Wednesday, October 6, 2010

To Whom It May Concern

I feel no pressure to own a super-smart, robot-brained cellphone.  All the ads for new cellphones - apparently mostly smart phones - confuse me.  I mean, as soon as a new one comes out, another one slides in to take its place.  And the deals.  Oh, the deals.  You get a free one with one and if you sign up family members, they get theirs for free, too.  The monthly plans ensure you never have to talk to another person face-to-face again, and the fee only approximates your non-dominant arm and maybe one leg up to the knee. 

I've owned a cellphone for most of my adult life, and my current one is a pre-paid phone with no camera and simple texting features, and less-than-average coverage/larger-than-average dead zones.  It's about three years old, and it's fine for me; I do not employ an entourage who needs me to be at the ready with my phone in a hip holster.  I can go a day without being contacted when I'm out and about; there are not any people in this world who cannot go about their lives or do their jobs without contacting me first.

I understand that I am in the minority.  I see people all around me who text or talk while driving, while eating dinner with their parents, families, and friends, on vacation, even at weddings and funerals.  I have long ago realized that I do not want to be at anyone's disposal anywhere, at any hour of the day or night just because my cellphone is on.  Because of this and my pay-as-you-talk plan, which can really add up, I rarely give my cell phone number out to anyone.  The following is an example of a response I give to people who want to talk to me via cellphone instead of other more obscure ways, such as telephone, email, mailed communication, or real live conversation:

I can give you my cell number, but please use it as a last resort, because I have horrible cell service and if you have to leave a message, I probably won’t get until a week later.  My husband is always on me to get an iPhone or something, and I always feign ignorance on how this newfangled technology works and how it would be a complete waste of money because I would never really learn all the functions on a new gadget.  Actually, the truth is I hardly use my cellphone because if I did, my husband would call me incessantly to ask me to do menial tasks for him while he is at work, and I’d rather not be his secretary.  Plus, I never keep my cellphone in the same place – it gets lost a lot – and it would be a shame to lose it with a message from you on it.  I can also give you my husband’s cell number, but please call from an unlisted number, because he will store your number in his phone and might try to call you at an odd time to ask you to fill up the propane tank for the grill.

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