Some people have a love-hate relationship with the telephone. I think I have a hate-hate relationship with it. Back in its earliest incarnation, its harsh, jangling metal bells could ring at any time, and good manners demanded it be answered at once. Good manners further demanded a polite greeting and at least a minute of small talk before the calling party could get around to the reason for interrupting one’s nap, meal, or television program.
When I joined the workforce, the telephone became even more of a nemesis. Then the majority of callers became unhappy people who wanted things, a pattern which remains to this day. But, I suppose this is true for everyone, and the telephone is a necessary evil.
Speaking of evil and phones, last week’s TMI Tuesday [NSFW] asked several questions about one’s relationship to one’s mobile phone.
- 1. Do you still have a land line?
- Nope. Last time I moved, I realized I no longer had use for one.
- 2. Which cell phone do you use and why?
- I use an iPhone issued by the IT department. Because I have to be reachable at all times in case of exploding toilets.
- 3. Which provider do you use? Is there really a difference?
- AT&T. I suspect the real difference among providers is only which phones they agree to sell in their mall kiosks.
- 4. If you call someone and they don’t pick up, do you leave a message?
- If it’s important enough for me to call, it’s important enough for me to leave a message.
- 5. When you have a missed call (with no message), do you call the person back?
- No, it must not have been that important.
- 6. Do you text willingly or reluctantly? How are your skills?
- Very willingly. But what skills need one have to text anymore? I suppose one needs only to spell well enough to avoid autocorrect embarrassments.
- 7. Has your cell replaced your camera?
- No. But I won’t drag my expensive and fragile camera around with me “just in case,” which I think is what the question is getting at.
- 8. Selfies…
- I hate that word.
- 9. How many apps do you have? Which is your favorite and why?
- None on the iPhone. My tablet is a different story. I have Instagram, Netflix, Stitcher, Pandora, Tiny Tiny RSS, WordPress, SleepBot, some games, but not many. Oh, and that’s why I haven’t posted much on Instagram lately— the app is installed only on the big giant tablet that stays at home.
- 10. What would life be like with no cell/smart phone for one month?
- Peaceful is the first word that comes to mind. Then again, life before mobile was an organizational nightmare: memorizing (or writing down down) phone numbers, leaving messages with people who may or may not deliver them, arranging times and places to meet in advance, having to physically search for lost members of one’s party, hunting for working pay phones, etc.
- BONUS: How much has your cell phone become a part of your sex life? Sexting, hookup apps, selfies, video, GPS, more?
- Not a part. I’ve taken hardly a handful of G-rated photos of myself, let alone anything scandalous. I have wondered about the “hookup apps,” but I’ve been told they are for the express use of those looking for a hook up. (Any time-wasters just “looking for friends,” need not apply.) Most importantly, I’d almost certainly find myself in the doghouse if a particular individual were to find such an app in my possession!