I would like to state, just for the record, that I hate my cell phone.

This is not to say that I hate it becuase it’s a bad phone. It’s quite a nice phone, actually. It flips open and has a full keyboard. It has a camera that takes pretty pictures of random things I might encounter during my day like, say, this:

Nevertheless, I hate it. I want it to go away.

It taunts me, this phone. I feel as though it’s more or less useless because nobody ever calls me on it unless I happen to be in a situation where it would be ruthlessly embarrassing for it to ring (read: play its borderline inappropriate song, which I chose in a moment of mommy-rebellion wackiness), in which case it always does. When I complain to my friends about this they tell me that this is my fault–they would call me on it if I could ever be counted on to have it on me and/or answer it. They would send me texts if it didn’t take me three days to notice and reply. And honestly, I should know enough to turn it off or put it on vibrate in inappropriate situations.

Time and time again I have promised to do better. I have sworn that I would learn to use it, need it and love it. But I can’t. The truth is I don’t want to be called when I’m out living my life. I do not want this thing cluttering up my personal space. In my ideal world I would go though life with a $20 and a driver’s license wedged in the pocket of my jeans and that’s it. Perhaps a book under my arm. But, despite having a family and kids to worry about and all the latent paranoia that that entails, I do not think I need 24-7 emergency call buttons and up to the minute updates about other people’s lives.

I certainly do not want to know enough about any little machine to know how to make it vibrate.

Let’s look at it this way: When I was 22 years old I travelled around Europe with nothing but a backpack for four months. Now, at the risk of dating myself I will say that this was long enough ago that James Bond was the only person I knew with a phone in his car and my understanding of the internet was that it was a geek experiment at MIT. If I wanted to call someone I had to wait in line for a pay phone, dial an international AT&T operator, give them my phone card number, and wait to see if anyone was home. I did this about every two weeks, whether I needed to or not, and you know what? Everyone survived, even my mother. I didn’t miss a thing.

Aaah, the good old days.

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