Cell phones, E-mail, Life, Technology, Thoughts

On Being Disconnected from the World

It was when I’d gone to a casino about two weeks back that I discovered that the display screen of my cell phone had gone ‘white’. I got a little unnerved and started playing with the slider hoping that everything would be back to normal. No such luck. The screen worked intermittently, granting me the privilege of accessing my phone book when he felt like it. I wasn’t really worried and decided that I would give the customer service a call and they should be able to replace my phone, especially since he’s on a 2 year contract and it’s only been a year since he came into my life. On my way back home, I made the call and the lady informed me that she would send a new battery that should solve the problem.

 I waited for 10 days…no battery! Called them up again and someone else informed me that the battery had never been shipped because his warranty has expired. (Wow! Finally I can get disconnected from the rest of the world. Thank you God for listening to me. :)). So, I need to get him replaced with another one. I told him that I’ll think about it and ended the call.

Now, he’s expired in that the display screen doesn’t even go white. It just stays blank. He’s dead.

Who wants to get committed so fast? Let me enjoy my new found single status! 😉

I can’t tell you how happy I’ve been since the past couple of days. No more telemarketing calls, no more unsolicited party invitations, no more of friends calling me to ask me what I am doing! This is like a dream come true for me. I hardly miss my cell phone. The funny thing is that there hasn’t been even a single incident when I’ve felt the need to call anyone. My mom called me up once and I spoke to her over my friend’s phone.

It’s always been like this with me. People who know me will testify to the fact that I’m always in a hurry to end calls. Somehow, I’m more comfortable talking face to face or just e-mailing (thanks to the over reliance on this particular method of communication in the US). I share a family plan with another friend and the total number of minutes that I use every month (including the incoming minutes) doesn’t go over 200 mins. Of course, the weekends and weeknights after 9 pm are free. But even during that time, I only talk to my mom. I don’t text message either.

How did people live without cell phones a couple of years back? No wonder they got more work done! These days, you can’t stick to any deadline because of the outpour of e-mails and calls.

 How do I cope with this? Well, I reply to emails ASAP actually. But as for calls go, it depends upon who’s calling me. If it’s work related, I receive the call. If it’s a social calling, I let the voice mail pick it up. After some time, I call back when I feel that it’s safe to do so (totally sure that the party must have gotten over by now) 😐

 P.S. I’m thinking of doing another follow up post analyzing our cell phone behavior.

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19 thoughts on “On Being Disconnected from the World

  1. “P.S. I’m thinking of doing another follow up post analyzing our cell phone behavior.”

    0= Shocking. Hehe, well i never use my cell phone so you won’t learn anything from me. All my free time goes into reading stuff online. I suppose your cell phone to you is like my laptop to me. I’ve lost hours already today online instead of studying.

  2. @Raphy:

    I suppose your cell phone to you is like my laptop to me.

    Actually, I said the exact opp. thing in this post. I dislike having a cell phone. 🙂 Most of my free time is spent online too. And watching movies.

  3. Swen says:

    Not having a cell phone .I don’t know. What is the thing you look at or fiddle with when you are in an uncomfortable situation? Or when you are plain bored?

  4. Actually these days phone has become important..if I get 10-15 minutes late while coming from work, phone calls come arriving on my cellphone from my grandfather. I think previously how did they manage it when it took months for a letter to reach the other!

  5. I too wonder how people used to survive without cell phones earlier. I’ve got a neighbor who’s taken the word “mobile phone” too literally. He actually goes around roaming in his garden when he talks on the cellphone. These days thanks to Reliance and co., everybody has a cellphone. So you can call the vegetable seller to your house and hell you can even call the dhobhi to bring your clothes immediately. It’s become such a convenient world. Of course it does have it’s negative points which show in family dinners and gatherings. What’s the logic of having a family dinner when everyone’s too busy attending phone calls that they don’t even talk to the ones whom they’ve come out on dinner with. And now thanks to all the touch screens and blackberry’s that have e-mails on phone. So basically you’ve got a couple of people busy with their work through their cellphones that they won’t even bother to talk. And then they’ll tell you that you need to get a life. Yeah seriously!

    As far as my usage is concerned, I was really obsessed with my phone till sometime back, everyone has that techy phase in life. Now, it’s just another of those many gadgets that I use occasionally. I don’t get many long phone calls because most of my guy friends are busy calling their girlfriends or girl-friends. I don’t have any so I’m spared. The day I have one, maybe cellphones and messages will have an entirely new meaning, we’ll see that when it happens. But the idea of love sms’ beats me..how can you show love by doing something that’s surely gonna wreck your fingers? Doing it on chat is another thing though but whatever, I’m going to end this because it isn’t making any sense and is sounding like double standards.

  6. Somehow, I’m more comfortable talking face to face or just e-mailing…

    Couldn’t agree with you more!
    I am also usually in a hurry to end calls! Even ‘chatting’ doesn’t interest me much.

  7. rohanmanoharlovetobe says:

    i will tell u one thing…wen my cell phone behaves like this…i used to throw it on ground one or two times and trust me it works…he he….u can try it….anyway mine is an old one….and we do stuff like this here in india..u know the policy of maximum utilisation….

  8. @Swen, I remember utilizing that technique during my undergrad years. Now, I’ve become a master of just staring blankly into space or at the person who’s talking with a useless grin plastered on my face…and believe me, it really works.

