Saturday, October 24, 2009


I thought this article was interesting.

I'm one of the 5% who refuse to have a cellphone. Deus Ex Machina has a cellphone ... for work, and they use it.

11:00 pm on Saturday evening, he'll get a call from work, and he hasn't had a full day off ever since they gave him his phone. Regardless of what he's doing or where he is, because he has that phone, he's at work twenty-four hours per day - anytime anyone wants to call him. Don't ask me how many times we've been eating dinner, and he's gotten a call ... or about the time we were playing on the beach and the phone rang ... or about the numerous car conversations that have been interrupted by the phone.

Obviously, I'm not that important. In the two years I had my cellphone, one person called me regularly - Deus Ex Machina. I'm not even sure anyone else had the number.

I have had clients call me at odd hours. Once a client called at 9:00 in the evenng. But it's rare. Most of my clients stick to regular "business" hours when they call, and few of them call me on weekends. Of course, in my opinion, that's what voicemail is for, and if I can't take a business call at that moment, I let it go to voicemail. For whatever reason, it's different for people who have a cellphone. There seems to be the feeling that it must be answered - no matter what's happening.

I had a cellphone for a couple of years, but when I started reducing, that was one of the first things to go. It was just redundant to have the land line and the cellphone. We have DSL, and so our phone line is also our Internet connection ... and we have a distinct ring and a separate phone number for the fax machine ... and it's the number we've had since we bought our house, and it was published in the phonebook as my business number - the cellphone won't give us the Internet, the fax line, and the phone number history we have. So, I got rid of the cell.

Sometimes it would be nice to have a mobile phone, but mostly it's because I see something and I want to call Deus Ex Machina to tell hima about it. It would make things easier, but would not significantly improve my life.

And that's the bottom line for me. In making our lives more simple, it has become imperative to sort out the things that we're paying for that are just convenient, but that don't make life better.

Which makes me in the minority for the cellphone statistic. I'm one of the 5% who refuse to have a phone, based solely on the fact that I don't want it cluttering up my life.


  1. The Chinese made me get one. No joke. Dr. Mad Scientist worked in a lab with a bunch of Chinese students. Many of them had very heavy accents. One day Chunky got pretty sick at school and I had to pick him up and take him to the dr. I wanted to alert Dr. MS to this fact as I was a bit freaked out (I want to say this is when he had croup...) So I call his lab and one of his coworkers with a heavy accent picks up (to their credit the University phone system in that lab sucked so I was lucky to get ahold of anyone). Well I couldn't understand the coworker and he couldn't understand me...and well I never got thru to Dr. MS. Chunky was OK, but it got me to thinking--what if Chunky HADN'T been OK? How would I have gotten a hold of him? And that's how we got our cell phones. But they're the cheapy pay-as-you go. We pay per year for those things what some people pay per-month for theirs. And I can honestly say the only reason I use it is to call or receive calls from him that are kid-related. I ignore the calls I get from work on it. They're not paying for my calls, nor do I get paid for fielding phone calls after 5:00 p.m. I'm not wasting minutes on them!!!

  2. Being 4 blocks from an international border makes having a cell phone impossible. You never know which tower you are going to hit and international roaming charges SUCK! We gave ours up over a year ago and don't miss it a bit.

  3. Great Post. Cell phone use is out of control. Part of our current " must be available 24/7" ego-centric mentality. Foisted by an industry that makes unbelievable profits. Cell phones are the legal Crack of our ages. I know two young people who have 1500 bucks owing to cell phone companies. Mostly just testing - and don't get me started on that one.

    I have managed to live without a cell phone for several years. I do borrow my others for trips. The problem being that phone booths are few and very far between. Just a lot more money in cell phones.

    I heard a comic recently who does a very nice schtick out of making fun of the poor sap who is using a payphone - obviously someone to be pitied.

    That whole image is supported by the Advertising industries.

    What would the world look like if we all didn't answer our cell phones after work or on weekends?

    I guess the problem is the industry has convinced us that we need to "stay in touch". To the detriment of any real down time. Time that we will increasingly miss in our ego-centric lives.

  4. When we moved to our home we both got cell phones. The thinking was we have long drives to get to anything and sometimes unreliable cars. We got rid of one phone when it became apparent that I could not incorporate it into habit. I would leave it at home, forget to charge it, or leave it in the car when we got home. Nuisance!

    Hubby has his phone because he can call home when he is away and not worry about long distance service. But really if we had to get rid of it tomorrow we would be fine without it. Odd that something ,so ubiquitous now, was rarely in use just 15 years ago.

  5. I have one but it is $5 a month and sits in my glove compartment in case of an emergency. I've had to use it twice for flat tires. So, I generally count myself in the 5% that doesn't have one because I don't use it.

  6. Never had one until I got pregnant and my car broke down less than 5 miles away from Hubby's work and he passed me on the freeway when he got off work. Got a pager the very next day! I used it pretty often, Deaf people get attached to their pagers, as it takes the place of home phones and ttys and we don't have to rely on strangers to make calls for us. But then we moved here and pager signal was spotty and we decided to get rid of it. Hubby has one, for work mostly, and it's included in our tax deductions for work-related items. Our bill is low, though, and we are of the mind where we think the phone is there for us, not us there for the phone.

  7. I think cell phone usage is out of control. Every Kid thinks he needs one. If they are not talking on it, they are texting, or checking for their messages. My big guys have them instead of landlines, which are more expensive.
    But, they know I do not want them taking calls when they are visiting, driving with me or having dinner with me. I feel it's rude to ignore the person with you to talk on their phones. They are an interruption and rude most of the time.
    My confession is I do have one. I feel more comfortable knowing I have it availible for medical or roadside emergencies. I have more missed calls than anything.

  8. I have had a cell phone for years, but I only receive one call a day, from my wife, just to say hello.