Friday, April 16, 2010

I Am The Last Stand

"If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." --Ronald Reagan

Okay, full disclosure here, I am not talking political and economical ideologies here. What I am talking about is the freedom to avoid people and the encroachment upon my life made by advancing technology in the communication industry.

Everyone around me has a cell phone these days. I remember when I first saw cell phones. One kid, Tim, had a bag phone for his car, which we all rode in to go to work. Cell phones those days looked more like the kind of phone the Army used to call in air strikes. Today they come in all manners of shape and size. They also have more functions than ever. You can talk, take photos, video, or you can text people. With the standard phone buttons or a fold out complete keyboard. You can type out your texts with individual characters or use the T9 technology that will predict your words and help you get through a message even faster. That is unless you're me, I am hopelessly useless with the T9 functions when I borrowed my wife's cell phone once to go to a niece's 6th grade basketball tourney. And the only reason I borrowed it was so that I could check in that I made it there, and for when I was coming back, depending on how the tourney went.

I am constantly asked to text someone, or just give them a call when I get to where ever it is we are hanging out, or when I get to their house to let them know I'm there to pick them up. I have to inform them that sorry, I don't have a cell phone!

I get some pretty weird looks. They are incredulous that I don't own the new iPhone or Blackberry cell phones. They ask how I can possibly live without a cell phone. I tell them essentially to quit projecting their way of life onto me. I was born before cell phones, I never had one attached to me surgically once they did come out, and I will probably most likely NEVER own one. I can live without one, because I lived half my life without them even existing. I put a caveat on that never, because I'm sure at some point someone will get it in their head to ban landlines altogether through government pressure. In which case I suppose I will then own a cell phone. However, I can guarantee that if this happens, my cellphone will stay in the same spot my current home phone's base is located.

I carry a cell phone for work. It is part of the equipment that goes with my little rentacop route. I pass it on to the guy who relieves me, who passes it on to the next guy, who will pass it back to me when I come back on duty. Other than that, I am generally at home. I have a home phone to be reached by, so I have no need for a cell phone. If I am not at work or at home, chances are likely that I am doing something I enjoy, and wish not to be contacted by anyone that isn't physically present with me. Some people just can't understand this. People I hang out with will keep checking their phone in the midst of conversations for new texts, missed calls, etc. Now I don't mind that they do this. After all, ask my wife, I'm not the best conversationalist in the world, so its not like I feel slighted that they are not interested in an already not-so-deep conversation to begin with. Writing is my better form of communication. Although with some people I may have to learn how to write in a texting form of language in order to hold their attention long enough for them to get the point I may be trying to make. But at the same time they have become slaves to this technology, and that I abhor. The whole point of the things were to be a tool of convenience, not a ruler of your life. You use the phone to dictate and communicate. Instead, it seems the phone and other gadgets now dictate their lives for them. Even by their own admission to be feel the need to be left alone, or that they are addicted, cellphone users just can't shut the thing off or leave it at home. They even have SCIENTIFIC STUDIES that show the addictive capabilities of these devices. And the people wonder why they can't get a private moment in their lives without worry that so-and-so is going to call or text them at any moment.

Now I know you're probably wondering what the hell my point is with all this rambling. Well it is this. I TRULY am the last stand when it comes to not having a cellphone to interfere with my life. Especially in my family. My sister has one, her hubby does too. My wife and all her siblings and parents have cell phones. The only reason my kids don't have cell phones is that I'm not paying for them, and they aren't old enough to have a job to support their own cell phone ownership.

Then there is me without a cell phone, along with my parents. But that all ended this last weekend. I received a call from my mom, who informed me that she had accompanied the Evil Duane (of the Branch Duanians of Sac City) downtown and bought themselves a phone for each of them, ad to give me their new cell numbers. I thought I had allies in my anti-technology fight. Yes I realize I'm saying I'm anti-technology while maintaining a blog site on a computer, an old Myspace account, and a Facebook page. The latter two things I once said I'd never do, and I broke down and added myself to the millions of mind numbing activities provided by a social networking site. In my defense, this was the only way to keep track of some friends. A cell phone is still not necessary to this mission, and if they provide me with an ultimatum that they will only communicate by texting from here on out, then I shall issue them my resignation from the relationship on a grounds of irreconcilable differences of conditional relationship status.

Things may not be going commie around here, but I see everyone throwing their hat in the ring in order to get the newest gadget, make themselves more trackable and susceptible to identity theft and surveillance by those who fly the silent black helicopters. Don't deny the conspiracy, we all know they do it. Ultimately its all part of a much larger conspiracy to use the world's population to get to me. Luckily I am hiding out in my super-ultra-secret underground bunker located at...oh wait, never mind. No one can find me here. The Mookified State is in full control.

My parents getting cell phones only reinforces my position that I was key to the strength of the Branch Duanian organization. However, having branched out on my own and running the Mookified Compound along with my trusty executive officer, Colonel Beauregard Sterling Lovell, the power and ultimate autonomy of the Branch Duanians faded, leaving me as the last stand. The Rebel Alliance is no more, as it is just I now, and no others to help in the fight against all that is evil, such as Big Cell Phone, and other technology demons like Apple!

6 comments:

Curtis Bloes said...

LOL
our goal is to get one phone and computer for each room of the house, for each person.

Becky said...

Come, Mike, join us....

*said in creepy voice with beckoning finger*

americanelephant said...

You aren't alone. I don't have a cell phone either. :)

americanelephant said...

And I HATE when people text and check their phones when they are with me, its so incredibly rude. I'm beginning to feel like the last normal human in the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers and every time one of these cell addicts pulls out their phone to answer a call or text a message, its like watching Donald Sutherland, who everyone still thought was normal, turn towards the camera, throw his head back and shriek that alien shriek, letting you know that you WERE the last normal human on Earth.

scotterb said...

I don't text, but do have a cell phone...BUT...I call by punching the numbers (I have nothing on speed dial), it is a track phone, I don't give anyone my number, and I make about one or two calls a week, mostly to my wife. My students, however, text all the time...

Mookie said...

Well Scott,

I guess that makes you one of the few sane cell phone owners out there. I see they have not caused you to become addicted to them...