Tag Archives: cell phones

No Cellphone? Yeah, what of it?

I do not own a cellphone.

There, I said it.

I realize that puts me in the overwhelming minority of Americans, but I’m really okay with that. I can’t tell you, though, the number of shocked and surprised looks I get when this information comes forward. Many react like I’ve told them I don’t own shoes and they simply can’t comprehend what I’ve just said. Of course, it isn’t unusual that folks can’t comprehend what I say. “I” sometimes can’t comprehend what I say.

It’s not that I’ve never had one, I have. Twice.

The first time I owned a cellphone I enjoyed it. It was during those brief months when I worked selling academic furniture (yeah, I know—long story THERE, too!) and traveled the states of Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas. I wasn’t usually gone for more than a couple of days, but I spend considerable time on the road and it was good to have to speak with university representatives, my bosses, and—of course—my family.

This was in the days before the smartphones (that’s one word, right?) and so my biggest concern was actually getting a signal. The “can you hear me now” commercial often applied to my experience. This would have been 2005, nearly ten years ago now.

After that job disappeared, the phone went with it. No, “I” paid for it—but I didn’t see a need for it once I stopped traveling.

Fast forward to 2011 when I took a job in Orlando, Fl., but still owned a home (and a family!) in Oxford, Ms. So, I got another one so that I could keep my family posted during my drive/commute and while I was away. The first year of my employment saw me a week here, week there, etc., so there was a lot of driving. On top of that, eldest child reaches the age where “everybody else has a cellphone, I should too,” wah wah wah. And when she started driving, the idea sounded a lot better.

Fast forward once again just slightly to 2012 when the entire family decides to get on “a plan.” Yep, they sold it to us that way. So, we all got smartphones except for the youngest. Except, this time, I didn’t really see a need for it. We kept them for several months until the entire family finally joined me in Orlando and the provider we had did not(and still does not, I think) service the area. So we got out. But the family wanted a new “plan” in Orlando.

Except I opted out.

Yep. S’true. While I found the smartphone a fun gadget, I didn’t really “need” it (what I needed was to sell my house in Oxford—but that’s another story!) and so I was having a real hard time justifying the expense.

The only time I really regret the decision is when wifey sends me to the grocery store and I find myself staring at product labels. Only then would I really like to have a phone.

Maybe I should try to get one of those Obama phone?


Filed under Columns

Shopping with cell phones

I’m not much of a shopper. Oh, it’s not that I mind going shopping so much, but I can’t stand waiting in long lines. I usually start thinking of about 100 other things I’d rather be doing that standing in line.

Therefore, I try to stay away from Malls and the sort from Thanksgiving until after the New Year. Please note, I did say “try.” For the most part, I don’t like going to all those super-crowded places. That’s one of the things I didn’t like about Los Angeles—there were just too many people. (a note of trivia for you: The San Fernando Valley area has a population of about 3.2 million. Arkansas’s estimated 2005 population is 2.7 million and Mississippi’s is 2.9 million)

Sometimes, however, you must go shopping.

And go we all do.

The first thing you notice is how the season brings out the best in folks. I noticed this first in the parking lot.

I sat patiently waiting for the cars to inch through the parking lot looking for spaces. You know how it works: wait in the aisle until a car begins pulling out. You allow them to back out and leave, and then you take their space. That is until some rude joker zips in from the wrong direction, blocks your way, and then backs into the space.

One of my favorite scenes from Fried Green Tomatoes is when Evelyn is cut off in the parking lot by some young girls. They laughingly make the comment that they’re young and quick. Evelyn then rear-ends their car several times. The young girls scream at Evelyn as she responds she is older and has more insurance.

Wouldn’t that be a sight to see at Wal-Mart?

One of the things I noticed this year was the coninued heavy use of cell phones. It seems as if every other person driving has a cell phone to their ear. I think someone needs to come up with a cell phone radar to go along with our radar detectors. This would warn you of an upcoming (or oncoming) vehicle with cell phone usage and allow you to give them a wide berth.

I know they’ve been around for several years and folks have been using them all along. But they can cause confusion in public. Take for example the conversation I didn’t have with the man standing next to me looking at toys.

“Hey how you doing?” he asked.
“Fine,” I said, surprised he was talking to me. “And you?”
“Yeah, I’m standing looking at toys.” I could plainly see that. “What do you think I should get?”
Obviously, I didn’t know what he was looking for, but since my son likes Superman, I figured I’d suggest that.
“Hard to go wrong with Superman,” I said. He shot me a strange glance, almost as if he were agitated.
Maybe he didn’t like Superman.
“My son also likes Batman,” I added. The man reached over and picked up a Spider-Man. Okay, maybe he’s got a thing against DC Comics.
Trying to be friendly, I added, “Spider-Man was always my favorite as a kid.” He shot me that sideways glance again.
“Well, I gotta go,” he said. He turned to walk past me and that’s when I notice he had that new kind of cell phone. You know, the kind that sticks in your ear and makes you look like you’re part Borg from Star Trek.

Now that I think about it, cell phones in general have a Star Trek theme. The ones not attached to your ear open up like Captain Kirk’s communicator.

Scotty beam me up.


Filed under Columns