People seem baffled when I tell them that even creeping into 2009 I do not own, never have, and hopefully never will own a cell phone. They seem even more shocked that I can communicate with the world around me, and fuction without a cellular telephone.
"Why don't you own a cell phone?"
I do not think they are necessary. Weighing the pros and the cons, I find a lot more cons than I do pros. I do want to mention, that I think cell phones are increasingly amazing devices, and with each new feature I am continually impressed. The fact that we can own one device that is our calender, phone book, telephone, camera, internet, beeper, answering machine, calculator, alarm clock, daily planner, is asthonishing (i may be missing more, leave me a comment if I am). As impressed by the increasing cell phone technology as I am, I cannot help but see the numerous downsides to cell phones. I even create a list of ten reasons why not to own a cell phone.
The things are scary to me on multiple levels. I'm terrified of cell phone using drivers who pay more attention to their conversations that the road, I'm terrified of the people that seem to have let their memory decay because they use their cell phones to look up any information, I'm terrified of the dependance of such a small tool, and terrified of the health risks that one can get from using a cell phone.
"Are Cell Phones the next cigarette?"
Have you noticed how cell phones have become widespread in our culture, kids in sixth grade are getting cell phones, and mass marketing campaigns target everyone. Meanwhile, the potential risks of using a cell phone are unclear and undefined. It sounds exactly like cigarettes in early 1900's. The flavor, coolness and calming effects began sweeping america and europe while the consumer was oblivious to the damage being done from the added addictive poisons and other health deteriorating substances. No one knew the cigarettes were bad for your health. Cell phones have popped into our culture with such rigor, that I feel there must be some unknown or hidden health risks that are going to surface a few decades from now. Followed by a batch of 'truth is knowledge' ads explaining how cell phones give you brain tumors, or that cell phones have telepathic magnetic mind control devices that keep you addicted and dependant on your cell phone. None of which would suprise me.
"Here. It's for you"
Slowly I have watched a group of my close friends adopt cell phones into their lives. Only a few people I know do not cling to their phones like life perservers. I strongly support and advocate that cell phones are an unneeded expense, although usually I end up in a debate about how amazing and convenient cell phones are, and its an argument I am not going win. Some people are already too enticed into their magical devices that nothing I say can change their mind. You mihgt be one of those people. Skim though this next paragraph and decide if it does not sound easier to just drop the cell phone and go cell phoneless.
"What the hell is a landline?"
That's right. I use a landline. The archaic form of telephone communication, and I even use one of those old fashioned answering machines. My phone has the basic services, costs me about 15 dollars per month, and I use it simply to take messages and make calls when I am home. I rarely need or want to call anyone from the car, a store or away from home and if I do I can find a phone without much trouble. At the same time I use my e-mail as my primary source of communication, this way conversations are recorded and easily accessed and can be answered when it is most applicable to me. I can also easily add links to information regarding the conversation I am having, "do you want to see this movie? (link) It is playing here (link to showtimes)." I often refer back to old conversation for certain information that I cannot access if the conversation was on a cell phone. If I am meeting a person I plan ahead, instead of calling them when I get there. I make plans and keep them, and try to always be on time. I use an alarm clock for an alarm clock, a calendar for a calendar and a camera for a camera. Imagine that.
Maybe I am behind the times, but sometimes it is best to take a good hard look at the technology you are incorperating into your life and ask yourself is the cost and the risks worth it. Maybe it doesn't cause cancer...... but maybe it does. Maybe they don't track your cell phone from satellittes, but maybe they do. Is it worth it to not really know? It is like a lottery, in which you are putting your future on the line for the temporary benefits of a cell phone.
Cell phones are not worth the risk to me.
Make sure to check out the ten reasons why not to own a cell phone