aversion to cellular phones - surely I am not alone in this?

I was just reading the slashdot entry about embedded GPS technology in cellular phones being used by parents to keep tabs on their teen children, and it occurred to me that I never had a phone as a teen, and still don’t today. I was just wondering if this is common or not?

I’ve never really been a fan of cell phones in general. Unless I am idle at the time, I tend not to answer my home phone, unless I am expecting a call. Often, I find myself needing to make a call when I’m on the road, but I just wait for the earliest convenient opportunity to do so. If it’s urgent, I will stop at the nearest pay-phone. Obviously, there is some convenience to be gained by having a mobile, but I was actually loaned one of these for a while, and inevitably had it turned off, much to the annoyance of the loaner. When I’m driving, watching a movie, having dinner with someone or what have you, that constitutes being busy. I will make and receive phone calls only when I am not otherwise occupied. I had the previously mentioned loaner phone go off in my jacket pocket one evening when I was on an evening walk with a young woman after having been out to dinner. I shut the damned thing off and apologized, but had it not been for the expense of the item, I probably would have pitched it into the sea.

Now, it seems like I am going to have to get a mobile for safety reasons. With the mass spread of this technology, telecom operators have been pulling non-profitable pay phones, and they are often hard to come by. I still expect that I will keep it powered off most of the time, in order to avoid being available to anyone at any time, but it irks me that I now have to bear the cost of a mobile phone and cellular contract, simply because the low cost options previously available to me are being eradicated.

Oh, and just to dispel the stereotype regarding older persons shunning technology, I am only 28.

I don’t own a cell and pretty much doubt I ever will. I had one briefly for a job, and at the same time I was driving 3 hours every weekend to see my girlfriend. A cell was nice on those drives. I would call people an catch up and it was a great way to pass the drive.

But other than that, I rarely have the need.

I totally agree with your point of view. Except the part of not owning a cell, which I do. I tend to follow very simple rules that my friends simply do not understand.

  1. If you call me, tell me what you need to tell me. I will not have a usless converstation with you. That’s what face to face is for.

  2. Don’t get pissed when I don’t answer. It’s for my convienence, not yours.

  3. When you call, leave a vmx if it’s important. Don’t go stalking me by first, calling me, then two-way’ing me (Nextel user), and then alerting me. Then when you can’t reach me, don’t have who you’re with call me either to harass me. Also don’t go calling whom you think I’m with, as well as calling my home just to say, “what’s up?”, okay? If you need me, leave a message. I’ll get back to you when it’s convenient for me.

I love my friends, but they’re completely ignorant of phone manners.

I might buy a cell phone at some point for the convenience of having a phone when I might need it but will never be a habitual user.

At the moment, there is only one person that I’ll definitely answer my landline for, let alone a mobile, as I avoid using the phone at all costs. It’s even so bad that I’ll go almost a week before checking my voicemail even when the green light indicating I have messages is constantly blinking at me only two feet away. And then I fast forwared through them as fast as I can when listening to them anyway.

Phones are evil. It’s nice to be able to talk to my mom, dad, lawyer, and best friend but otherwise? No thanks.

I was happily cell phone free until my last birthday. My wife got me one, and my (twin) daughters one, mostly so that she could call me at the last minute and remind me who I am supposed to be picking up when. (I got her one a few years back for safety reasons. She only turned it on when she needed to call me.)

I suppose it is safer when I ride my bike to swim or work, and I take it when I solo run up Pikes Peak. Most places I go, though, there is no reception, so it just makes her feel better about my safety, and me feel heavier.

I completely disagree. You’re of course free to feel however you want, but I personally don’t identify with this attitude at all. Who are these people calling you all the time? Dozens of people have my cell phone number and I still don’t get pestered.

I like the idea of people being able to get ahold of me. I like the idea of being connected.


I can count all the people who ever call me on the fingers of one hand. All but one of the people who call me at work are not friends to whom I would give my private number. The friends who have my home number are more than a thousand miles away, and they call it whenever they want to talk - which is a couple of times a year. So for me, it’d be a giant waste of money to have a cell phone. I pretty much hate them anyway, because you can barely understand the callers, you always have to ask them to repeat themselves, and they almost always get cut off. This is advancing technology?

