Could you survive a year without a cellphone?
On October 1, 2014, my cellular device was no more. I decided it would make a good story. I thought it would be a vacation. So I took a vow of celibacy; one year without a cell phone.
Starting my journey into unknown, I felt like I was coming down from an addiction. The item next to the item was gone. No matter how many times I reached down for it, the cell phone wasn’t there. It made my skin crawl at how frustrating it was to be without the contraption that I went to every time I was bored or wanted to occupy some time. I no longer had that instant gratification of a text message of just picking up the phone and calling someone. There was no Instagram or Facebook app or apps in general. If the power at the end of your finger tips was gone, what would you do? Freak out? Yeah, I guarantee it.
It felt like I was part of the stone age, walking or making a short drive over to a friend’s place uninvited, like when we were kids. “Can so and so come out to play?” That’s how it felt. And those alerts you would get when you knew there was an event going on in town or you were invited to .. yeah, out the window. I lost so much interaction time with people without the phone. Socially I became, you could say, mentally handicapped.
And was it difficult for me to get laid with out the phone? Of course. I mean, what chick wants your email address? I found ways around it by connecting via Facebook and apps like Tinder, which I could use on my iPad. ‘Swipe right’ made overweight women look sexy … And made fake girls even faker. Tinder was and is a connection maker, even for just the occassional hook up. That little fornication app is in it to win it. But even with a phone you still have to have game to play, no matter what. Don’t forget that.
What I realized is the communication between me and others changed. I could hold a conversation without straying away. “I’m I boring you?” That’s what I would say when someone would pick up their phone in the middle of a conversation. Most answer, “Oh, my bad, just let me answer this text.” Give me a break. It can wait. We lived without these things before 2003, basically, so what the f#$%, nation. Have some f#$%ing control. Almost every conversation I have had in the last year was interrupted by a cell phone. Talk about feeling disrespected. People don’t see it that way because they’re so accustomed to being attached to, and obeying what the phone tells them.
Cell phones began to take shape in my head. A month had now gone by, the addiction was gone, and the device was still gone . That’s when I started to see how cell phones promoted connectivitym while at the same time got in the way of connectivity. Personal contact is diminishing. Parents hand their 7-year old the cell phone to shut them up. Give me a break! Great parenting. It’s called legos, coloring books … Hmmm I wonder what they did before cell phone? Nowadays, as soon as we can speak we will have a cell phone.
Have you ever thought of your cell phone as just a number? Yes it’s a number. You can always change it, but you can never stop paying for it. Once you have a cell phone it is a life sentence. Having a cell phone again for about a month, I broke one within two weeks and had two new numbers. Difficulty right out of the gate. Having a cell phone was nice, it was a lot easier to do day-to-day work. In this day and age it is almost impossible to do anything without one. The Cellular Revolution is peaking. On There’s a cell phone commercial on T.V. during every break. The demand is there. Almost everything is done with a cell phone. Example: You can order a pizza via a text message, or by tapping a pizza icon for Domino’s. What’s next, an app for a personal ass wiper? Then your cell phone could literally do everything for you.
There are no limits to cell phones. It’s now a career building tool you cannot live without. I myself lost work over this last year. Most people told me I was unreachable, incluing Lunch. It was the truth. Going a year without a phone showed me the revolution. With one, I was blind to it. I knew no better. Having a cell phone reminds me of the Nirvana album cover from the 90’s (the baby in a pool chasing a dollar on a hook). The cell phone is part of our culture. It has set roots and driven them deep. We as humans of the Western civilization will never be able to go without these little squarish, light-up boxes.
Even the older generation has issues. While vacationing in Upper Michigan this summer, I was out for dinner and looking across my table at a couple in their mid-fifties. Cell phone in one hand, appetizer in the other. They never looked up, nose deep in the screen. The main course came out and it was the first time I have ever seen someone eat pasta with one hand while scrolling through Facebook with the other. The didn’t exchange a word for two hours. If this happens at that age, what kind of social awkwardness does this mean for teh generation that is growing up with them?
Young people are learn that cell phones are helpful, which is true in certain aspects. But I realize now that my life is so much easier without one. I felt more connected to the humans I was interacting with. Facebook, Instagram and the rest aren’t the same, but they’re difficult for some to put down. I mean, when I wake up in the morning next to a girl and she is on her phone Facebooking instead of cuddling … kind of annoying.
With cell phones we have endless information at our fingertips. Anything and everything you need to know is available to you. If we used them to better our brains. using our phones as an informational tool, they’re unstoppable. Yet our nation suffers from stupidity and ignorance. Why are we not getting smarter as a nation? With all that power in our pockets, we should be smarter than we are. I can say that, yes, phones makes my life easier, but it also takes away your freedom. Being without the phone was one of the toughest years of my life, and one of the most peaceful. But I’m thankful to have a phone again. I’m sure my co-workers, friends, and bosses are ecstatic as well. Life sentence, here we go.