For better or worse, I decided years ago I would never have a cell phone, smart or otherwise. The latest research reveals only 8% of American adults fall in this category. I can only imagine most of my no-cell-phone compatriots are really old people, like the elderly woman in the picture who is fully enjoying the event she’s attending while nearly everyone else around her is only experiencing it through their phones, even though they’re right there at the event!
I’m not a holier-than-thou Luddite on this point, not by any means. I’m on my laptop all day long as a freelance writer and editor who needs to constantly research topics online, so I’m pretty “plugged in.” I just don’t like cell phones. I think if I had one I’d probably be pretty obsessive with it, and I think that’s the thing that really turns me off most about them. This little one-minute video I saw online kind of says it all. Of course it’s super-exaggerated, but sometimes that’s the approach you have to take to get your basic point to sink in:
One thing that bothers me is the looks I get sometimes from other parents. They don’t say anything, but the look they give me when they find out I don’t have a cell phone essentially says, “You can’t be a good parent without one.” To that I can only say this: Responsible parenting has gone on for millennia without cell phones. In fact, I’d be willing to bet I’m a more responsible parent than many who do have cell phones because I have to take more time and care in planning things and how to handle backup plans without the convenience of a cell phone.
I’m also still wondering about the long-term health effects of constant cell phone use. I’ve looked into a little bit and wrote an article about it called Are Cell Phones the New Cigarettes? Read it and see what you think. I think it will still be a while until we know conclusively what health impacts could be, but I also believe a lot of people just don’t want to even consider the possibility that they might be harmful.
However you feel about cell phones, I hope we can all agree that there’s really no substitute for face-to-face, heartfelt communication between people. I think the world needs more of that.