I’ve had a cellphone for years now. I remember the ones we called “car phones.” They only worked in the car, plugged into your cigarette lighter (cars don’t even come with those anymore). I remember the giant brick-style thing with the mandatory pull-up antenna, the one that folded open - top AND bottom. The ones you were lucky to get through to 911 on. I miss those. They served a purpose: to make a phone call.
Phones today drive me INSANE. I don’t like being THAT connected. When I’m out, I’m out and you can’t call me or text me or find my location on foursquare or Facebook or with your GPS. I don’t check in. I don’t say who I’m with. I HATE it when people do that to me. Everyone spends so much time worrying about the NSA, yet we put our daily lives out there anyway. Find me, judge me, annoy me.
There are certain things I LOVE about my phone, but none of them have anything to do with BEING A PHONE. I love the alarm clock, for when I am cooking, napping or taking my twice-daily medication. I love the GPS, for when I’m lost or need to calculate an ETA. I love the camera, the video camera and the editing options. I like to play a game once in a while. It’s nice to be able to check the weather. I use the notepad CONSTANTLY. And let’s not forget the music, of course. I won’t deny the convenience of having all of these things in one handy-dandy device that fits in my pocket or purse.
The things I HATE waaaaay overrule what I love. I hate talking on the phone … period. Ever. I know that’s extreme, but it’s just the way I am. You’d think in that case that I’d love texting, but you’d be wrong. Like I said before … I don’t want to be found. I’d rather ditch my phone and have to use a pay phone to call someone on the rare occasion that I ever have to do such a thing (I never said I hated e-mail :). I don’t want all of life’s answers at my fingertips. I want to LIVE … to have to work to gain knowledge. It makes me feel human. I don’t want to be notified 500 times of Facebook posts (I know I can shut this option off, but it has a way of mysteriously turning back on every time Facebook updates it’s security). I don’t want to piss my life away staring at a screen. I feel isolated enough as it is. I want to look around, at faces, at trees, at flowers and puppies and kittens and smell the sweet air. I want to feel REAL. I often consider throwing my phone in the ocean and a secret smile comes over my face. I think about chucking out the car window while I’m going 70mph and watching it smash all over the road in my rear-view mirror.
The funny part is, there is something I hate more than my phone: YOUR PHONE. Look at me when I’m talking. Make a grunt to acknowledge that I’ve spoken to you. Quit answering my every question by using safari. Quit checking to see if I’m correct if I say, “I think that actress was in blankety-blank.” Quit fact-checking me. Quit talking about how fucking cool jailbreaking is. Quit staying up all night playing video games. Don’t take a phone call and expect that I want to sit and listen to you. Don’t text people at dinner. Don’t use your phone around my parents. Realize that my parents don’t give a shit about learning all the fancy things that you know about your phone and THEIR phones. Quit texting, posting, linking, tagging, etc. etc. etc. Be bored. Be human.
The truth is, I only look at my phone, because all you do is look at yours.