Monday, November 19, 2012

Cell phones

Am I the only person in the whole-wide-world who does not have a cell phone?

While in Germany, Shane asked me to call him on his cell when I was done with my appointment. I looked for a phone that would call an outside line. None of the public phones called anywhere but on-Base (DSN is what it is called.)

I asked the woman at the desk in the ER if she could help me.

"Is there a phone I can use to call someone's cell phone in the hospital?" I asked.

"You can just use your own cell phone to do that," she said.

"I don't have one," I said.

She looked completely confused.

"I've never had someone ask me this before," she said. "Everyone always has their own phone. Don't you have a cell phone?"

I explained to her that I have lived in Turkey and now the Azores. NO ONE in Turkey (except Patty) had cell phones, and very few people here on the island have one.

(She let me come into her office and use her desk phone.)

I truly think having to have a cell phone and people knowing I have it and that they can get a hold of me anytime they want really bothers me. I am so not prepared to live that way. Would it be totally impossible to choose to live without one?


mommacommaphd said...

I think you could, but you'd certainly run into problems. I've been places where there is a sign on the door that said, "Call 123-456-7890 for entry." They don't mean on a pay phone because those are hard to find now. They mean on your cell phone, so you are out of luck without one.

A while back my husband locked the keys in his car while we were at our family's cabin. It's in the middle of the mountains, no cell phone reception. We had to drive several miles to a pay phone to call. The operator for AAA couldn't grasp that there were places in the world that didn't have cell phone reception and she didn't know what to do since the person they were sending out would be unable to call us. Uh, hello! AAA has existed much longer than cell phones! It's possible!

My father is a welder and refuses to have a cell phone. People he works for have even offered to buy and pay for a phone for him so they can reach him. He refuses. When people call our home phone for him and I say he isn't there, they ask for his cell number. When I say he has none, they get mad- most probably think I'm lying and just refusing to give it out.

I think you can live without it, but it will be hard. Every form you fill out now has a slot for mobile in addition to home and work. Or they just ask for PRIMARY- because for many the primary number they use is a mobile.

Currently, most of the people I know, who are my age (30s) do not have a landline at all. THey only have a cell phone.

Jenny said...

I have always wanted one in case of an emergency. I had a prepaid phone in Germany, and very often it would run out of charge before I noticed. I just didn't use it that much there. I use mine more now that we're back in the States, but really... not too much compared to the masses. Very few people have my number, and those that do are mostly family.

Anonymous said...

I have a cell phone which I don't use much, and almost no one calls me. However, I like that my kids and husband carry cell phones so I can reach them whenever I need to. My adult kids do not have landlines, but their smart phones are better--more versatile. I love getting random emails from them with pix of what's happening at the moment. So what's my techy toy of choice? I'm very attached to my tablet--for email, web browsing, checking the weather, following blogs, taking pix, etc. I guess it's just what you get used to.

Beth said...

It is nice to have a cell phone in certain circumstances. My husband got me a smart phone just so we could sync up our schedules. With all the therapies my son has, not to mention doctor's appointments...I was losing sleep because I was afraid to miss an appointment. My calendar and cell phone allow me to always have my calendar with me, so I sleep much better. It was especially useful today when I realized I would not make it home in time to get Phillip off the bus. I called my neighbor while driving to ask her to take him for five minutes until I could get there. I don't like always being available, so I have some hard rules about turning off my ringer in public places. I then return calls later when I am home. Cell phones are a useful tool, but need limits in my opinion.

TAV said...

As generally a technophobe, I do think a cell is useful! And I bet that once you are back stateside, you will find it impossible to resist.

Marie said...

I have one but frequently turn off the ringer or ignore it if I can't or don't want to answer. I think most people find it hard to resist picking it up.
When you return to the US of course you could do without but you will probably get weird looks from the younger generations! :)

Anonymous said...

I don't have a cell phone. 1. I'm usually home. 2. If I'm not home they can leave a message.

Once in a great while, I think it would be practical, but for the most part I am fine without a cell phone. My husband also does not have a cell phone. I thought we were the only ones. Glad to know we are not alone.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick comment on your thought, "...they can get a hold of me anytime they want..."
Like several other people have said, people can't get a hold of you if you don't want them to. You have total control of your phone - to not answer, to turn off the ringer, to only check it at certain times, etc..

Joy Z said...

In the states, I loved having a cell phone. We were actually some of the very last people in the states to finally get phones. We simply couldn't afford it for awhile. But then once I got one, I loved having it and couldn't imagine not having one. It came in so handy so many times.

