Why I Don’t Use a Cell Phone

TV's Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 (played by Don Adams) on his Shoe Phone.

TV’s Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 on his Shoe Phone.  He’s played by Don Adams.

It’s like something out of an old science fiction novel.  Everyone has these space age walkie-talkies.  Even people who don’t have much money or are unemployed have them.  I don’t have one though.

Someday, I may well have to get one.  Then I will.  Until then, I wouldn’t want one on a bet.  I don’t need a cell phone/ mobile phone.

For one thing, I’m not a real “telephone person.”  It’s just not my thing.  I call my few good friends, family and loved ones.  Some of these, I don’t call as often as I should.  Yet I try to keep up with people. I have my “land line” and that’s good enough for me.

I prefer to interact in person, live and in real-time.

When I can’t do that, I love to send postal mail.  I’ve gone through periods where I sent out a lot of it.  This may soon happen again.  It is time-consuming and labor intensive.  This is especially true in my case.  I always want to include extras, find the right stamp and do a drawing on the envelope.

I use three different email accounts and the social networks.  I’ve been writing in four blogs for nearly six years, including this one.  I’ve got nothing against communication and not much against technology.

I do miss the pay phones and telephone booths.  For one thing, they encouraged privacy.  Now, it’s commonplace to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations.  Sometimes you had to wait in line to use a pay phone.  They could be inconvenient, yet they had their charms.

I don’t drive either, so I ride Detroit’s cruel and backward bus system.  This makes me a sort of expert on overhearing other people’s phone conversations.  Sometimes,  five or ten people are talking all at once.  It’s a real “tower of Babel” effect.  Some people  talk quietly, in a reasonable tone of voice.  Others seem to be yelling or talking loudly.  Other times it’s actually quiet.  If anyone’s on the phone then, they’re being respectful.

Business is a frequent topic.  Some people can even keep working on a bus ride.  Sometimes it’s personal business.  One guy was going into way too much detail about his love life. Everyone on the bus could hear every word.  I’ve overheard other people talking about their drug deals, burglaries and violent crimes!  Usually though, it’s all quite boring and mundane.  If someone’s just on the phone “shooting the bull” I may hear something odd or whimsical.

As often as not, I prefer not to hear all this.  I tune in my “personal electronic device” to listen to music on a CD or audio cassette.  Or maybe I listen to the news.

It can be just as bad away from the bus.  I could go on and on about good and bad cell phone etiquette.  It’s just that some people are being rude yet they might not even realize it.  They’re caught up in their own private world, with their magic phones, talking to someone.

Once, I saw someone walking down the street talking into a smashed up looking phone.  I wondered whether it worked somehow.  Or maybe it was just a prop he used so as not to call attention to his “crazy talk.”  People who constantly talk to yourself: get a broken cell phone and carry it around.

Texting is a whole other issue.  It can be annoying if someone does so while you’re trying to watch a movie.  If someone texts or uses a standard cell phone while driving a car, it could kill you.

Someday people will have wires in their head.  They’ll be able to think their thoughts into another head.  No charging the phone battery.  No time wasted dialing.  It will be instant communication




Smaller and smaller:




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: