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  1. #1
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    Cell phones; can we go without them?

    This thread isn't about what cell phone you like or what you think about other people using cell phones.
    It's about being dependent upon them.

    It began one day when I was preparing to travel from the city I live in to visit family in another town over 100 miles away. After paying for my bus ticket and arranging tags to my baggage, I heard the ticket agents talking about construction work on the highway to where I would be going. Taking this in, I reached for my cell phone that I usually kept clipped to my belt. Not there. I searched my luggage. It wasn't there, either. Taking out a pouch of coins, I walked over to a public phone and tried the backup plan. Try as I might, every attempt I made to contact my family to say that I might be late was futile.
    By this time, I started to break a sweat because my cell phone was missing, and that it would be difficult (financially) to replace, that I would be late, and I couldn't use a public phone like I used to.

    There were dozens of other travelers in the bus station. Most of them were talking, texting, gaming, and doing lots of other things that modern cell phones are made to do. Cell phones certainly are a new object of convienience for people these days but have we been brought into a position where it's hard to do without them? I wondered about it while I was out of town. I found my cell phone in good working order on my desk in my apartment when I returned

    What do you think? Could we or couldn't we?
    Last edited by powerhouse; 05-21-09 at 11:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    You don't need one to ride a bike.

  3. #3
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    I don't have a cell phone. I have had one in the past, but now I don't. And when I do have one, I try to limit the amount of people who have my number. What is perhaps a bit remarkable about that is that I own and run a company with 40 employees. They all have cell phones.

    My reasoning is this: I teach people the principals on how to make decisions and they are expected to make them. Almost never is there a situation that can't either wait for a morning meeting, or they can handle without my approval. Instant communication can cause all decisions to come to me, which is bad for building a business.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rowedave76's Avatar
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    Considering that at this point there are a lot of people who are ditching their land lines and going with just cell phones I would say that there are a lot of people who can no longer go without them.

    I've also read several articles about people who get the feeling of a phantom cell phone when they aren't carrying their cell phone, that they may feel their cell phone vibrate when it isn't there.

    Personally when I first got a cell phone I was able to stop memorizing phone numbers, I wouldn't even be able to call my family if I didn't have it with me.

  5. #5
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    My elderly and increasingly frail mother lives with me. I'm middle-aged and single. And female. And generally ride alone. If those aren't reason enough, my employer needs to be able to get hold of me. And two nights each week I'm on call.
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
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  6. #6
    Senior Member bagel007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post
    This thread isn't about what cell phone you like or what you think about other people using cell phones.
    It's about being dependent upon them.

    It began one day when I was preparing to travel from the city I live in to visit family in another town over 100 miles away. After paying for my bus ticket and arranging tags to my baggage, I heard the ticket agents talking about construction work on the highway to where I would be going. Taking this in, I reached for my cell phone that I usually kept clipped to my belt. Not there. I searched my luggage. It wasn't there, either. Taking out a pouch of coins, I walked over to a public phone and tried the backup plan. Try as I might, every attempt I made to contact my family to say that I might be late was futile.
    By this time, I started to break a sweat because my cell phone was missing, and that it would be difficult (financially) to replace, that I would be late, and I couldn't use a public phone like I used to.

    There were dozens of other travelers in the bus station. Most of them were talking, texting, gaming, and doing lots of other things that modern cell phones are made to do. Cell phones certainly are a new object of convienience for people these days but have we been brought into a position where it's hard to do without them? I wondered about it while I was out of time. I found my cell phone in good working order on my desk in my apartment when I returned

    What do you think? Could we or couldn't we?
    I'm sure that if you've approached one of the travelers and explained him/her that you have lost your cellphone and need to notify your family that you're running late -- he would've loaned you his cellphone.
    Giant Cypress 2009

  7. #7
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    I really hate cellphones. I don't have texting and people give me a weird look and say "but how will I contact you" and it's made phone conversations really awkward and last only 5 second.
    Once I forgot my cellphone and needed to call my parents to pick me up from the airport but I couldn't remember their cellphone numbers. It's taking over us. Pretty soon we probably won't need computers since you can use the internet on it.

    who knows. they can come in use though.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Cell phones; can we go without them?

