Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Out of Touch

I am currently living in a bygone era.  I have sailed backwards on the ocean of time to juncture where rapid access telecommunication aren’t possible.  You’d be amazed how much you can accomplish in life without a cell phone.

How many of our day to day conversations of any length or topic are truly necessary?  Would you be a different person with out the endless meaningless text that we use to justify the “unlimited” plan on our cell phone bill?  How would you spend your time differently among people you are going to have dinner with if you hadn’t already spoken to them eight times via phone call or text in the past few hours?

I am only in day two of life without a phone.  It is not on silent, nor am I willfully ignoring it, rather it has ceased to draw breath.  After four years of ardent, faithful service and withstanding my abuse in dropping it on the floor, in the washing machine and throwing it at the wall I say to my dearly departed phone of old, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”  

And as I prepare for life to begin anew with a delivery tomorrow of a phone that promises to cut my hair, put the laundry in the dryer, and dispense cold ginger beer I find myself wondering if I want to upgrade my life via phone--something I previously thought to be necessary--or find contentment with my current rustic ways.

Life without a cell phone has been a bit like a bender without the booze: You are alone and in full awareness of you solitude but there is no inconvenience on your part; only if anyone else should wish to contact you.  Much as my 48 hour unplugged experience has affected and made me re-evaluate my relationship with others it has had the strongest effect of me.

There is so much time in the day, that I felt I was losing to god-knows-what-I was talking about on the phone before.  Thus far, life without a cell phone has harkened no catastrophes or acts of God I would have associated with the lack of cell phone possession.   I was able to wake up on time for work with out a phone, work has yet to be impeded in anyway, and anyone that I truly needed to talk to has found a way to get a message through.  (I understand that computers help me cheat the true old school experience.)   What I’ve gain is a bit harder to measure in terms of tangible benefit but it is nothing I’ve missed: an endless amount to text that would have been entertaining for a 5 second period, a few dozen random solicitations for unknown phones numbers, and an automated phone call from my gym letting me know my membership is two days past due.  Oh yeah, and no one from work can call me on the weekend.  No one from work can call me when I leave work.  No one from work can call me: ever.  Does any of that justify not having a cell phone?  No, and yes.

There are those who have told me that an iphone will change my life.  I don’t doubt that it can.  However, after spending a few days without a cell phone after having one for years, I’m not convinced I want my to change back to the way it was. 

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