Friday, September 7, 2007

The Phone is There for MY Convenience

We have all these modern conveniences, all these devises to give us wireless and constant access to work, our friends and family and even the entire world-wide-web. Seems that all this access should improve our lives, but I think it takes careful managing of our relationships with technology to make it work for us, instead of allowing it to work us.

Starting with cell phones. I decided not to get a land line, so now I only have a cell phone. I love my cell phone. Like pets, it's okay to love your cell phone so long as you don't love your cell phone. I enjoy the convenience of making calls wherever I am: stuck waiting for my number to be called at the DMV, on the way to my friends house to see if they need me to stop at the store for anything, in the airport, by the pool. I especially enjoy the ease and convenience of text-messaging. I can just ask the question, send the reminder, share the info really fast without actually having to take the time to speak to the person. And it's easy to get the same from my friends too. I find this less disrespectful to the person I am with than actually making a call, but I know it drives some people, that is, A, crazy.

What I hate is receiving calls. When I'm home alone or needing to speak to someone, I love people to call me, but if those conditions aren't met, I hardly answer. It's nothing personal and often it's unintentional because my phone is on silent so I don't notice the call anyway. But even if I notice the call, I often silence or ignore it if I'm with someone or doing something. Because "the phone is there for my convenience." I use quotes because this is, in fact, a quote and not my words at all, though I can't for the life of me remember where I read that story. At any rate, the phone is there for my convenience and I'm not going to pick up if it's not convenient. That may mean I'm busy, I'm with someone, I'm just not in the mood to talk, I'm not in the mood to talk to that particular caller or that I'm suffering from cell phone head, since that's the only phone I have now.

I want to encourage, well, everybody, especially those others who also only have cell phones, to consider taking this approach as well. There is no reason that using or having a cell phone, even if it is one's only phone, should mean that we have to be accessible all the time. The silent and ignore features are there for our convenience too.

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