I Hate My Cell Phone
I Really Do
What more can I really say other than that? I hate my stupid cell phone. It's as simple as that.
OK, so I don't hate my cell phone, specifically, just what having a cell phone has done to me and society as a whole. Though, sometimes I do hate my actual phone. And to be honest, it isn't entirely hate. It's a vicious love/hate relationship that drives me insane. I remember what it was like to not have a cell phone, back when no one had cell phones. Now, I can't imagine my life without it. I guess that is what I hate the most; the dependency that has developed in most people concerning cell phones. Most people could not live without their cell phones, and it is a major crisis if they have to go without one for even a little while. I recently saw a video that really expresses how I feel about cell phones. I will find it and include it here.
Confessions of an Addict
I guess I hate my cell phone most of all, because of the fact that I can't seem to live without it.
I never had a cell phone until about 2005. I know, most people had them by then. I never really needed one. My ex-husband was getting ready to deploy to Iraq, and I was working at the time. He thought it would be a good thing for me to get one, for emergencies, and so he could reach me when he was allowed to call. It seemed like an innocent enough idea at the time, a good idea, even. Little did I know what kind of hold it would have over me.
At first, it was no big deal. I used it on occasion, and I often forgot to bring it with me. Then, I would go somewhere, and not have it. I would wonder, Did he call? What time is it over there? Why didn't I bring it with me? The cell phone had started to work it's way into my life. It had started to take a hold of me.
I got into the habit of carrying it around with me everywhere, and I mean everywhere. I even brought it to the bathroom with me. I have even been known to answer the stupid thing while I was in the shower or while I was taking a bath! Yeah, not a great idea!! More on that later!!
I started using it more and more, and then I started texting, as well. I became a master at texting! By this point, my phone was always with me. I needed it! I couldn't live without it! It had a hold on me.
Fear Sets In
So, in the early days of my cell phone obsession, I came across a book by my favorite author, Stephen King. The title of the book was simply, Cell. The cover showed a broken cell phone and blood. I had to read it! I bought it immediately. It's the story of a mysterious 'Pulse' that turns people into something less than human, primal and full of carnage. The 'Pulse' is delivered though your cell phone, and having just gotten used to this little modern marvel, it creeped me out! Stephen King is good at that. He takes a look at society and it's little quirks, and turns them into our worst fears.
Not to say that I expected my cell phone to turn me into a mindless, violent zombie, but that kernel of fear was there, none the less. Could it be possible? I bet there will come a time when something similar to that could actually be done...and I shudder at the thought.
It made me look at my cell phone a little bit differently. More so than those silly stories about cell phones causing cancer, or phones blowing up and killing people. Maybe those stories are true, and I know that phones in other countries have blown up, but that has never really worried me. The thought that some day...some day something like what King wrote about could actually happen, chilled me to the bone. Not enough for me to stop using my cell phone, though. Of course not...
The Addiction Continues
Of course I keep using my cell phone!! How else would everyone I care about be able to get a hold of me when I'm not at home? Therein lies the problem. People can get a hold of you no matter where you are. No longer can you use the excuse "I wasn't home, sorry I missed you." when that annoying friend, who always wants something from you (a favor, money, a kidney...whatever) calls you. Screening your phone calls becomes much harder to do. What can you really say now? "Sorry, my phone was dead." "I can't believe I missed your call, it never rang!" "I don't know what happened. I don't have any missed calls." The excuses start to sound stupid, though I know it does happen. My phone is always losing signal in specific places in my house.
I NEVER let my phone go dead! If I even sense that it's getting close to being dead, I plug that baby in!! I can't afford to miss a call! What if it's someone important? Not that most of my phone calls are really that important, but some of them are.
Several times, I have had to go without a cell phone! Tragic, I know. You may be asking yourself, How did she survive? What did she do? How did people get a hold of her? She couldn't even text...how sad. It was, really. Very sad. No texts from my sister, no Facebook updates, no Candy Crush...
The first occasion left me without a phone for weeks. I didn't know what to do. I had no way to call people when I wasn't at home, I had no way to text stupid little messages to all my friends. I lost my phone. Simple as that. I went out to the bars one night with some friends. I always had my phone. It had come in handy on a few nights out, and I never knew when I would need it to call for a cab. Well, I don't really know what happened, but I had it one minute, and when I left the bar, I didn't have it anymore. I was devastated! Thankfully, a new phone was mailed to me, and since that model was no longer available, I was able to upgrade to my favorite phone. It was perfect, and even pink!! Sadly, that phone also met a tragic end.
As I said before, I have even been known to take the phone with me into the bathroom. It doesn't matter what I am doing. I could be taking a shower, a bath, whatever. It goes with me. That brings me to the death of my pretty, pink cell phone. I was talking on the phone while I was in the bath. I dropped it. I sprang into action with my quick, cat-like reflexes, and managed to catch it before it even hit the bottom of the tub. Sadly, my efforts were in vain. It was not enough to save the poor thing. It had died. Luckily, I had a back-up phone! It was a pre-pay phone I bought a week before I was able to put in the order for the pink phone. I had some issues with the whole process, since I had lost it, I had to file a police report, and jump through a thousand hoops before I would get a new phone. I held onto the pre-pay phone in case of emergencies.
My pre-pay phone got me through some tough times. It was a great plan! Not a lot of minutes, but unlimited text messages!! Of course, this was all before the birth of the smart phone... I got even better at texting, and hardly ever had the need to call anyone! I LOL'ed, and TTYL'ed till my fingers felt like they were going to fall off.
Louis C.K. Hates Cell Phones
The Truth of the Matter
I still have a cell phone, and it still goes with me everywhere. If it rings, I HAVE to answer it!! Even when I am at work, and I can't use it, I hear it ring, and I want to pick it up, and at least see who it is...maybe it's important. Why else would someone call me at work? I know that whoever is calling may have no idea that I am at work, but that's how my mind works. I have even been tempted to answer the phone during sex. Big, no-no, I know. I don't do it, but I hear that stupid ringtone, and I have this urge to stop whatever I am doing and answer the damn thing!!
Addiction at it's best. I hate that I am always available, and that if I don't answer, I get the questions; Where were you? Why didn't you answer? Did you see that I called?
Of course I saw that you called. I might as well have my phone permanently grafted to my hand. I feel like it's a part of me, and I feel naked without it. I am ashamed of this. Ashamed to admit that a little electronic device, no different that anything else, has become so much a part of my life that the thought of life without it seems wrong. I am ashamed to admit that I have been one of those annoying people, walking down the street, talking too loudly on my phone. I do, however, always remember to turn the ringer to vibrate while at the movies. I never turn it off. What if someone calls? It might be important!
I love and hate the fact that no matter where I am, or what I am doing, I am always a phone call away. It has it's good sides and bad sides. I can call and talk to my daughter on my lunch break, I can call 911 from anywhere in case of an emergency, and I can call my mom or sister when I hear, or see something that reminds me of them, or that I know they would like to hear about. I hate the fact that people call me while I am working, or eating, or watching a movie. I hate those stupid spam chain letter texts that have started floating around, and I hate annoying people who can't walk and text at the same time. I can't walk and text, so I get out of the way, and stop moving. I love being able to have GPS at my fingertips. I hate that I spend so much time playing with my phone.
I hate that laws have had to be enacted to protect people from stupid behavior, like texting while driving, or talking on a cell phone while crossing a street. I love blue-tooth!! I love camera phones and picture messages, and I love being just a call or text away from people who are so far away from me, otherwise. I do hate my cell phone, but I don't know what I would do without it.
© 2009 Anna Marie Bowman