Monday, July 5, 2010

Throw away your cell phone

What's a cell phone cost these days? With messaging, $60/month? That's over $700/year--about $1000 of my wages when you factor in taxes, SSI, etc.

But that's not the true cost.

  • One of the saddest things to see is a mother walking a toddler while she jabbers on the phone. She's not there. And a child learns how much his presence is worth.
  • The most dangerous thing in most children's lives is the automobile. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent."
  • There is weak evidence that cell phones may be associated with cancer--not enough in itself to make most rational folks hang it up (or whatever one does with a cell phone), but the numbers warrant attention.
  • Bees may be affected by the cell phone signals--a recent study in India got a lot of coverage but it was a rather limited study. Go ahead, read it. I double dog dare you.
  • The Feds can track you--the current administration is pushing for "warrantless tracking"--it's in the courts now. The technology is already there.

OK, Mr. Luddite, what do you do in an emergency?

Well, in the olden days, I carried a quarter for pay phones--remember those? Now I ask *gasp* strangers for help.

I'll take my money and go squander it on something really important--maybe I'll buy myself a new spinning wheel.

When you see me walking down the beach, lost in the world around me, just leave a message at the beep. I'll get to you when I get to you.

The image is from MobileCommandos--no idea where they got it.


jeffmason said...

Haven't purchased a cell phone yet. Originally, I guess, the cost had something to do with it. I also considered that if I was going out, I really didn't need to talk to anyone on a phone until I returned (if at all). Now that payphones have all but gone the way of the dinosaur, we did eventually break down and buy a prepaid phone added minutes and a years service for about $100. If someone leaves the house they can take the phone for emergencies. In some respects, depending on your age, it's not about the "phone" at all. I guess people just want to choose their connectivity. Though, just like the mother in your example, some people don't always make good choices.

Barry Bachenheimer said...

I'm going to give you a little (good natured) push back...

While I love the context and can't argue with the facts of throwing your cell phone (and all the other technology items) away, the irony that you advocate this from your blog is not lost on me.

doyle said...

Dear Jeff,

I like the idea of the prepaid phone and may do just that--we carry our kayaks on a 1994 Dodge Caravan with a balky trannie--while I carry a AAA card, calling them could prove problematic when I break down. How much do you pay each year once you own the phone?

Dear Barry,

I saw your response when I sat down to write. I had just eaten a bowl of delicious pasta with pesto, savored my cup of coffee, wandered around outside in the drizzle, stretched out my rickety hip, then came in and sat in my writing spot.

No interruptions.

When I start carrying my laptop outside, strapped to my head, then the irony will bother me.

(Your push back on the "Know Your Place" post, however, hit me square in the forehead--your points are all well taken, and ones I have been ruminating....)