What’s your cell phone’s ringtone? What made you pick it?
I’m going to share a crazy secret with you. It’s truly unbelievable, coming from someone whose computer is practically an extension of her arm, but…
I don’t own a cell phone.
I used to, back in the day. The last cell phone I had was cute and teeny and loaded with all the fancy features. When I first got it, I spent hours downloading silly ring tones (“Barbie Girl” for one) and games (Tetris!) and poking at the teensy weensy buttons until my fingers were literally sore. What a funky little piece of technology!
But after the novelty wore off, I realized that having a cell phone meant one horrible thing: People could call me. Anytime. Anywhere. Aieeeeeeee, what a terrifying thought!
See, I don’t like phones, at all. And I especially don’t like phones that can be carried anywhere, purse or pocket, because when a phone rings, my reaction is both one of repulsion and compulsion. It’s ringing, so I must answer it, but I really, really don’t want to talk to someone.
But see, this phone had cleverly tricked me into forgetting it was a phone and not a portable game player slash music box. It snuck up on me, with it’s precious little buttons… and Tetris! It knew I couldn’t resist a good game of Tetris.
I started leaving the phone primarily on silent mode. Or I’d turn it off and forget to turn it back on. Or I’d let the battery run out and conveniently forget to recharge it, and it would sit on my desk in a basket of junk for weeks. Every now and then I’d remember it was there, and I’d turn it on, check my voicemail, and promptly turn it off.
After a few months of this, people would ask, “Why aren’t you answering your cell phone?” with this tone that demanded that if I had a cell phone, I should be answering it. Period. Nevermind that I have a perfectly good home phone with a perfectly good answering machine – having a cell phone meant I would be available to them whenever, wherever, and usually when I least wanted to talk to someone.
And really, do we need yet another person on this planet who feels compelled to answer every time their trendy little cell phone plays a muzac rendition of “Baby Got Back”? Think about it. I recently attended a memorial service at which someone’s phone rang just as the sister of the deceased stood up to speak. She was in tears, barely able to hold it together, and here’s some idiot in the back row chatting away like it was some social soiree instead of a funeral.
The thing is, if I owned a cell phone, I would probably be that person, too. Despite my strong dislike for it, I can’t resist the allure of the ringtone. Suffice it to say, I am a much more considerate person without a cell phone, and while there are many (emergency) situations where the cell phone is just the most useful thing ever… I think I’ll live without one.
Beep. Now feel free to leave a message at the tone and I’ll get back to you whenever I damn well feel like it. 🙂