    Quote Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post
    ...What do you think? Could we or couldn't we?
    I commute in metropolitan Boston and can easily call a cab if necessary. Though I ride early and can often be in late, sometimes I must be there on time. So I can call a cab if there is a problem. Only happened a couple times in about 20 years, the most recent when my pedal fell off.

    I decided on carrying a cell phone about 5 years ago during one frigid winter when even changing a flat could be a problem. ATM's seem to be the most logical place to do so in an urban environment in the early morning, but I might be a couple miles away.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I don't own a cell phone. I have had the use of one over the past 4 years, but I've probably put about 5-15 minutes of calls on it each of those 4 years.

    But then ... I don't talk on any sort of phone either if I can help it. Rowan and I talk ... but then we're married and living on the opposite side of the world ... but otherwise it's rare that I'll talk on a phone. I don't see the need for all that talking.

    One other thing with cellphones is that they are unreliable. Where I cycle, I don't always get a signal. When I accidentally took the cellphone I've been using to Europe, I discovered it didn't work there. When I ended up in the hospital in January, there were signs up that I couldn't use the cell phone and had to use a pay phone to call my family. So in places where I might want to use it ... I can't anyway.

    And as for notifying your family that you might be late ... a search on the bus website would likely inform your parents of a delay, as would a search on your local traffic condition website. If I were travelling home to my parents, they would have checked those things, and would be aware that I could very well be late.

    So what happened in your case ... did you get to see your family?

  10. #10
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    Pay phones are practically nonexistant these days, so watcha gonna do?

  11. #11
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchxout View Post
    Pay phones are practically nonexistant these days, so watcha gonna do?
    Just borrow one from someone near for one call.

  12. #12
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    I once got cornered by a cell phone salesman at a mall kiosk. I decided to humor the guy and go along for a while. After a while he was getting frustrated because he couldn't close me. I finally confessed that I'm a grumpy old dude and I just don't want to talk to anybody. I mean; I really don't wnt to talk to anybody. He finally gave up. Still don't have a cell either. bk

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    I once got cornered by a cell phone salesman at a mall kiosk. I decided to humor the guy and go along for a while. After a while he was getting frustrated because he couldn't close me. I finally confessed that I'm a grumpy old dude and I just don't want to talk to anybody. I mean; I really don't wnt to talk to anybody. He finally gave up. Still don't have a cell either. bk
    I love it!!!

  14. #14
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    I got rid of my cell phone in 2004 after I left a job working for a consulting firm. I found they were really annoying and interruptive since anyone who calls a cell phone seems to have an expectation that the person being called will immediately answer, and they WILL NOT leave a message on voicemail (what, I have absolutely nothing else to do in the whole wide world but wait for your phone calls?!?!).

    Two examples of how those things have become annoying:
    1) My ex-boss got pissed that I wouldn't answer his multiple attempts to reach me when I was in a discussion with a client and a govt regulator who wanted to cite the client; all my boss wanted was the address of a Chinese restaurant I had told him about.

    2) I had problems running project meetings due to so many persons insisting they had to answer their cell phones; meeting used to run long, department heads complained, etc. I started collecting all the phones at the start of meetings, put them in a box, and put them behind me for the duration of the meeting (one hour max). Amazing how things finally started running smoothly and the meetings got done quickly.

    Only reason I might get one in the future is due to the lessening number of pay phones and freeway call boxes here in Southern California, and it'll be just for making calls, getting calls, and voicemail; no email, internet, Twitter, etc.

  15. #15
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    I got rid of my cell phone a few years back, and swore that I would never own one again. When I wanted to take a long trip one winter night by bike, the wife started having reservations on the whole idea. She said she would feel better if I had a cell phone in case I needed help, I said I would be fine, and didn't like paying for something that I barely use (5 to 10 minutes a month, tops). We finally compromised on a prepaid cell phone, now she knows I can call for help in case of an emergency, and I don't have to pay large monthly fees.

