I'm jealous of people who don't have computers or cell phones

Listened to an interview with Jesse Ventura last night, and he repeated his claim that he does not have a cell phone, or a computer, and he is so “off the grid” living at his solar powered home in Mexico that he didn’t learn about the Japan earthquake for 5 days.

I am jealous of people who lead lives of such simplicity. I remember 25 years ago when there were no cell phones, Internet, and fax machines were a rarity and I was a very happy, satisfied, fulfilled person. I filled my free time reading books, watching TV shows, or renting movies. I imagine people in the 1880s were just as fulfilled, if not more, with even less time-adding luxuries.

Now, with laptops, i-Pads, iPhones I find myself bypassing books, and watching the 6:30 TV news and other simple activities so I can spend time on these new technologies. They are great, you can learn a lot in a exponentially less amount of time, and you can be in touch with your friends on an almost constant basis, but when I hear these stories of people without smartphones, or laptops, I long for the simpler days when we all seemed to still get along with our lives without all this technology.

Are you living under some form of curse?

If you don’t want to have a computer or cell phone then go ahead and get rid of them and live the life you dream of.

Nah, fuck that.

I don’t have a cell phone. I live in Chicago so you can still find a payphone if you have to. I love my computer. I got rid of my TV and if I need to watch something will take my laptop (with it’s TV tuner) to the library. ( I can’t get digital TV from my flat).

I’m not really envious of people without computers or mobile phones. As Little Nemo said above, getting rid of those items is entirely possible. But I do spend far too much time on the computer and most of my other hobbies (reading, knitting, sewing, gardening) have been relegated to the pastimes-I-used-to-enjoy realm. My fault, though. Not the fault of the computer or my iPhone.

I can sympathise. I first encountered the internet in late 1994, in my first year at university. Since then I dread to think how many thousands of hours I have spent online. As a kid I could happily spend hours in a library, reading obscure things, and all of a sudden the world’s hugest library was there and free to use 24 hours a day. There’s always more stuff to read! It’s such a massive distraction but at the same time so wonderful. It lets me do my job so much more quickly, but at the same time it distracts me from doing my job allthefrickintime!

Living with just a landline phone and a TV with four channels, OK and maybe a computer to play games on, is almost impossible to imagine, but I spent the first 17 years of my life that way and didn’t suffer.

Of course, now, having read the whole internet, I know a whole bunch more stuff about just about everything, but that’s mere detail. :slight_smile:

I gave away my TV over 20 years ago, never missed it.

Never bought a computor (posting from work).

Own a cell phone, however I leave it at home half the time.

I am part-Amish I guess.

We only got cellphones about 2 years ago, but that was mostly because of travel and aging parents. Held out as long as we could.

I don’t have a cell phone. You may envy my life of simplicity and freedom, but then you may not, because I literally don’t have anyone to talk to. (OK, a handful of people, but I have a landline with an answering machine.)…I do agree about the computer, which has been a two-edged sword, and since I got a MacBook, I spend even MORE time on the net, not even doing anything useful. Here it is, 1:30, and I haven’t done a thing all day except look at recipes, read celebrity gossip, reading the SD…what a time bandit.

Yeah, it’s not like this is an unattainable goal. Owning and using a computer and cell phone is an active choice, not one you make by default as you seem to suggest. You’re not issued one at birth, or given one or free by the government.

If you’re saying you WERE given one more or less at birth, by your parents for example, and you can’t bring yourself to do without them… Yet wish you could… Well, that’s not saying very much. Sort of like saying “gee I wish I could quit smoking”, when plenty of people do in fact quit smoking every day, and plenty more never even took up smoking.

When you say something like I long for the simpler days when we all seemed to still get along with our lives without all this technology, what that means is that you view use of these devices for instant communication as somehow indispensable to function in your segment of society, either socially or professionally - that the only way you could “get along with your life” without “all this technology” is if EVERYBODY (in your daily life) did so at the same time. That’s also kind of a weak statement, if you think about it - about on a par with “I wish I didn’t have to wear either Converse canvas sneakers and black skinny jeans or a black Hasidic coat and hat to live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn”.

