Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Living without a telephone for a year -- both cellphone and landline

I have been living without a phone for a year now and while it was never intended to be an experiment, it has turned into one. See, what happened was this: a year ago, I lost my cellphone on the bus while travelling to a local college to teach a class. Just a 30 minute ride and a good time to sit back and relax and watch the views go by. But somewhere along the way, I lost my phone. Either it fell out of my pocket or my bag or holster or something, but all I know is that when I got off the bus it was gone. I checked with the lost and found department of the local bus company and nobody has seen it. So, disappointed, I chalked it all up to bad luck that day, and it was gone. I made plans to get a new phone as soon as possible but....

....but while making plans to get a new phone it suddently occurred to me that it might be fun and useful to experiment a bit and live without a phone for a while. No cell phone and no land line at home. So off I went into the wild blue yonder of life without a cellphone or landline, and you know what, a year later, there have been no problems, no major inconveniences and in fact, I love it! I plan to keep going without a phone. I have email and Facebook for messages and that's good enough for me. I also do not have a computer, either, so you can see how much of a Luddite I am. Also I love technology, sure. So when I do email and blog posting and newspaper articles to write, I go to the local Internet cafe and rent a machine for an hour or two, every day! Sure, I am at the Internet cafe every day, at least for an hour or two. I have never owned a computer and never want to. I dislike machines in general because....they always break down and you lose important data and info. I have never experienced a computer crash or losing all my email addresses in my files. I love it.

So what is life like without a phone, cellphone especially? Well, nothing changes, except that people cannot contact me by phone, they have to use email or Facebook. Or visit me in person. Or see me on the street and say hi. Sure, I might have missed out on some work, maybe some editor wanted me to do a news story on short notice and he or she tried to call me but my number no longer works. C'est la vie. Hopefully, he or she used email to contact me because I check my email two times a day, morning and night, at the local Internet cafe.

And if suddenly I want to call someone, a friend or a colleague or someone I met online here or overseas, I cannot just pick up my handy cellphone -- handyphone? -- and call them. I have to spend some time riding my bicycle to the nearby 711 and using a pay phone to call them. So it takes my ten minutes more than normal. Big deal. What's ten minutes? Time is an illusion, anyways.

So here I am, phoneless in Gaze. I mean, phoneless in Taiwan. Do I miss not having a phone? Not at all. Try it sometime, you will see. WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE SLAVES TO TECHNOLOGY AND YOU KNOW THAT.

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