The decision to become obsolete

Photo on 2010-07-20 at 10.41

My wife is the proud owner of a new iPhone. She absolutely loves it, and I can’t say that I’m not a wee-bit jealous.

I, however, am also the proud owner of a new phone. It’s the Pantech Breeze II, and were the year 2006, I’d be the motherf^%$ing man.

But it is 2010.

And I am lame.

It is, however, completely by choice. I don’t want to become a phone addict. I just don’t. Catherine’s new phone is fantastic, but I just don’t feel the need to be locked into mine all day long. And if I had an iPhone, I surely would be.

I know I sound 38 going on 80, but I’m not loving where society is going with this whole phone thing. People are, literally, addicted, and it seems like general, eye-to-eye, voice-to-voice communication is dying out. People text, they Tweet, they post Facebook updates (guilty!). But whatever happened to calling someone up and shooting the shit for 45 minutes? It so rarely happens. Almost never.

Which leads me to Gripe No. 2: Where have all my friends gone? I don’t mean that completely literally–only sort of. Back in the day, I had dozens of friends to call. And I would. But over time, with marriage and kids and more job responsibility, people just don’t call. My list of people to gab with has been watered down to, oh, five or six—two of whom are my parents. Maybe I smell bad (Wife: No maybe about it), but it brings me down.

I blame humanity.

8 thoughts on “The decision to become obsolete”

  1. There is only one question to ask: would the phone serve a real purpose, or be more of a toy? As a freelance writer, you are in front of your computer quite a bit, so getting emails / communication isn’t a big deal. For others who aren’t, the phone becomes an ad-hoc computer, a real method of communication. I email / text / tweet about 10x more than I make or receive a phone call.

    That being said, I can’t stand phone douchebags who won’t take their eyes off the phone long enough to have a conversation.

  2. I would be all for starting an anti-technology movement to improve our social lives if I thought it had a snowball’s chance in hell of catching on. (Like, you must talk to your friends on the phone at least once a week.)

    Alas, I fear this is an addiction we can’t break, and it’s impacting our social and emotional livlihood.

    Once again, you nailed it.

  3. I have a samsung blackjack only because my husband had to update to a blackberry. It hacks me off because AT&T requires I pay extra each month because it’s a smartphone. Even though I NEVER use it for internet. Just pix, talk and texts. I may just go buy a non-smartphone — it’d pay for itself in a few months.

  4. I’m with you. I’m still rocking the FREE phone. The new phone technology I must admidt is very cool and a fun toy, but I just hate the fact that we are all so addicted to them for everything. I fought even getting just a cell phone for years because I just hated the fact that I can be found 24/7, but of course with children and family emergencies you have to now. Not a bad thing, but’s supposed to be used to make phone calls. Remember those???

    Soon though we are all getting pushed to the “data packages” where cell companies are not going to give you the choice and we’ll have to upgrade our lil phones to the touch screen QUERTY versions.

  5. The thing that I hate about the phone culture in this country is the “the world is my phone booth” attitude. This is especially bad for those of us who work in retail. A friend and I were discussing just that yesterday, as there was this woman in the store talking on her cell phone about all her personal woes and a completely unacceptable volume. Of course, Tammy was telling me about this moron because Tammy knows my secret weapon: I just waited until a song I knew came over the PA (Jeff will like this: it was “Kiss On My List”!) and I started singing along. LOUDLY. And I *can* sing.

    After a couple evil looks, the jerk hung up her phone. Score one for me 🙂

  6. Stay strong Jeff. There are only a few of us left out there.

    I recently had to let a friend, who no longer looks up from his phone when speaking, know that we didn’t need an actual stat for every piece of the conversation, we could just exchange opinions and such, without him taking ten minutes to search everything we were unsure about. Like it wasn’t actually necessary to know the attendance to last nights game, “not many people were there” would have sufficed. But he felt the need to take himself out of the conversation to look it up. It was decided that he should just hang out in a different part of the room so he could keep tabs on his “friends” without bothering the rest of us and we could just let him know if/when we needed him to look something up for us.

    You’re not the only one, Jeff. Even though you’re outnumbered, don’t give in. “You’re carrying the light.” (sorry, just watched “The Road.”)

  7. Having a similar conversation about phones with my wife this week, as we contemplate upgrades to our 2 smartphones (Blackberry/Motorola Q) that have served as well for 2+ years but now seem like tomato cans with string. Do we really need the new Droid Incredible or iPhone or whatever with the bells and whistles? We already sometimes sit in the living room on separate laptops in the evening; do we need or want more distractions from each other?

    Regarding the “where did my friends go” question — had that conversation too. I’m down to a handful of friends with whom I regularly talk/correspond, and none of them unfortunately live within 500 miles of me. I’ve got young kids, busy job etc. — where do I meet the next round of pals? I’m still counting on friends I met in high school and college and soon thereafter.

Leave a Reply