I don’t have a cell phone. (Cue the thunder rolling in.)
Are you still reading? Usually when this comes up in a conversation (which I try to avoid), it goes like this:
Friend: That’s so weird! I wanted to text you this morning and don’t have the number.
Me: I don’t have a cell phone.
Friend: Where is it?
Me: I guess it’s at the store.
Friend: What do you mean?
Me: I mean, I don’t have one.
Friend: You left your phone at a store? That sucks.
Me: No, I mean I don’t own one.
Friend: (takes this moment to look at me strangely, the way you would look at someone who just admitted that they think Calico Critters come alive at night) Why not?
First off, let me just say that it’s not because I’m trying to make some “let’s-get-off-the-grid!” statement about modern life. I know how Google Earth works, I write this blog on my beloved MacBook Air, I think some apps sound like fun—I’m aware of technology.
I think it’s honestly because I cannot believe how much these things cost. Cannot believe. And before you say, “There are really inexpensive phones and plans out there—you don’t need to get an iPhone,” I want to say, I know. Some of my friends have them, and when they call me I can barely understand what they’re saying. It sounds as if they are repeatedly going through a tunnel. That could just be my friends, or cell phone providers in Canada, but I don’t know. Not very appealing.
I also can’t believe how quickly they became the accepted, default state in life. It shocks people, this not having a cell phone situation. Shocks! The last time I was shocked was when I found out Carolyn Keene didn’t write every Nancy Drew book. I know! Your world is rocked, too. It’s a pseudonym. I’m sorry to rip off the band-aid like that.
I don’t think I’m better than anyone because I don’t have a cell phone. (Gosh, that would be sad.) And I’m not trying to shock anyone. I just don’t want another bill and (possibly) resent the idea that everyone has to be accessible all the time.
Okay, I guess in the name of full disclosure I should also mention that I’m not on Facebook.
In my mind, these two things do not go together, but I see the facts fusing in the minds of people who know me as being inextricably linked. They silently add it to their dossier on me, the way you would if you heard that someone is vegan and doesn’t own a TV, or someone who likes to wear leather masks and only works at night. Oh, you’re that person. You would naturally assume the facts are connected, but they may not be.
A lot of my parent friends are part of Facebook groups, but they fill me in. I still spend too much time at my computer. Friends tell me about funny texts they send and receive and I still find them funny.
In a way, it’s kind of weird to have to defend your decision not to buy something. Remember when you had to defend your decision to buy something? Pre-ripped jeans, the soundtrack to Adventures in Babysitting, seasons tickets to that experimental theatre?
The good news? I don’t suffer from nomophobia—in fact, I just learned what that is: “the fear of being out of mobile phone contact.”