I think that you can’t see how the OP could get “pestered” because you admit that don’t identify with this attitude. I was given a cell phone by my family even though I protested against it. For me, being “pestered” means that I received any call that wasn’t life or death important. I don’t like people to be able to reach me everywhere I go. I am funny that way and I am sure that other people in this thread can relate to that to some degree. I leave mine in the car and it is turned off most of the time even then.

There is another thing I always wondered. Mobile phone plans offer these 800, 1500, 5000 minute deals. Who needs that much time besides salepeople that work out of their car? I don’t think that I have ever used more than 60 minutes on mine in a month. It is the same thing at home. I had a MCI rep call me once asking how many minutes a month I used so that she could show me the saving? I said “Oh, about thirty minutes.” She said, “No, a month”. I said “That is for the whole month.” I think she would have slammed the phone down if it were allowed.

I never wanted a cell phone, but my parents insisted I get one when I went to college, solely because I was driving there (to Mississippi from New York) and they wanted me to have a way to get in touch if something happened on the road. I’ve kept it ever since because it’s cheaper than getting long distance on my land line, since not a single person I like to talk to lives in my local calling area except Gunslinger, and if I want to talk to him I can turn around and say “hey.” I rarely if ever carry it with me, though, and I use the caller ID function gratefully.

This has not been my experience with my cell phone company, except when either I or the person with whom I was speaking was in a mountainous region where the signals have a hard time reaching. Or in Walmart, which is really annoying because the only reason I would call anyone from Walmart anyway would be to ask which kind of X food substance they needed, when X consists of a rather large range which I can’t exactly memorize, walk out of the store to make a call and recite, then go back in, find my cart, and pick the X off the shelf, you know what I mean? Other than that, my cell phone’s reception is as good as or better than my land line.

I have an 800 minute plan- because all four of our phones share the minutes. Most, if not all, of the people I know who have plans with a lot of minutes are people who either

  1. have multiple phones sharing the minutes- it’s cheaper to get a lot of minutes and then share than to get separate plans or

  2. have no home phone or use the cell phone for all long distance calls because their plan includes long distance or

  3. have jobs that don’t allow them to be easily reached via an office phone. This would of course include salespeople working out of their cars, but it would include lots of other people too. It would include just about anyone who travels from one place to another during the course of the day, such as visiting nurses, truck drivers, etc and it would also include people who spend the day in one place, but go to different places on different days. For example, I normally work in one of two locations, but every couple of weeks I get sent to a different location for a day. It’s hard enough for me to remember where I’m supposed to be from one day to the next- there’s no way I can expect my husband , my kids, their schools etc to remeber where I am. And I found out the hard way that it’s cheaper to pay for 800 minutes every month and not use them all than it is to get 500 minutes and go over by a hundred minutes a couple of times a year.
    I can understand the OP, though. I didn’t get a cell phone until I felt I had to. I used to use a beeper, but then two things happened. It became harder to find a pay phone to return the call, and the beeper company raised the price so much that the beeper cost as much as the cheapest cell plan I could find. We have four now because things have changed- my husband is a salesman working out of his car a couple of days a week, I 'm still in a different place every day, and the two kids each travel an hour and a half on public transportation to different high schools every day.

Put me in the “don’t want to be pestered” camp. I inherited a cell phone that my husband had to get for his work, then got a different job that came with a cell phone and we still have contract to use up. I carry it with me so that I can make a call occasionally (like calling my husband at the last moment to invite him to join me at the mall for dinner), but other than that, it’s off, and no one but my husband has the number.

I tend not to answer my phone at home, either - I’m just not a phone person.

Cardinal, I don’t like the idea of people being able to get ahold of me. I don’t like being connected. I like peace and quiet and only talking to people when I feel like it.

I’m not quite averse to cell phones, but I think they are becoming much too prevalent. I have one, which I use once or twice a week (more if something big is going on) to talk to my parents. On mall shopping trips, we use cell phones so that you can send people to different stores to do your bidding. I also use it when I’m running late or when I have to make sure I’m meeting someone in the right place. It’s convenient when I don’t have access to a usable land line. There isn’t much need to just yak on the cell, though. I see the people that I talk to the most nearly every day, and that’s when I yak with them. I rarely have an audible ring tone enabled, so it won’t disturb others, and on the occasions when I am doing something that cannot be interrupted, I turn the phone off. Other people’s cell phones bother me much more than my own.

