Saturday, after leaving my parents’ one-day-early Mother’s Day breakfast/lunch, my SO and me stopped at the grocery store. While we walked up the aisle, she noticed that my mom had called and left a message on her phone. That was unusual, so she let me listen to her voice mail. It turned out my mom had called about an hour earlier, shortly after we left her house, to let me know that I left my cellular telephone (yes, I said cellular) behind. She was hoping we were close enough when we got the message to turn back and retrieve it; alas, we were not. We had driven all the way back home behind the Orange curtain, which in Los Angeles-ese means…pretty damn far just to pick up a cellular telephone that looks like this.
It’s 2018. Would you drive 40 minutes or 50 minutes for that??
I sure wouldn’t, and that is why I am equipped with such an archaic communication device. I don’t give a flying fuck about phones. Phones are trouble brokers for me. They make me talk and I don’t like talking. They make me talk to strangers, and I really hate strangers. They are expensive and I’m…frugal.
I got home and found a FB IM from my mom.
Now there are many people, most people actually, who would be bent out of shape upon learning they forgot their phone somewhere.
I’ve seen people literally fall to a dissembled state of assorted fractured parts simply because they realized that, for whatever reason, they would have to do without their precious phone for more than an hour. People are attached to their phones on a strangely carnal level. They suffer separation anxiety if that little overpriced silicon, technological Swiss-army-knife parts with their hands for an unspecified period of time. They anxiously tremble and their eyes dart like a junkie who has realized he is without his regular fix.
Don’t care. I told my mom that if I see my son this weekend, I’ll get it from him. I went to work today, no phone. Came home, no phone.
Did I miss it?
Hellllzzz no. I’m not attached to my phone, I don’t care about it (can’t you tell?)
I hear people going on about how smart phones are evil because they distract people too much and lead us to distance ourselves from humanity, in general. They claim smart phones are evil and single-handedly leading society down the path of destruction. They are responsible for the isolation of people and for preventing the fostering of community and collective kinship of the type we witnessed in the old days when phones were immutable fixtures of the home and still had cords to anchor them down; and their loud, cacophonous rings all sounded the same, because they were the same.
Whatever. Phones are just another medium by which society communicates and it just so happens the latest incarnation is shaped by the technologies of our era. Phones are a symptom, not a cause. People are becoming isolated and withdrawn, yes. So what? Human society is cyclical and eventually our natures will lead us to each other again; this, I firmly believe.
I hate cellular and smart phones for another reason. A quite simple reason which I didn’t recognize for a long time.
I hate to be in touch. I hate having the ability (expectation, even) to be hooked in to civilization’s idiocies and having the available imagery of what our culture is up to every time I leave the house. I used to love leaving the house because it was freedom, it was liberty, it was disconnect. A state of utter emancipation from reality, from social responsibility, from mutual obligations. I could ignore people on my own terms. I don’t need a phone to see what people are up to; I simply don’t give a crap what people are badly thinking while I’m walking about town. I don’t need to see baby photographs when I’m at the store, and I sure as hell don’t need to see badly written sentences piped in my direction when I’m at the mall detailing every trivial bit of detritus to pile up on acquaintances’ lives.
And i sure as fuck don’t care what people are eating this moment.
I just don’t care. I love not having a phone for I love not being indebted to that enslavement tether which leads back to society. It’s good to be alone once in a while, and that is what i fear we have lost.