I do not own a cellphone. This puts me in the 1-5% bracket of college students in America that don’t own cellphones, I assume. By my observation and extrapolation, the minority is really that small.
And, yes, that is a problem.
Cellphones aren’t bad. They are tools. But a carpenter doesn’t need the same tools that a baker does. Their tool sets are completely different. This analogy works. As individual humans, we each have different situations that require different resources.
Some of us need two vehicles, due to family size and frequent transportation and distance away from a city. Others of us live in cities run by metro, and don’t need cars at all. Some of us need high tech camera equipment for work, some of us just need a shirt and tie.
We all need things other people don’t. And we also DON’T need things that other people do.
And most of us don’t need cellphones.
My friends who have cellphones have occasionally said to me that their phone was annoying at times, distracting, a burden. They wished people would stop texting them. They wished they didn’t have to have it in their pocket, indefinitely just about to ring.
Some of them truly needed their phones, because they often went places without their parents and needed to call them to let them know details and arrange things.
Personally, I have never needed to or wanted to go somewhere that my parents couldn’t take me. I have never felt the need to go somewhere when they were too busy to drive me there. Where do I need to go? Either friends can pick me up, my parents can take me, or I don’t need to go.
And what else would I need a phone for but to contact my parents or friends when arranging something like this?
I have skype, which is just as good or better than any calling on a cellphone. I have email, which is just as good or better than any texting on a cellphone.
In an emergency, a true emergency, no one could come quickly enough for me to need a phone. In a non-emergency, everything can wait.
We are addicted to immediate knowledge, obsessed with instant access to anyone, anything, anytime, anywhere. We are dependent on our tools.
We are like carpenters that carry sawdust in our pockets, we are like bakers who keep pictures of bread in our wallets. We are humans mastered by our cellphones, our tools.
But are they tools if we don’t use them well? Are they tools if they control us more than we control them?
And cellphones cost money. Every month. More money. More more more. I refuse to pay for something that has far more negative effects than positive. I refuse to pay for something that will most likely control me, to some degree.
Some people need cellphones, and they better master themselves so they can use them wisely. They are a powerful tool. Just like a saw, it is useful until you cut your hand off.
But most people don’t need cellphones. All of humanity lived totally fulfilled and efficient and productive lives without cellphones for hundreds, thousands of years. Surely humanity isn’t becoming weaker? Surely our dependence on cellphones is self-inflicted?
I am in the minority. In America. But I surmise that worldwide there are far more people whose problems couldn’t be solved with a cellphone. Hunger. Thirst. Disease. Cold.
We don’t need cellphones. Are they really worth the cost. They cost money, energy, attention, peace, time…
I may buy one eventually. But I will refrain as long as possible.
Because WANT isn’t NEED. Because the NORM isn’t my STANDARD. Because my TOOLS are not my MASTERS.
I am free.