Monday, September 30, 2013

I refuse to be a slave to my mobile phone

[Alternate title: And one ring tone to rule them all!]

The spouse and I have had a running battle for weeks now, maybe months, regarding my mobile phone.

I am, I believe, one of the few remaining people on the planet who refuses to be bound 24/7 to my precious mobile device -- keeping my phone off most of the time and using it primarily to communicate (i.e., text) with my teenage daughter when she is not home (i.e., when she needs a ride) and, okay, check my email when I am working on a project and will be out of my home office for more than an hour or so.

The spouse, on the other hand, wants me to keep my smart phone on and on or near my person 24/7 -- or to have all calls and texts forwarded to my computer (using Google Voice). An idea that make me want to move to a tropical island with limited cell phone reception (albeit one with Internet access).

But I refuse to be a slave to my mobile phone!

While I see the utility of  mobile phones and agree they are a boon to those whose job or lifestyle has them rarely in one place or the same place for long (e.g., traveling salespeople, mothers of children who do after-school activities), they have become an addiction -- and an unhealthy one at that.

I don't know what it is Apple and Samsung are putting in their devices, but clearly silicon is the new crack. Just try to find someone with a mobile phone who doesn't touch, talk to, or just stare at it every 15 minutes -- less! -- or get twitchy when they haven't touched their precious device in a while. (Yesss, thanks to RIM, Apple, and Samsung, we are all Gollum now.)

The irony, while mobile phones allow us to roam without being tethered to an office or single location (just watch out for those nasty roaming fees!), they have instead tethered us to them. But I refuse to bow down to my silicon overlord (she wrote while typing furiously on her laptop computer)! So the next time you call or text me on my mobile, and I don't answer, you know why.


Furbo said...

Because I love to contribute to a good discussion (even via comments on her blog), I don't actually want her to have her phone by her side at all times.

Indeed unless I'm on call (which I do as part of my business every few weeks), my phone goes into the charger at night in my office. And I often put my phone on vibrate or mute.

The real trigger of our esteemed blogger's post is communication style. And that kind of got lost here.

And here we really are kind of venturing into Miss Manners territory here.

If no matter what you do, people continue to use your cell phone (or Twitter or Facebook, or ...) as a destination of communications (text or voice), do you continue to try to get them to work with a different communication vehicle or do you find a way accommodating others communication preference, even if its different than your own?

In my case, I was finding that even though I prefer to receive business calls on my office line, people still called me on my cell. Issue for me is that coverage where we leave is not great. I ended up getting a special ATT device (a Femtocell) that essentially puts a cell tower in the house and use the Internet to transact calls).

I do have a soft spot for contrarians, but I did suggest that our blogger use Google Voice and have Google transcribe her voice mails when she chooses to keep her phone off...

Another David S. said...

I'm with you, J. Unlike most of my friends, I have no problem putting my phone away and never looking at it while in the presence of others. Its main function for me (aside from calling) is as a reading companion, especially during solo meals and on the bus. I truly don't understand this addiction people have for their devices, to the exclusion of the world--and people--around them.