I don’t like being bothered or bossed around.
I hated that anyone for any reason could interrupt my life and I could interrupt my life just the same.
The phone rings: it’s my friend checking to see if I can pick her up on the way to a dinner party.
I ask her where she is and as she explains – I reach as far as I can across the countertop for a pen.
I scribble the address in my trusty notebook I keep in my back pocket.
I tell her I’ll be at her place in about 20 minutes give or take a few.
Then I hang up.
I physically take the handset receiver away from my ear and hang it on the weight-triggered click switch that cuts off my landline’s dial tone.
I take my laptop – Google the address – add better directions to my notes and head outside to my 1989 pick-up truck (whose most recent technological feature is a cassette player) and drive over.
If I get lost on the way I’ll need to ask someone for directions.
If she changes her plans she won’t be able to tell me or cancel at a moment’s notice.
If I crash on the way I won’t be calling 911.
I’m fine with all of this.
As you guessed by now I haven’t had a cellphone for more than 18 months.
I didn’t just cancel cellular service and keep the smartphone for Wi-Fi fun nor did I downgrade to a flip phone to ‘simplify’ – I opted out entirely.
There is no mobile phone in my life in any form at all.
Arguably there should be.
I’m a freelance writer and graphic designer with many reasons to have a little computer in my holster but I don’t miss it.
There are a dozen ways to contact me between email and social media.
When I check in it’s on my terms.
No one can interrupt my bad singing of Hooked on a Feeling with a text message.
It’s as freeing as the first night of a vacation.
‘My phone’ has become ‘the phone’.
It’s no longer my personal assistant – it has reverted back to being a piece of furniture – like ‘the fridge’ or ‘the couch’ – two other items you also wouldn’t carry around on your butt.
I didn’t get rid of it for some hipster-inspired luddite ideal or because I couldn’t afford it.
I cut myself off because my life is better without a cellphone.
I’m less distracted and less accessible – two things I didn’t realize were far more important than instantly knowing how many movies Kevin Kline’s been in since 2010 at a moment’s notice.
I can’t be bothered unless I choose to be.