BUT, now that we are in Guantanamo Bay, I am LOVING NOT having a cell phone! It is so refreshing to not have that thing ringing non-stop. And here, there are regular phones everywhere so it is easy not not have a cell. Vic still has one and sometimes threatens to make me have one again, but I am resisting. It is so nice to go for an entire grocery trip and not have him or one of the kids call me. And so far, everyone has survived. =)

miss fluffy said...

I agree with anonymous... yes, if you have a cell phone, anyone can reach you anytime, anywhere... but only if YOU let them! You can put your phone on silent. You can turn it off (not the best option, in my opinion, for responding to emergency situations). There is a silence option if your phone rings and you want to stop it from ringing. Smartphones can be very smart, if you utilize their features: my phone will allow me to set rules - if this, then this. If I'm driving and I get a text, send an automatic reply that i'm driving and i'll get back with them; between the hours of 11p and 7a, my phone automatically goes on silent; etc. And personally, I think text messages are the most wonderful thing ever! You can get a message to someone quickly in situations where a phone call would disturb them. Most of us probably over-use text messages, but... the concept is still great, and allows for quick, quiet communication. There are so many pros... there are definitely some cons... but ultimately, YOU have control over your cell phone usage (responsible, considerate usage, I might add!), and when people can reach you. =) It's actually not much different from a landline (especially with caller id), except you don't leave the house with your land line. But you still can choose when you answer it and when you turn the ringer off. =)

And yes, you can probably live without a cell phone - there are still a few folks without them! =) But as others have said, it could be inconvenient to be without one.

jenicini said...

I'm a tech geek. Love my iPhone as I can read books or pretty much do whatever the hell I want on it! That being said, I think you have to just understand and tell family members that you won't always answer it. I feel free to ignore it when I want to. :) Yes though, you'll need one.

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

I really like what some of you are saying. About leaving your phone on silent and telling people you don't plan on answering your phone when you are out. I think this is what I am going to do. This total accessibility is just overwhelming to me. I don't like to talk on the phone as it is and the idea that i have to, all the time, whenever they call me or need, bothers me greatly. I feel relieved reading this would be culturally accepted!

Keith said...

I was thinking the other day that when you and I were little kids, mom or dad would leave for hours at a time, just saying, "I'm going to ____." We just saw them when we saw them after that. I never remember mom or dad using a pay phone to let the other one know they were running late.

Now, if Adrienne says she'll be home at 4:00, and it hits 4:15 and she hasn't called or texted, my brain starts going a mile a minute.

What a bunch of sissies we've become.

Patty PB said...

Well, you already know what I think about this. I love my phones...LOL!

But seriously, the main reason I got a phone here, (even though nobody else had one), thought of all the things that could happen while I was on my own off-base. (Then again, I was one of the few people that drives off-base...) Specially in a place like Turkey, where I don't know the language, it gave me the security that in case I got in an accident, or I was in a situation where I needed to get ahold of somebody on-base, I had the tools to do it. All they tell you here about runing into problems off-base, are the emergency numbers you need to call, (for translators, legal office, security forces, hospital, etc.), and being stranded somewhere I didn't know without a phone to call those numbers, made me nervous. Now with a young baby, I would never even dream of going off-base without my phone. I just don't think it's safe...

I believe, (completely opposite to everyone else I think), that you CAN live without one back in the States. You're in a place where you know your way around, you speak the language, you know the culture, and you're (somewhat) safe. You could most likely go into a business, tell them your emergency, and that you have no phone, and they'll understand you, let you use theirs, or help you. In a different country, I think it's not that simple...


Susan said...

I have one, but it stays turned off and in my purse. I figure it is for emergencies when I am in the car or traveling by myself. My husband fusses all the time when he can't reach me!

Anonymous said...

I have been in the middle of conversations w/ people and they get a phone call or text and 'leave' the conversation. Sooooo rude but it is a tempting thing to do. Or I'm shopping and I think someone is speaking to me but they are talking into one of those ear buds! I do admit, I never wanted a cell phone but I rely on it alot.

AW said...

I have an iPhone. I LOVE IT! I have a Kindle app and can read when I have a moment. I have a few math and Lego games for the boys to play. I have tons of numbers programmed into my phone, so if I don't want to talk to them, I don't have to. I have internet access, so if I want to look up a sale ad or a word definition or a movie time, I can do it right then. Love it!

Now...all that to say I HATE talking on the phone. Hate it. I do lots of texting. Short, sweet, to the point sentences. No unnecessary conversing needed, unless you want it.

So it's a "tool" and I can dictate how I use it and whether or not I want to communicate with it. ;-)