January 31, 2011

rejecting the cell phone lifestyle

General Living

Recently, I nixed my cell phone service. The data plan stopped working when I was in Denver and it was really nice just checking email once a day! So, if you have my old 281 area code number, please delete it….

This started a small firestorm. I find people responding in two camps: the shocked and the amazed. Either people admire me for it or they go on and on about what an atrocity it is that I don’t have a cell phone. How inconvenient it is for them. No matter that I have 3 email addresses, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and a land line (and days when neither phone rang). Heaven forbid, they just come over to say Hi. Remember those days? It used to be fun to just walk over to someone’s house to see if they were home.

My favorite excuse is the whole ’emergency’ excuse. I get this a lot. However, I got through 34 years of life, including traveling through Europe for 3 1/2 months ALONE at the age of 21. I’ve also run out of gas in the middle of South Dakota. Cell phones weren’t around back then. I made it out alive.

When I got my cell phone, it was indeed because of the business. Travel certainly is easier with a phone. However, making plans ahead of time and committing to them has worked for me in the past. I’d like to get back to that. With phones and texting, I find that people don’t value my time anymore. They can just text that they are running late…. when I’m already at the restaurant… waiting.

So, it has been about a month and a half now and I’m still loving it. There is only one person that I’ve noticed I’ve inconvenienced (sorry, Tom) by not having a cell.

When I’m sitting on the ski lift, I’m really there. When I’m working out, I’m not distracted by a vibrating phone. When I’m sitting with someone, I’m really there. Listening. In the moment.

The joke had been “I’ll get another cell phone when Verizon finally gets the iPhone!”… darn! I was hoping it would take another year or so. All this being said, I’m sure I’ll cave. I do have two conventions coming up…

In the meantime, I’ll call you back when I get in from snowboarding….

Here is a great interview on the Colbert Report with Sherry Turkle, author of “Alone Together”…

Also, check out Star Trek’s Borg… that is how I feel some people act now….

Alyssa 16:05 January 31, 2011
Yes! This is great! I've been wanting to do the same. The level of rudeness and lack of courtesy has reached new heights. I preferred life before cell phones and texting.
Chris Davis Cina 10:54 February 1, 2011
LOVED this article (and the link to Colbert and Turkle). We are to obsessed with "staying in touch" via technology and forget how important it is to be present in the moment. Thank God photography allows us to stop and capture the quiet, beautiful moments to cherish. Right now my cell phone is OFF!
trisha 11:09 February 1, 2011
Well, I dance the line on this issue. I do believe that technology has to be put in its place, but on the other hand, cell phones/social networking/etc. are all part of society these days and the convenience of them has bred the necessity. I would give anything not to be tethered to my iphone, but on the other hand, i love it! like colbert says--if there were no iphone, what would we live for?! social networking and mobile devices have, oddly, made people more connected and concerned about others, yet more selfish and self-centered. people want everyone to know what they are doing amidst being concerned and needing to know what everyone ELSE is doing. for instance, i see a shift from knowing that you are on other people's time to expecting everyone else to be on your time. it used to be that you called a landline and the person was either there or not and that was ok, because "they'll call me back when they have the time or whatever." now when people try to telephone one another, there's an expectation that when you are ready to call, the person will definitely answer and when they don't, there is a level of frustration. i fall victim to it every day--getting annoyed at my friends and family when they don't answer their cell phones or don't text me back immediately. the thought comes in as "well where the heck IS he/she?" and "why isn't he/she answering the phone? i know he/she has it!" on the other hand, i get annoyed when people come to expect my unfettered availability! another way people are becoming more selfish is that they believe their time is so much more important than everyone else's--accepting phone calls while out to dinner with others, texting in the middle of a conversation--all in the name of "staying connected." but again, there's something to be said for being connected--it makes people feel like they are a part of something, their digital friends and families if you will. yet these relationships are so sterile and controlled that they become "better than the real thing" as turkle points out in her book--and a digital life is definitely not as good as a real one (in my opinion). who knows... anyway, i gotta go...just got a text.
Dawn Tacker 12:26 February 1, 2011
Love this - I find I am more anxious with the "smart" phone and the days I turn it off just make everything else come into focus. Thanks for the reminder that I should do this more often!
Dena 12:28 February 1, 2011
I wish I could do what you did....I don't have the power! Also, I have a friend who occaisionaly just stops by & I love it. It reminds me of I love Lucy, one of my fav tv shows. So, you know I'm pretty much always home & can "stop by" anytime you like!
Meridith 12:29 February 1, 2011
Walk over and see me (or drive LOL!) anytime. I have wine :D and free afternoons!
Heather McKay 12:33 February 1, 2011
Trisha, I completely agree with everything you said! And thanks to the first link to the article about Turkle.... I loved it. I think I need to read the book. I liked what she said about Facebook being a performance of yourself. I recently had to explain to my parents that just because they follow me on Facebook, it doesn't mean they know what is going on in my life. I do love parts of having a cell phone and I think it is absolutely amazing that it is even possible. Especially the iPhone. That is why I'm going to hold out as long as possible before I cave in. I know it will be the iPhone and I'll love it sooooo much. I already love my iPod Touch! What you said about voice mails is one of the things that bugs me. I mean, I really don't need you to answer the phone while you are in the bathroom. With caller ID, voice mail, texting.... nothing is THAT important!
Shawn S 15:57 February 1, 2011
My phone died in August. It feels very liberating not being on call at all times.
Audrey 16:07 February 1, 2011
I had an unannounced drop by last night. It was so out of the ordinary (and after it got dark) that I told the kids to go wait in their room. :) I love when people stop by! We have neighbors that walk down the street when the weather is warm and grab my kids to play for a couple of hours.
Shannon 16:49 February 1, 2011
I'm with you. I have a pay-as-you go cell phone with no camera or internet. I have never written a text. Aside from the value aspect of it- about $5/month at most, I don't want to have a constantly jiggling phone either and it serves its purpose for emergencies or "Where are you?" or "I'm lost" phone calls. I have no desire right now for the constant connectivity.

Leave a Reply

Related Posts
Yoga, Fitness, Pittsford NY, Professional Photographer, Corporate Art, Corporate Photography, Nature Photography, Genevra Petito, Greater Rochester Professional Photogrpaher
Yoga and Fitness in Rochester
Yoga is so good for the soul as well as for the body. One of the best things I do for myself is take time out of my busy schedule to attend regular yoga and fitness classes!
Fitness and Yoga Rochester NY with Genevra Petito of Super Girl Fitness. Commercial photography by Heather McKay's Photography.
Yoga in Rochester, NY
Genevra from Super Girl Fitness has been teaching me Yoga and strength training for about 2 years now and it was time for me to return the favor in kind... She hired me to take photos of her studio and poses for her new website and Facebook Page.
Heather's review of the movie Food, Inc as a small business owner
Food, Inc
A quick note today to let everyone know that the amazing and eye-opening movie, "Food, Inc." is leaving the Little Theatre on Thursday! A must see movie for sure and one that McKay's Photography sponsored during the High Falls Film Festival.
%d bloggers like this: