This post was in the making since an year !
At the outset, lest my post miscommunicate, let me accept that mobile phone is a wonderful piece of equipment. Not just because it has made communication as immediate as possible, it also makes it possible a multitude of features to enhance our lives. It is the simplest example to witness that technology has entered our bodies (you can hardly notice mobile-less hands these days) as a preamble to wearable devices. And ofcourse, it is here to stay.
But as a necessity ? My answer is still no. It is still a luxury, not from the cost point of view but from the the point of usefulness. I have been without mobile for over an year now. Only on 2 occasions I was handicapped without a mobile – and both were during travel*
Other than that, I have been completely comfortable. Even before, I hardly recieved calls and hence it was not much a missing. And the very people whom it might have affected did not have complaints, so it was fine for me to be without. I am always available at my office desk or at my house. If I am anywhere else, like at theater or while travelling (on 2 wheeler), I do not wish to take calls, anyways.
On communicating front, things have been normal with email/chat ( I am not saying they are a replacement, but “my life” is yet to find a need to communicate faster than the non real time and/or a need to communicate better & more than that I do on emails. Biggest joke was when a friend called in to after 7 years, blamed it on my not having mobile for the lack of touch. And that, she called from her office phone!
But apart from these, there is another reason I distance phones. Without putting effort(in detail, not that I can not but it is not effortless), it is difficult for me to talk to the handset/mobile imagining the person’s face. With close people, I did talk for hour long, but thats rare. Its a different matter on writing media such as mails and chat, where I can express myself overtly, but on phone I am a bit held back and on oil-less wheels.
I was known to be “speaking from the graveyard” when I receive calls or when I am on phone. (Again it is not that I can not change, but I care less). It takes a little inertia to get over after which too I am just ok, I guess.
Talking of grouses against mobiles, I am totally irritated when people use it in movie halls (at one point recently, ppl in all 3 directions were talking). Why don’t they switch it off / keep it in silent mode. If they have to talk, why the hell dont they throw themselves out ? Also am irritated by crazy and loud ringtones (especially during meeting/ in office).
I don’t like mobile phone intruding my conversations with friends (talk of jealousy, eh?). Once a friend had come home to meet me and of 30 minutes with me, 20 or more minutes he was on phone. Not that I bother much about not being talked to me, but more importantly I was sitting there doing nothing for him to finish talking. I am angry that “my time” was used up. (I believe that anyone who does not value/respect other’s time does not respect the person itself. Which is why I hate thoroughly when I have to wait on somebody (and not because I have to wait)). I understand it is urgent, important, and all that but keep it short. Call back !
You know whats more a pitiable sight than people spending long time on mobile in a social gathering (where they have “come” to meet real people), it should be two friends who meet up and both get busy with their mobiles !!
But there is one thing which I miss – SMS**$#. Those PJs. Those shayiris. Jokes. Fun messages. Good Mornings. Festival/day wishings. Romantic ones. Friendship ones. I felt often, sms can open a new descipline of in literature. Not only the messages meant something, but a thought about the forwarder was also refreshing amidst the busy lives, build errors, meetings, in the queues, during commercial break, in traffic jams, early morning, mid- night and when not ? It was akin to suddenly taking a fast vacation and coming back refreshed. Keeping in touch had a new meaning!
Recently waiter ranted brilliantly about mobile phones (Some of them were just what was at the tip of my tongue, so let me just quote):
I don’t own a cell phone. I used to but I got rid of it. It never worked during those “emergencies” mobile carriers try and convince you are survivable only if you own one of their phones. Has anyone done a study proving cell phones make life safer and better? When you factor in the high bills, distracted drivers, traffic accidents, rude behaviors, and the occasional bout of brain cancer I doubt that it has.
I know most people can’t dream of life without cell phones. Personally I think they’re contraptions whose true value’s been ruthlessly marketed to separate people from their money. Ringtones for a buck? Data plans? Text messaging? Video and TV? In the words of Warren Buffet, “You make a product for a penny, you sell it for a dollar and you sell it to addicts.” And make them addicts while they’re young! Don’t believe me? They have cell phones for toddlers now!
The development of technology has always outstripped the development of manners. Maybe, one day, social mores will evolve with technology and we’ll live in a quieter, more civil world.
1. Do not use your cell phone while driving. Pull over. Even hands free phones are distracting.
4. Talk normally. There’s no need to yell. If your surroundings are too loud maybe you shouldn’t be using your phone.
6. Do not interrupt a conversation with a real live person to answer your cell phone.
8. When out with coworkers or friends, constantly checking your phone for messages is annoying.
9. Text messaging while talking to another person is rude.
12. If you see a number you don’t recognize in your phone’s missed call log, don’t ring it at three AM saying, “Yo! I got a call from this number! You call me? Who’s this?” Pathetic.
14. Stopping abruptly in the middle of the sidewalk to answer your cell phone is moronic.
18. Unless you’re expecting a call from God – turn off your phone in church, synagogue, or the mosque.
19. Set the ringer volume below an ear shattering 200 decibels.
22. If you’re running late the ability to call your boss from the road does not magically make your tardiness OK!
23. Having a cell phone does not mean you can change your plans nine times before actually meeting up with friends. Pick a time and place and stick to it.
26. Turn off your cell phone at the opera, ballet, movies, live theater, and concerts.
30. Just turn the thing off. You don’t have to be available all the time.
And after having ranted this long…..let me tell you, I am on mobile again…so note down my number….(No, I did not succumb to the lure, but a temporary necessity.)
*But it was during travel itself I realized how much “unnecessary” mobile can get -some talked about their breakfasts et all and updating at every other station that we are at that station is not going to make a world of difference, does it ? I might sound cynical and I might be completely wrong – arriving of a person and his notification of the same, could be very important and urgent – but I am not that person, thats all.
** Even though some numbers’ sms (and friendship) lasted only as long as free sms offer.
$ Why do I fall back on text media so often ?
# Talking of SMS, I enjoy going through other friends’ inbox and sent items and then to fill in the gap with my imagination/wit ! Its pretty sad that these days, they clear their inbox and sent items when they come to meet me