I find myself an oddity in this new mobile phone obsessed world. A kind of misfit. You see, I am the one with the audacity not to own a cell phone. A lone ranger in a world where the device has become as crucial as plastic surgery to Heidi Montag. It is critical that you don’t miss a single call or text message when you’re on the train, at the movies, driving your car, crossing the street or in the toilet. It might be the end of the world if you do, with your company collapsing, stocks plunging, your marriage ending and a myriad of other catastrophic scenarios.
When I announced to my friends that I had decided to give up my cell they all looked at me bewildered wondering if I had lost my mind. “How will you survive?” one of them said. “Are you crazy?” someone else quipped in an annoyed tone. “How are we ever going to get a hold of you”, they beseeched accusingly. “I think I can manage…You could call me at my home number or email me?” I suggest now self conscious with four pairs of hurt eyes boring into me.
When the device first came out not everyone had them and they were used in a casual way. When your phone rang you were not expected to pick up right away. Sadly all that has changed. Now although the device has progressed from chunky brick to enticingly slim and sexy thing, it now weighs heavily, a shackle around my neck. Missing a call is criminal and the only way you can redeem yourself is to call back without a second’s delay.
Perhaps I have abnormally low radiation and noise tolerance. More than a minute on the device seems to burn a hole through my ear and fry my brain. It astounds me that some people have them surgically attached to their ears with no ill effects. Shrill ring tones tear make me jump out of my skin and shatter my nerves.
Call me a grouch, but I am prone to sulkiness if you’re texting furiously while I am right in front of you. It makes me feel inadequate as a conversationalist. Surely your ‘textee’ is not more delightful company then moi?
I don’t mind going back to that time in the good old early 90’s when we prearranged for a spot to meet for dinner and we were all punctual. With the mobile device you have now the option to call at seven to say go ahead, you’ll be there at nine instead. I fondly recall the time when the boss could not get hold of you just as you were leaving work for a night out with your family. Those were good times.