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I'd Rather Not Have a Phone

The Huffington Post 11/11/2015 Elizabeth Barnett

rather-not-have-a-phone © Provided by The Huffington Post rather-not-have-a-phone I literally do not call people.  The only time I do is when I HAVE to because it's the only way I can get in contact with someone.  Even when you only have a phone number, you can usually find another mode of communication for a person just by searching the internet.  In my opinion, phones are antiquated.  They are an ancient form of communication that was only necessary at best 20 years ago.  I would much rather be contacted by FaceTime or Skype on my iMac than on a mobile device.  That way, I could have control over when I am available like you used to be able to do with instant messaging.
There really is never a reason to need to contact me on the go.  I am not a doctor.  I am no longer a college administrator on call.  There is never, ever, a time that anyone needs ME for anything important.  As a blogger, the most pressing issue I may have is if my site goes down.  And guess what?  If it does, the world will go on.
I do not have children (not a big deal anymore), so I have no reason to be concerned that someone needs me to take care of them.  The only livelihood I need to worry about is my own, and I'm really not all that concerned about it.  I'm allowed to choose my level of concern for my own self.
The only reason I can imagine anyone needing to call me would be if my apartment building were burning down.  Even then, why couldn't someone just knock on my door and let me know there is a fire?  And if my apartment does go up in flames, it's the size of a closet in most people's homes so it's not exactly complicated to get out in time.
Today, people can contact me in so many other forms that a phone seems so unnecessary.  Not to mention the fact that calling someone on the phone is considered rude now.  I have had Google Voice now for years.  Why?  Because it has so many features on it that allow you to have control over things that I would never have a reason to go back. Regardless of whether you call my cell phone or my Google Voice number, your call gets dumped into my Google Voice mailbox.  Why?  Because I NEVER answer the phone.
There is no discrimination here.  I don't answer the phone for my grandmother.  I don't answer the phone for my mother.  I wouldn't answer the phone if it were the President of the United States (and I wouldn't be the only one).
I tend to have my ringer off on my phone because if I don't, it makes these annoying noises.  I'm not sure what they are, but they might be phone calls I'm ignoring.  So I just leave it off.
The reason I even have a cell phone is mostly for Instagram and Swarm.  I could live without both apps.  And if it were possible to use them on an iPad with 100 percent capability, I would have already gotten rid of my iPhone.
I honestly do not care if I get in a car accident and have to pull over alongside the road.
Chances are, the other person will have a cell phone.  I can always get a really cheap burner phone and keep it in my glove box for emergencies.  But, in case you didn't know, there was a day and time (not too long ago) that cell phones didn't even exist!  So it is actually possible to get help without one!  Gasp!
If someone passes away, I will get the news just as fast on email and unfortunately will probably learn of it on Facebook before I do anywhere else.  I check my email more than I do my phone, so I would probably see a notification there just as fast.  And while it does seem impersonal to some of you, receiving notification by that method would allow me to gather myself and get in a car to drive to wherever I need to be versus breaking down emotionally and being unable to transport myself to be with friends or family.
I really do think that phone calls, unless scheduled, are as rude as showing up on someone's door step.  To me, it is a way of interrupting another person's life.  As a person who is creative and in the flow working on my blog, or whatever else I feel like doing at the time, it is very annoying to be interrupted by another person who thinks that whatever is on their mind is more important than what is on yours.
It is even more annoying if the person calls, you ignore them, and THEN they leave a voicemail!  Are you kidding me?  Now you're going to not only interrupt my day with the ringtone, but now you are going to make me listen to a message!?  Voicemails had to have been invented for the very purpose of wasting time.  If they weren't, then it makes no sense that Coca-Cola got rid of them.   They are SUCH a waste of time!  We have Caller ID now so you already know who called you and if you plan on returning the call, you already know WHO to call.  Do you really need to know WHY they interrupted your life?
I realize that people are busy and so they believe they are saving time by placing a phone call.  That may be true, but it's only saving YOUR time and interrupting the time of the other person.  Not to mention the fact that you are probably calling from your car while you should be paying attention to the road.
So rather than ask all 3236 contacts in my Google Voice Address Book to not call me, I'd rather just not have a phone.  I can always text them on Google Voice from my desktop.  And if I'm meeting up with someone I'll just go old school and require them to commit to a date/time/location like a normal person.  I'll take my chances of them not showing up.  I did for many, many years and it went just fine.
I'm not the only one thinking about this.  The idea of not having a phone is not new.  In fact, The New York Times wrote about this concept in 2009!
If this post causes you anxiety, pick up your phone, because 1995 is calling and it wants its car phone back.
This post originally appeared on my blog, WomanlyWoman.com.

DOING IT WRONG © Dann Tardif/LWA/Fuse via Getty Images DOING IT WRONG

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