Monday, August 16, 2010

Cell Phone Deprivation Experiment: Day 1

I remember the day I decided to get a cell phone. It was in 1999 and I had been bristling against the pleadings of my friends that I get one so that I could be easily reached. I liked the fact that there were periods of time where I would not be available. Looking back, I think maybe I felt that not being able to be reached at a moment's notice added an air of mystery to my persona. Really, though, I'm sure that I just didn't want to be bothered. Plus, I didn't want to have to deal with yet another monthly bill, essentially meaning that I would be paying some faceless corporation to enable the means for me to be continually harassed by cell phone calls. There was just too much cognitive dissonance for me to be comfortable having a cell phone.

That Summer, I got a call at work from my old college pal, Brock. He had gotten some great seats for a Jimmy Buffett concert and, at the last minute, someone dropped out so Brock offered me the extra ticket. In order to attend the concert, I'd have to go over to Brock's straight from work. In order to save time, he offered to pick me up at the train station. One problem: I missed the train. No big deal, right? I'd just catch the next one, 10 minutes later. Certainly, Brock would wait around. Right? RIGHT?

When I got off the train, Brock was nowhere to be found. He had said later that, upon seeing that I wasn't on the train I was scheduled to be on, he figured I'd gotten tied up at work and that I wouldn't be able to make it to the concert. Missing an epic time at a Jimmy Buffett concert with my friends was enough to convince me to get a cell phone so that nothing like that could ever happen again.

Since that day, my cell phone has almost become a part of me. I suspect that, if my insurance would cover the operation, I'd have the phone embedded in my skull and the display embedded in my forearm. I'm constantly looking at my Motorola Droid, checking e-mail, checking Facebook, checking in through Foursquare and sending txt messages. It's all too much. I've become TOO connected. I'm addicted to connectivity. It's time to go cold turkey, just for a while.

Now, I've experienced a loss of connectivity before, albeit a temporary one. During that last incident, I found that, two days into it, I was practically in fetal position on the floor due to feelings of extreme loneliness. I felt like I was missing out on things. So far, one day into the experience, I feel alright. Let's see if I can last a week without it, though.

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