Unplugged: Giving Up My Cellphone

You won’t hear any woeful tales of how my cellphone met it’s demise. There are no frantic, disjointed calls for help through whatever technological channels I may still have the ability to connect to, letting you know I no longer have a cell. My cellphone died. I am not replacing it. The end.

Let me go back to the beginning. Three years ago I was living in a condo with no phone, no internet and no way to buzz up to my unit from the front door. I was dating my now husband and he asked how he was suppose to contact me. I suggested planning dates in advance or throwing pebbles at my window. The whole Romeo and Juliet balcony scene was not really his thing so he got me a cellphone.

I was perplexed by the concept of people being able to contact me wherever I was. I mean if I was out doing something, why did I want to be talking on the phone? How often I saw people walking down the street seemingly talking to themselves. It seemed peculiar to me. I often forgot my phone at home. Don’t get me wrong cellphones have pluses such as choreographing meet ups with people while out, it is nice to be able to have the internet at your fingertips when you want to look something up and they are great for emergencies. If it had not been for that cellphone, I don’t know what I would have done the dozen times I broke down on the side of the highway or the time I had my car accident.

Here I am though, once again without a cellphone. We had a home phone installed for half the price. I am okay with people not being able to get a hold of me while I am out. Now that I am no longer doing the insane two plus hour round trip commute in a beat up old clunker running on one and a half cylinders I do not have to worry about emergencies anymore.

I shouldn’t, but I chuckle when people post on Facebook pictures of their cracked phone screens or damp phones immersed in rice, with frantic messages of how to get a hold of them now their technological lifeline has been severed. They act like amputees groping for their phantom digital appendage so forlorn and lustful.  I do not understand the dependency. But it is okay I don’t understand because I don’t have to have a cellphone and I can actually say I am happier for it. You won’t find me staring at my phone in restaurants or lit by the eerie blue screen in movie theatres. I will never check my messages while we converse or answer a call in a checkout line. I won’t ever get a ticket for texting while driving. I won’t watch concerts on my phone as I videotape them. I won’t be part of that cellphone culture any longer. I won’t have my attentions divided by dings and tweets or buzzes from my pocket that summon me to compulsively check to see if something has happened when I looked away. I do not want to be a part of that instantaneous gratification of honest to goodness nothingness.

I will be outside interacting with the universe.

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