I’m not a luddite, but I have a cell phone so I can call you, not so you can call me. Very few people have my cell phone number, so the phone doesn’t ring very often at all. Sometimes I turn it off. Sometimes I leave it home. I don’t wander around stores or restaurants or doctors’ waiting rooms or train depots yacking a blue streak, a really loud blue streak. You don’t need to know where I am and I don’t need to know where you are either. Last week I was in a doctor’s waiting room with one of those annoying yackers. After he was done, he asked if he was talking too loud. I said yes. He said sorry, but if he was really sorry, he wouldn’t do it, would he? And he wouldn’t have made another phone call either.
My family has a five-hundred minute family plan, and we’ve never gone over, or even come close. Not even when my daughter was a teenager. Despite not using the cell phone nearly as much as the average person, I just bought a new one. In fact, I bought three new ones. I got my wife and daughter new cell phones too.
None of us are luddites, but our previous cell phones made, and received phone calls. That’s all they did; make and receive phone calls. Well, they held a bunch of phone numbers too, but not a really big bunch, and they would dial the one you wanted with the push of one button. Pretty primitive stuff. For a friend of mine who’s fond of homonyms, I’m tempted to say they were primative too, but many primates have fingers too big to use a cell phone successfully. When someone called, those phones didn’t sound ringtones. They rang. A couple of middle-school kids in my neighborhood think my old cell phone is an antique.
The new ones do alot more than the old ones. They hold much bigger bunches. They take pictures. They access the Internet. You can watch TV on them. They cook dinner. They mow the lawn. I think the most expensive one may be a minor deity. They were a good deal too. Three free phones only cost me $111! And one thing I noticed about them is the instructions for each of the new phones are bigger and heavier than the phone itself.
But, if I had to do it over again, I don’t know if I would. It took two hours to activate three phones. The people at the wireless provider were helpful, and polite. The computer system they’re forced to work with was neither. I couldn’t activate the phones on the Internet or through the automated phone attendant. I was disconnected twice. It took four phone calls and speaking to five people including tech support to get the job done. I lost count of how many times I agreed to terms and conditions. I hope that part wasn’t cumulative. I don’t know if I want a 10-year contract with my cell phone provider.