other end!

The Anti-Wife said...

The worst example I've experienced of really stupid use was at an airport gate waiting area. The place was packed with total strangers waiting to get on a plane and this woman was, in a very loud voice, ordering something and giving her credit card number. It was rude, but also very, very stupid. She repeated the card number twice, gave the expiration date and the 3 digit code on the back. I'd be very surprised if she didn't have some extra charges on the card.

Josephine Damian said...

I don't want to be reached anytime, anywhere.

I'm with you, Church Lady. I've had two cheap, low-tech pay-as-you-go cell phones which broke after a few months. I have yet to get a third, and don't plan to any time soon.

I take it one step further at home by not even having the ringer on the phone turned on - that way I never get interupted. The few people who call know to leave a message on voice mail, but most know the best way to reach me is through e-mail.

AW, you may be among the last, you're still not the last to have held out for so long.

wordtryst said...

Cyn's comment pretty much sums up my attitude.

I used to swear I'd never, ever get a cell phone. Then I moved back to Trinidad, got serious about marketing my novel and decided that if an agent or editor called I wouldn't want to miss it. So I got one. It's probably the simplest Nokia around: I make and receive calls and text messages, and that's it, basically.

It's come in pretty useful at times, such as when I got separated from my niece and nephew in the mall last week. But I'm still wary. Like church lady, I don't want to be reached anytime, anywhere, even though a couple of my friends are horrified by my attitude.