“You don’t have a cell phone?”
“Why don’t you have a cell phone?”
“How do you survive without a cell phone?!”
“Why didn’t you get rid of your landline when you moved and just get a cell phone?”
“What would you do if your car broke down and you don’t have a cell phone?”
“I tried texting you, but turns out it’s a landline?”
I get these questions all the time along with shocked, confused looks. They probably think I’m a hippie. No, hippies also have cell phones. I don’t know what I am.
I actually had a person text my landline. I was terrified because it was 5am. Sprint has a text to landline feature, which makes your phone ring and then a robot talks to you, only the messages were coming in reverse order. She was texting to complain about a situation and the first thing I heard was the robot telling me, “They. Are. Horrible.” What …… Who is this?! Who’s horrible? And why are you telling me this at 5am?
My questions are:
How can everyone afford a cell phone?
How can you afford a cell phone for all of your kids?
My adult friends have dropped their cell phones in toilets and other places. How can kids be trusted with such expensive equipment? Why are my kids literally the only children in their classes without cell phones? This makes no sense to me. Even the thought of any of my children having to get glasses sounds like an expensive nightmare.
How do you monitor your kids’ activities on their cell phones, especially when you have multiple children? There’s no way I could keep up with that and if I just gave one to my oldest, I would never hear the end of it from my other kids. If he needs something, he calls me from the school office.
People talk on their cell phones ON PUBLIC TOILETS. Not just in the bathroom. They’re literally doing their business when I hear them say, “Hi!” The first time I witnessed this, I thought the person was talking to me. I felt extremely awkward because that’s not the time I prefer to engage a stranger in conversation. “Um, hi.” I stammered. Then they continued talking and I realized they were on their phone. I bet they still laugh about the time a complete stranger thought they were trying to talk to them on the toilet. That’s when you flush and out them for the toilet talker that they are!
How can you stand people keeping tabs on you all the time? Do you know how nice it is to go somewhere and not have anyone bother you? Not that they would necessarily “bother” me, but whatever happened to solitude? I see people on walks and they’re talking on their cell phones. On dates and they’re on their cell phones. When I go out on girls’ nights with friends, their kids are constantly calling because one of their siblings isn’t being fair, or they want to ask permission for something, or sometimes their husbands are even calling because they act like they’re incapable of taking care of things at home. “When are you coming home?” they plead. I remain in a relaxed “I don’t care what’s happening at home as long as no one’s dying” state, smiling about my sweet, but short-lived freedom. They can annoy me when I’m home again. Mothers used to be able to go shopping in peace and tell the family, “Don’t burn down the house while I’m gone! Do you know the number to 911?”
Before cell phones, you could easily tell if someone was talking to themselves. Now you have to ask, “Are they talking to themselves or do they have a blue tooth?” Before cell phones, I was riding the bus one day when I responded to a lady’s question and she glared at me because I interrupted her conversation with herself.
How do you deal with the fact that whoever is calling believes you are ignoring them? “You have your phone with you all the time, so what is it you’re doing that’s more important than me?” they wonder. This is a whole other story, but years ago when I was the target of large amounts of unwanted attention, the person in question said, “You see THIS is why I need you to have a cell phone!” I had gone to the store and she was mad that I didn’t call to ask if she needed anything. “I always need something from there!” she snapped. Or “I couldn’t get a hold of you!” Yes, exactly how I preferred it with her. She wanted to know what I was doing all the time. If I didn’t want to talk to her, I could tell her I had been gone. Of course, she might drive by my house though and see my van parked in front of our home. I might never blog about this situation. I haven’t decided. If I do, it’s because it might help someone else.
Because literally almost everyone has a cell phone now, if my car were to break down, no one would help me because they would assume I’m calling for help on my cell phone. If I were to be stranded, I would either wait for a police officer (probably for a long time) or if it were safe to do so, I would walk to the nearest vintage pay phone (yes, I see some of those around still) or beg someone to let me use their phone.
The bottom line is: I can’t afford a cell phone. I’m not saying I will never have one, but I haven’t been able to justify another expense. If I were to switch from a landline to a cell phone, then what do my kids use if they need to call 911 while I’m gone? So leave the phone at home with them? Then what’s the point of having a mobile phone if I’m not going to be mobile with it? I would then be on the slippery slope towards being a multiple phone family. That’s multiple phones that could be dropped in the toilet!
I will probably have one someday, but I won’t be happy about it. We survived just fine without cell phones for centuries, but now it’s becoming a necessity because everyone has them. Recently I couldn’t get on the urgent care waiting list because I didn’t have a cell phone. Thank goodness I found a different one that had a five-minute wait instead of a two-hour wait! I asked, “Can’t I just arrive within half an hour of the expected time?” “No. You will just have to come in and wait.” Hanging out in their flu infested waiting room for two hours?
I had a cell phone briefly in the 90’s before there were smart phones because I thought it would help me budget better for my long distance calls. That’s what I used it for. But then it stopped working when we were living on base and when I called our provider to talk to them about it, the representative asked, “Ma’am? Do you live by some train tracks or something? I’m seeing a lot of red around you.” “No…..” He put me on hold and then he told me, “Um, ma’am? The government just called and told me to stop looking at what they’re doing.” There was some big training exercise going on. Something about jammed frequencies.
How do you feel about cell phones? Do you love it/hate it? Are there any lone weirdos left out there who don’t have one either? If you feel passionately in favor of cell phones, I can take it. You may even tell me about affordable options if you want. I will at least wait for them to go down in price like flat screen TV’s and other things. Know any friends who paid $5,000 for a flat screen TV way back when? I do. We waited and spent $400 on ours.
I await your feedback. 😀 I’ll find something fun to do until then like snap some Polaroid pictures. Or look through the phone book. Or sort through my floppy disks.