I Do Not Have a Mobile Telephone
One day, I was reporting my fixed telephone line out of order. The young woman asked for my mobile telephone number and was very surprised, when I replied that I do not have one. She was so surprised that she then asked whether I was quite sure that I did not have a mobile ‘phone. Hilarious! I do not have a mobile telephone, have never had one, and do not want one. Some people believe me strange, in this age, when everyone seems to have a mobile telephone, clapped to their head, or more likely clasped desperately in their hands.
Someone asked me yesterday why I do not have a cell/mobile telephone. There are many reasons why I choose not have a mobile telephone. Predominantly, I do not need one. I do not want to subject myself to the tyranny that mobile telephones bring. They are very useful in emergencies, for those who do risky and dangerous jobs, but I neither do a risky or dangerous job nor go to lonely or dangerous areas.
We have a fixed telephone line at home, and an answering machine, to take messages, when we are out. We have computers, e-mail and instant messaging. There are several ways for people to contact us, in any circumstance, and I do not need to remain constantly available or plugged into the internet.
Whilst people often say that they have mobile telephones for emergencies, they rarely use them in that capacity. People generally use cell ‘phones for banal, mundane purposes. Everyone has sat next to someone on public transport, who has telephoned someone, merely to inform the person that the caller is on the train or the ‘bus.
Mobiles seem to alter people’s behaviour, personality and manners. There are many times, when people are so busy on their mobile telephones that they are completely unaware of others and their needs. Dangerous idiots insist on using their ‘phones, whilst driving, and inconsiderate people, keep others waiting in shops, because their ‘phone call simply cannot wait, while they finish their purchase.
People use their mobile telephones inappropriately, discussing personal, private, and confidential matters in public. A young woman was in the waiting room at Victoria Coach Station, London, loudly discussing with her bank, why they had rejected several cheques and stopped her standing orders. Victoria Coach Station is the busiest coach station in Europe; its waiting room is always full. This very confidential matter, between the woman and her bank, was shared with the hundreds of passengers waiting to board coaches, who could not help hearing the conversation about her financial affairs.
Another woman, travelling on a coach, spent the whole journey, some two and a half hours on her cell ‘phone discussing her private life. By the time she left the coach, the twenty passengers sitting nearest her, knew which club she was going to that evening, the state of her relationship with her boyfriend, the crimes he had committed, and various other details about her daily routine, private and family life. Apart from the obvious danger in revealing such information to strangers, should people force others into being unwilling listeners to personal, private, and confidential telephone conversations?
Mobile telephones seem to make otherwise confident and decisive people into ditherers. One woman speaking on her cell ‘phone in a supermarket was asking someone, which toilet tissue to buy, and while doing so, was standing, with her trolley, so that other people could not get to the shelves.
Mobile telephones are despots they control one’s life. There are so many things to see in the world and so much to experience and yet people willingly subject themselves to control by that little oblong instrument, which seems to take precedence over things happening in the real world. In a beautiful old pub, overlooking the sea in Cornwall, England, which is famous for good food, four young people were having dinner together. All four were on their mobile telephones during the whole meal, either texting or talking. The waitress had to wait for one diner, to finish her conversation, before she would deign to give her order. The four diners did not speak to one another except, when commenting on the conversations or text messages on their telephones.
Even one’s family is not immune to the mobile telephone virus. We do not live in the same country as our families do. On a rare visit to them, siblings, nieces, and nephews, were all consulting their cell ‘phones constantly. Mobile telephones interrupted every conversation, mid-sentence, regardless whether it was a voice or text message. These were just everyday messages there was no family emergency. Therein lays the greatest reason why I do not have and do not want a cell ‘phone.
One person was extolling the many features of her latest expensive cell ‘phone, but, when asked what she used it for, she replied telephone calls and text messages. Cell ‘phones are just another symptom of the consumer madness affecting society. You must have the latest model to “belong”, people boast about the features on their ‘phones but rarely use them.
Despite what many people believe, a mobile telephone is not a need, it is a want. Some people need them for their own particular circumstances and lives, but most people do not actually need a mobile telephone. They tie themselves to their telephones.
Life without a cell phone is interesting, varied, and free. I do not want to become a slave to a telephone or miss anything in the real world.