I only have one because I got a plan that gave me two numbers for one phone. One number is the equivalent of a local landline and from my home calls are charged at landline rates. If I leave home it is a mobile and I pay mobile rates for calls. If people I know call my “landline” number it diverts to where I am and they pay landline rates and I pay a few cents a minute for the diversion. Because the phone has caller ID I generally don’t answer if the number is unidentified because I only know one person with a silent number and know when she is likely to ring me. I would be lucky to make one call a month away from home. My monthly call cost is usually $10 - $20.

On Friday a group of us from work went to the casino for a day of fun. We all kept getting lost and since the casino is huge it was handy to ring missing people and tell them “we are going to eat” or “we are having a drink in the Lightning Ridge bar”.

I did get a cell phone (pre-paid) this year, but it’s for my emergency use and I only turn it on if I need it, so no one has my number. I like being incommunicado, and I don’t understand people who use their phones constantly (unless they have a contract with a lot of minutes that they feel they have to use).

Here in the USA, you can get a pre-paid phone, no contract, just buy minutes up front as you need them. Also, every working cell phone can be used to call 911, our emergency number, even if the contract on the phone is no longer in effect and you can’t call any other number. Doesn’t Canada have similar arrangements?

Every cell phone plan like this I’ve seen has an expiration date on the minutes - otherwise I might actually buy a cell phone just so people would shut up about me not having one…

It is a little weird to think that I’m being ostracized because I don’t want to spend an extra $X0/month for what is at best a modicum of convienence. I also dislike numbskulls who yap about nothing in particular. Come on, rush hour’s supposed to be a dreary place where the half-woken stew in their own misery, not getting irritated listening to, “Yes. Yes. Hello? HELLO? HELLO? Yes. Yes. Oh, hi. Hello. How are… yes. YES. ha. haha. HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. SSSQQQEEEAAALLL. Oh. My. God. I said, Oh my God. I SAID OH MY GOD!”

The thing that really gets me about cell phones is the inconsideration of the users. Movie theaters, libraries, etc. where the phones just ring and ring.

One thing I still find funny is the number of people (mostly women for some reason) who jump about two feet in the air when their phone rings and then go into a fullfledged panic trying to dig the phone out of their purse. By the time they answer, they’re breathing heavily but still try to get out a casual, “Hello?” Anyone out there do this?

That said, I still call my friends on their cell phones, but that’s just because they’re generally unreachable by other means.

That should read, “a modicum of convienence for me.” I fully understand that there are people who like/need the cell phone and the ability to make/receive calls nearly anywhere.

The minutes on my AT&T phone expire in 90 days. The minimum amount you can spend is $10. That’s $3.33 a month.

Also see http://markson.net/cell_prepaid_compare.htm

You’ve never encountered that odd race of creature that fears it will wink out of existence if its lips ever stop flapping? I’ve encountered people (not many, however. They always seem far more interested in the disembodied voice squawking in the ear than the person standing right in front of them trying to carry on a conversation) who could wipe out a 1500-minute deal in a single weekend.

Anyway, I wouldn’t say I’m mobile-phone averse, but I’m certainly not in love with them. I have a weekend job that sends me to a variety of locations, making it difficult for anyone to reach me, or for me to reach anyone else if there’s a problem. That was my main reason for buying one, but I’ve since found them to be very useful for giving directions to friends when we’re trying to meet up. Still, I keep my ringer turned off, screen most of the incoming calls, and can’t fathom actually carrying on a conversation with one.

I only use mine for outgoing calls. I never leave it turned on, and could’nt even tell you the phone number. I make about one call a week at most.

I had one for awhile. I decided it wasn’t worth the expense and I’d get more enjoyment out of using that money each month for eating out or ordering Imo’s. My parents were disappointed because they used had some plan that let them call other users on the system without long distance expenses. Otherwise, noone has even noticed.