Cell Phone Dependence?

One time I was sitting on a bench in the hallway of my university, waiting to get into a classroom. I always arrive ridiculously early, so I can have time to read or study before class. I couldn’t concentrate on reading or studying because I was too busy watching the students on the benches beside me.

All of them had their Blackberry phones out and were texting as madly as if their lives depended on it. I realized I was the only student, all the way down the long strip of hallway, who didn’t have a phone.

Later on, I was in my dorm room, talking to my roommate about it. She said something that scared me. “I got my first cell phone during my senior year of high school. And now I can’t live without it. If I leave it off for a few hours or go somewhere without it, I get calls and texts from people who want to make sure I haven’t died or anything. It’s like… I’m dependent on it.”

She wasn’t the first person I met who said something like that about their phone.

Phones can do pretty much anything these days: they have a GPS, an mp3 player, a camera, a little keyboard, Internet access… you name it, there’s an app for it.

But being dependent on an electronic device? That’s a little spooky.

In my mind, the best use for a cell phone would be in emergency situations. If you see an accident happening, or are in danger, you can speed-dial 911 and get help.

When people ask for my cell phone number, I have to tell them I don’t have a phone. I get reactions like, “How do you survive?” “Don’t you have any friends?” “What will you do in an emergency?”

My answer: “How did we ever survive, maintain friendships, and handle emergencies before cell phones?”

I’m not trying to be stuck up. It’s an honest question. Why have we become so “dependent” on a little electronic device? Who knows… maybe it’s something I have to have a phone to understand.

12 thoughts on “Cell Phone Dependence?

  1. I do have a mobile phone, but for sure I am not dependent on it. I only use it to call and text people when I need them. If someone says ‘hey’ through text, then yes I will be polite and just say ‘hey, how are you’.
    I tend to use the house phone a lot to talk about anything but nothing. It seems more right. Nice post, and very true as always. πŸ™‚

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    1. I don’t like talking on the phone much at all, so my landline doesn’t even get much use. And that’s all a phone is really necessary for – calling. All those other bells and whistles are just time-suckers. πŸ™‚

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  2. I’m with you, Maggie.

    I have a pre-paid plan with Verizon. The phone cost $20 and 450 minutes (good for a year) cost $100.

    So I have a phone for emergencies for $10 a month.

    I bought the minutes in October and they expire next October. I’ve used about 50 minutes in 6 months. πŸ˜€

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  3. Speaking as someone who lived most of his life before cell phones and personal computers, we did just fine. πŸ™‚

    I talked about that on my blog:
    http://u-town.com/collins/?p=2022

    And there’s no guarantee that cell phones will work in some kinds of emergencies. They didn’t on 9/11, and they were spotty during the blackout a year or two after that.

    Nice blog. I’ll visit again when I’m not supposed to be working. πŸ™‚

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    1. Precisely my point about cell phones. We can do just fine without them, it’s just that some people seem to have forgotten that. πŸ™‚ Thank you for subscribing, Anthony!

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  4. Good post… I’m a tech savvy and love to have all those electronic gadgets…But never addicted to it.. Good that im quite balanced on these πŸ™‚

    and again… Its a good post !!

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  5. Ah, the days before cell phones. I have noticed that such gadgets are like cigarettes. Ever notice how people light up one or the other after emerging from a meeting or a movie? Given the conversations that I’ve overheard–even in the restroom, ugh!–the phones are about as nutritious as tobacco too.

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