I have a friend who still has an externally attached answering machine on a land line phone, and basically doesn’t have a cell phone. (He has one but only turns it on to make calls, so it’s not a phone in the sense that you can actually call him - more like his LifeLine.) He has a VCR and tube TV and pays his bills by personal check sent through the mail. He only keeps in touch by email or land line phone call. He has music on CDs and cassette tapes, no MP3 player or even CD-MP3 player - he records music from CD onto cassette to play in his car. He still uses a 35mm film camera and brings in rolls of film for development after each vacation.

To me he’s still living in 1992, the year he graduated from college, except that he has a broadband internet connection to make the email and web browsing go faster. Yet he “functions” perfectly well. He just never bothered to get very much new stuff for the past 20 years or so, preferring to save his money to spend on other things. He’s also a bit paranoid (to me) about “keeping off the grid” in terms of online identity, eschewing things that require linking to bank accounts and credit cards or downloading/uploading almost anything personal to the Internet at large.

I think this may be more of an “ignorance is bliss”-type situation. If you don’t have this stuff, and don’t know about the good stuff that would make you want them, then you miss out on the bad stuff.

Along similar lines is a thought I’ve had. I realize that, if I didn’t have a computer, I would miss it terribly, and it would negatively impact my life. But if I were born before they were invented, I don’t think it would bother me, because I wouldn’t know what I was missing.

Well, nobody’s jealous of me, and I only have my company-issued iPhone to thumb it out with the world at large.

After I reached a certain age I accepted the sad fact of human society: no-one gives a damn about anyone who does not appeal to their career, vanity or libido. The only people I was paying a phone bill to stay connected with were telemarketers; the cable bill was bringing me TV for which I was well past the target demographic, the internet gave me access to angry, self-absorbed women on dating sites who thought their shit should be spread for butter. After over a decade of paying to feel alienated, I realized I could just go back to browsing the library while keeping my $150 each month. But I can’t imagine anyone being jealous of me for this.

Traditionally misanthropes threw coins at cashiers, built spite fences and shot at kids who trespassed with shotgun shells loaded with rock salt, lye and lard. But I’m patient and polite with strangers, and hung a swing on my tree for the neighborhood kids. I’m a new kind of misanthrope for the cyber age.

I was born before there were personal computers and cell phones. Their lack didn’t make society any better. It just made people more isolated from each other.

So was I, but I have to admit that I love both and wouldn’t think of doing without my PCs or my smartphone. But then I’m an aging geek and pretty much love all new forms of technology.

(…and from the growth charts of smartphone sales that I’ve seen lately, I suspect that my kind of people outnumber your kind. Bwaahaahaa!!!)

(That last comment was supposed to be a joke. It could probably be misconstrued, so I’m adding this commenat about that comment.)

I am not jealous of them at all. You can pry my phone and mouse from my cold dead hands, and I’m pretty much of the opinion that the internet is the best thing to happen to everyone, ever. I guess agriculture might beat it. We’ll see.

I once didn’t appreciate TV, but with streaming Netflix and a lot of things on-demand, I’m coming around to that, too.

I have a computer, (obviously) and yeah, I use it a good deal. I have one of those pay by minute card cellphones. It’s needing recharging for over a year now, and I never did get around to it. I got nobody to call. You can damn well wait 'til I get home to call me.

Since when did any of my associates give a crap what bus I was on? Why this sudden interest in what stations the talker’s train is passing? That seems to be a big subject on most cellphone conversations I’ve heard. Who gives a fuck about the minutiae of their travels?

Maybe so, but it IS required of me to use a Smartphone and an Internet-based activity tracking program at work, so, unless I want to quit my job, my options are fairly limited.

I think I’d be happier without any modern communications technology. I’ve considered selling my computer, but I worry that I’d be even more unemployable without one. Any truth to that?

I remember before we had computers, internet and cellphones. We just did lots of street drugs for entertainment.

I love my cell and laptop, I can work from anywhere and stay connected to my family back in the States.

When I was first working precell days it would take forever to get a hold of someone.