  16. #16
    BeaverTerror Yan's Avatar
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    I carry my cellphone when I go riding. I consider it essential safetly equipment.
    Yan

    2013 True North custom touring; 2010 Novara Randonee; 2009 Unicycle.com Club 24"; 1989 Miele Tivoli; 1979 Colnago Sport

  17. #17
    Banned.
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    I think I will have to agree with Yan here. It is simply a tool; it sure beats a day planner. It makes that long stretch between two cities seem a bit less lonely. You don’t have to turn it on any more than you have to use your frame pump. But you wouldn’t leave your pump at home would you? And texting is simply a way to communicate like E-mail or posting on a forum. People get to it when they can and get back whenever they can. That way you can’t miss them and have to call back. It beats telepathy.

  18. #18
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I have a cell phone. In fact in 99 it probably saved my life when I had a heart attack. But Although I have a cell phone- I rarely use it. We have a Pre-Payment system over here, aswell as the contract service, and in 2001 I put £20 on the card (About $50 st the time) I still have £7 on that card.

    My only problem is that I have a cell phone- I use for emergencies- I always take it on bike rides.

    Just when will I remember to charge the thing up occasionally.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  19. #19
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yan View Post
    I carry my cellphone when I go riding. I consider it essential safetly equipment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    I think I will have to agree with Yan here. It is simply a tool; it sure beats a day planner. It makes that long stretch between two cities seem a bit less lonely. You donít have to turn it on any more than you have to use your frame pump. But you wouldnít leave your pump at home would you? And texting is simply a way to communicate like E-mail or posting on a forum. People get to it when they can and get back whenever they can. That way you canít miss them and have to call back. It beats telepathy.
    My take on it. They are a tool to be used properly, but like many tools in our society they are greatly over used and abused.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    I don't have one.

    I have borrowed the cell phones of complete strangers on a couple of emergency occasions. Works good enough for me.
    ~Kat

  21. #21
    Dropped again guadzilla's Avatar
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    I am lost without my Blackberry.

    It seems to be retro-cool to say "I dont need a cellphone" (kinda like fixies?) but the fact is, it makes life a lot more convenient. I'd rather have my phone and not use it when I dont want to, instead of not having it and then running around for a phone/intruding on strangers/whatever.

    V.

  22. #22
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Truthfully, we could "survive" without regular phones, but life would be inconvenient. Once I tried to save money by forgoing a cell phone, but it turned out that doing so actually cost me money.

    But I control my phone, not the other way around. I generally won't interrupt a person-to-person conversation to answer a call. You won't find me texting during meetings. (You'll hardly find me texting at all).

    There are always exceptions. When I'm on-call with the ambulance service, answering the phone is a high-priority. And if I'm expecting a critical call, I will check the caller-id. And if I'm in an all-day meeting and my 13-year-old son calls me after school, I'll probably blow off the meeting for a while and go talk to my son. He's more important.

    I'm the same way with my landline phone at home. If I'm busy with someone, or busy talking to someone, I might let the phone ring and go to voicemail. Heck, if I just don't feel like walking across the house to pick up the phone, I'll let it go to voicemail. Sometimes it freaks people out when I do that. I've had visitors get really worried that I'm not picking up my phone.

  23. #23
    Senior Member bike4life's Avatar
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    I have one and consider it a useful tool, and that's all. Some people apparently consider it their most important link to the rest of humanity. It must be obeyed at all times. It doesn't matter what they're doing, the master calls doodledoodledoodleding and they interrupt whatever they're doing to answer it. When people do that to me, I'm insulted by their rudeness - yes! rudeness! - because it's never to answer an "on-call" summons. Bah humbug!

  24. #24
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    I have one. Very basic service. No texting, etc. It's for emergency use. I don't give out the number. I bring it on rides just in case. Pay phones are non-existent here.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  25. #25
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    But I control my phone, not the other way around. I generally won't interrupt a person-to-person conversation to answer a call. You won't find me texting during meetings. (You'll hardly find me texting at all).
    I'm the same way with my landline phone at home. If I'm busy with someone, or busy talking to someone, I might let the phone ring and go to voicemail. Heck, if I just don't feel like walking across the house to pick up the phone, I'll let it go to voicemail. Sometimes it freaks people out when I do that. I've had visitors get really worried that I'm not picking up my phone.
    Absolutely awesome man! Everyone should show this level of respect. It's weird that so many of us have unwittingly been trained, when talking face to face, to pause when a friend's phone rings to allow him/her to answer it [or not]. This goes for land lines and cells.

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