    @Poonam, Yes, I totally agree with you in this regard. It’s almost like an RFID tag that’ll beep whenever anyone wants to know our location…heh. It works wonders during crisis management. But the thing is that the entire scenario doesn’t end there. People start calling us ‘just like that’ to see what we’re up to and soon it turns into an infringement of one’s privacy. For eg- When I’m sleeping, I don’t really want to answer calls. But some of my friends are SO annoying. They’ll keep calling until I pick up!! In times like these, I feel really comforted when I find myself without this beeper for a couple of days. 🙂

    @ish, Heh…on my god! That is so funny. Your neighbor actually reminds me of all these undergrad students here who refuse to walk even one step without having the device stuck semi-permanently to their ear. Looks like all of them are so busy that they only time they can ‘catch up’ with the rest of the world is when they are running between classes! They would give even Steve Jobs a run for his money.

    Once upon a time, even I used to act like I can’t live without it. I had a pre-paid card in India for quite some time. Whenever the balance got over, I had to refill it ASAP else I would have withdrawal symptoms 😕 Now, the same thing happens if I’m away from the internet.

    Btw, I like your long comments. 🙂 Pls. keep them coming.

    @Nita, How and when did we get addicted to this device? I blame the free incoming calls for this! Probably paying Rs. 5/10 per minute was a good thing. It kept our madness in control. Another thing that’s really annoying is when I’m talking to someone and that person’s cell phone keeps ringing. I think it’s basic courtesy to put it on silent mode or reject calls when we have company.

    @Rohan, Hahaha…I used to do that too! Throw it on the ground and it would work like a charm. 🙂 This didn’t even occur to me this time. Probably I’ll go home and give this technique a try.

  9. Yea, at one time I would also be like..hey dad..I need money for recharging my cellphone. These days I can survive 10 days on Rs. 1.40/-

    And that throwing thing does tend to work for Nokia’s. I wouldn’t wanna do it with a Samsung though.

  10. Well..i was never obessed with cell phones. Its best use is flirting…very true for me..once upon a time.SMS was my major tool..but now things are too boring on cell phone…

    I don’t like talking much on phone…i almost stopped smsing and in reward i dont receive any sms’es either.
    Getting disconnected is really pleasure when ppl bug you for work especially …a friendly call is acceptable..

  11. The best use I put my phone to is a modem or portable media player. Usually make a phonecall in a week or so. But I heavily use it to surf the web when I’m not near a computer. I guess that once we bring something into our lives, its quite hard to part with it. lol.

    Oh and btw, the new Nokia’s aren’t as sturdy as the old ones. Saw a Prism break apart in front of my eyes with a simple crash to the floor. But it might the odd one out.. Flip/swivel/slider phones tend to break more often than a candybar, as a thumb rule. 😀

  12. @nitin, Best use is for flirting? 😕 What about emergency calls? Heh. But yes, I know what you mean 😉 In the US, incoming text messages are also charged. Can you believe it? It’s much easier to just call and talk for a minute.

    @Ashish:

    Yep! I don’t have a data plan with his ex-Samsung Slider Phone. But I’ll buy a Blackberry or something next year and then use it to email and stuff.

    I haven’t used a Nokia in years.. I like their N series. But most of the Nokia phones are quite heavy. This time around, I actually wanted to buy a simple candy bar phone because of the reason you mentioned above. But you know the funny thing here? Flip phones are cheaper! 😦 so, I’ve bought a Sony Ericsson flip phone and it should be here tomorrow sometime. The absolute end of my ‘disconnection’. I’m dreading it. I’ll not tell anyone that I got a new phone. 😐

  13. ruhi: Well don’t know about flip, but my swivel Sony Ericsson W550i is superbly sturdy, its been subjected to a couple of falls and is nearly a year and a half old yet works superbly. I left Nokia coz of the heavyness and actually when you break from the Nokia mould you find that others have superb features that Nokia doesn’t. Sony’s Walkman series for example has superb sound that no phone can ever match. Flip cheaper? LOL. Well thats the case we’re moving here too, Samsung and Motorola are to be thanked for that. lol.

  14. @Ashish:

    Oh yes I love the Walkman series of Sony Ericsson. Many of my friends have it. I decided against it because I have an iPod anyway. People need to stop buying Nokia to appreciate other cell phone service makers. Sony Ericsson has some start of the start, sleek models.

  15. Sony Ericsson has some start of the start, sleek models.
    State of the art? 😛 Yeah, I drool over the K and W series, the finest.

    I decided against it because I have an iPod anyway.
    I don’t have an iPod, but do have an MP4. I’d say the sound quality is on par if not better with the iPod, but I’ve only listened to the shuffle. Basically the idea is of one device to act as a swiss army knife, granted you won’t have the functionality that a standalone device offers but it will be good enough. The new phones do that very well. Phones are slowly becoming like MFD’s that revolutionised printing. 🙂

    [I’m a Walkman fanboy btw. So my thoughts might be fanboyish… lol]

  16. @Ashish:

    //I’d say the sound quality is on par if not better with the iPod, but I’ve only listened to the shuffle.

    I think it’s the best for a cell phone media player. But I don’t really think that it’s better than iPod 😛

    //I’m a Walkman fanboy btw. So my thoughts might be fanboyish… lol]

    I’m a fan-girl. It’s all right! Takes two to tango 😉

  17. Pingback: A Date with a T-Mobile Customer Service « Time and Again

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