Anyone else out there resent their cell phone?
I’ve had a serious hate/HATE relationship with phones since…well…forever. I was never one of those teens who could spend the entire evening on the phone with this girlfriend or that one, talking about boys or what TV show was currently playing or boys or that horrible little slut in chemistry class or boys or the existential reality of the multiverse overlapping our own reality or boys or clothes or…did I mention boys at all?
I’ve always been one of them people who, when they NEED socialization, prefer to have such interaction with the other person in person. This ‘having a piece of plastic crammed in your face’ has always struck me as irritating – and the whole phone conversation process as intrusive. If I want to have a conversation with someone, I’m gonna go seek them out and get the eye contact, body language, facial contortion and empathetic parts of the interaction experience – rather than just settle for a slightly distorted electronic version of that voice, without any of the other, non-verbal cues.
Having a piece of electronic equipment stand in for a person you want to have a meaningful interactive relationship with is just NOT spot on.
Dare I say…vibrator?
I’m going on record here…for the upteenth time – I. HATE. THE. PHONE.
And it’s not my specific make/model – its the entire concept of phones as conversation pieces. The phone is annoying when I’m in a good mood, because when the damn thing rings, it pulls me away from whatever I was engrossed in and demands I focus all my attention on it and the verbal-only, half-conversation which ensues.
But when I’m in a bad mood to begin with? When the demon-tech sings its siren song, I’d rather swallow broken glass, shit it out the other end immediately, and take the conversation time to bleed out from both ends. It’d be less painful then trying to limp through a conversation without radiating my frustrations over the airwaves.
At least at work, I can keep it professional. Keep it short and to the point. And let voicemail take the call when I’m deep into some project that I can’t be pulled away from.
At home? Whole ‘nother story. If I don’t answer the damn thing – I get increasingly frantic messages at 5 minute intervals. I risk a serious shit-show every time I take a 20 minute shower.
In the 80’s – when I first moved out into the wild world on my own – my Dad installed a phone in my apartment and footed the bill. He thought it was important to have me ‘connected’ to the rest of the world. If I’d had to pay for the line, I’d have gone without.
In the 90’s – I paid for my own phone line. Kids and family were factors, but still…when I left the house to go do something, I was unreachable, and the family in particular/society in general were all fine with that. Everyone was happy to leave a message on the answering machine, or just wait until later in the evening to try to call again.
(for the record, here…in the 90’s, you had to leave me a message – I screened calls through the answering machine even when I was home)
In the 00’s – cell phones were dropping price points to become an average-Joe Consumer affordable thing. After listening to a friend of mine bitching up a blue streak because her husband got pissy if she didn’t answer hers – I swore I’d never own one. I liked my autonomy too much.
And today? Yes – I carry around the damnable little tracking device…society and convenience have made the little demonic rectangles useful. And, with apologies to my earlier selves, I’ve upgraded the hate/HATE relationship with phones to a grudging acceptance/HATE relationship. The device does have a few positives. A camera, accessibility to the ‘net, and the portability of the phone number.
I tolerate the thing as long as I don’t have to use it for meaningful interaction with another human being…
I miss being invisible and untraceable in the wild world. I miss stopping for a late lunch after shopping – knowing that nobody can demand a slice of that time, and that they accept my boundaries.
I can’t go to the greenspace to sit on the dock by the water without that shrill ringtone scaring the shit outta the local wildlife JUST as they were getting acclimatized to my presence…
Nor can I find a real secluded spot to sit in the sunshine and meditate…
At the laundry, I can’t ignore the world whilst in it, with my nose buried in my kindle…
Finally – at home, I can’t work on an intricate chainmaille piece without having to stop the creative flow just to listen to political drivel, yet another history lesson, or constant bitching about how stupid all the other drivers on the road are.
Guess I need to have a little chat, no?