Why I Don’t Own a Cell Phone

A good friend once suggested I write a post about why I don’t own a cell phone and call it, “Where are you?” because every time I call someone on their cell phone, I always start by asking where they are, because, frankly, they could be anywhere.*

So, why don’t I own a cell phone?

First of all, I already consider my cordless phone annoying enough, because I can never talk on it and do anything else without my face hanging it up when I try to cradle it in my neck. If I manage NOT to hang it up over the course of a long conversation, I end up needing a chiropractic adjustment for the resulting neck pain. Cell phones? Those guys are 100% UNCRADLEABLE and CHIROPRACTICCAREINDUCING.

If you could invent a cell phone that was the shape of a 1970’s AT&T handset, I’d consider buying it. I know there are attachments for cell phones that have coiled wires and a real handset feel, but look! You’ve already got me buying more stuff for my cell phone. I know that Things Begat Things, but Cell Phones begat ONE GAGILLION THINGS.

cell phone_ATT handset

I already PAY for a phone. A perfectly good phone (minus the UNCRADLEABLENESS) that attaches to my wall and occasionally rings (which it rarely does because no one likes to even TALK on the phone anymore, including your’s truly). So, I’m going to pay for two phones? Who died and left YOU richy rich? Everyone knows I’m The Cheapest Person On The Planet. Not gonna happen. Plus, I get agita every time I think of shopping for a phone — all the choices, all the plans. Navigating the whole process sounds worse than getting lost in North Providence.**

So, should I just get rid of my “land line?” Why, so I CAN’T receive your call in 90% of the town I live in because the cell coverage is so bad? Or, so if you do get in touch with me, we can have our call cut out repeatedly? You know what my husband has for a work-from-home phone? A cell phone. Do you know what he uses for Really Important Calls? OUR LAND LINE.

If you want to sell me on the idea of a cell phone based on how others use them: forget it. I hate listening to others talk on theirs; I hate being with someone when they stop everything to answer it; I hate when I’m hanging out with someone and they’re checking it for email or texting. Unless you are an on-call doctor or have a potential medical emergency, please cease and desist on the cell phone use. Additionally, I’m still recovering from an incident in 2009 when I watched someone in Whole Foods YELLING to her brand new iPhone as she FACE TALKED about which honey to buy. Although, in all fairness to cell phones, I’m traumatized by customers at Whole Foods every time I go in there.

Cell phones are not even really necessary. They’re convenient. And they’re more convenient for the person trying to get you, than for oneself. Why? BECAUSE 80% OF THE TIME I WATCH OTHERS GET A CALL ON THEIR CELL PHONE, THEY DON’T EVEN ANSWER IT. If we are supposed to have cell phones to be in touch immediately, WHY DOESN’T ANYONE PICK THEM UP? Cell phones should just be referred to as Portable Answering Machines.

I’m enough of a uni-tasker that when I talk on my phone, I usually take the phone into another room, sit down and concentrate on my conversation. Guess what I don’t need? To be walking through a grocery store, trying to make sure the ingredients are dairy, soy and apple FREE while TALKING TO YOU ABOUT WHAT ELSE TO PICK UP.


What did we all do before cell phones? We PARKED at the airport to meet our family inside. We WAITED in the nurse’s office with a bad stomach ache until our parent got home and (this is PRE-answering machine!) got the call to let them know we were sick and to come pick us up. We CONCENTRATED on our driving. We ATE at marginal restaurants in unfamiliar neighborhoods. I bet now that you have a cell phone, YOU HAVE NEVER HAD A BAD MEAL.

But, do you know what the best reason is for having a plain, old-fashioned house phone? I HAVE NEVER ONCE DROPPED IT IN A TOILET.


* Where you are is important to me, because I’m a visual person and I like PICTURING where you are when we’re talking to one another. Sometimes, based on your cell phone coverage, I like to imagine that you are on a hillside with a heavy wind.

** Getting lost in North Providence is a GREAT way to teach your daughter new swear words.

Each arrow represents a new swear that my daughter learned.

8 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Own a Cell Phone

  1. That map is like whoa.

    I hope I don’t check my phone in front of you. I’m SURE I’ve never answered it in front of you. I only answer the phone for the school nurse. I pick up for a person I like if I am in the mood to talk, which I wouldn’t be, if I were already talking to you.

    I was remembering how much I liked talking to you in the sauna at the Y before I knew you. Something I really admired was that you had nice things, but not a lot of stuff, and that your things were really worn out—like a really pretty, threadbare towel. Later I found out it was from Lululemon which was maybe kind of Stepford of you…but you probably didn’t even know what you were conveying by having a threadbare towel of that brand.

    1. do you know the only thing i remember about you checking a cell phone call in my presence, is checking to see if it was the school nurse calling, and it was, but you chose not to open it b/c joe was supposed to be covering and then we went to enjoy a lovely meal at Wildflour bakery! YOU ARE TOTALLY OFF THE HOOK FOR CELL PHONE CHECKING, THOUGH, b/c medical emergency is CRUCIAL.

      you are nice to say that about me not owning a lot of stuff. the funny thing is if i owned a lulumon towel, i probably got it from teh lost and found at teh Y on one of hte many times i forgot one. :)

  2. i think you only have nice friends who only check phone if school calling to say kid has split head open, etc….i don’t think anyone will EVER answer a call in front of you unless they are terribly rude at this point though! giggle! i personally find it very rude too! i do like my phone as i HATE to call people back and have a thing for dialing the phone other than for work anyway! HA! AND my child was utterly confused by the fact that your child listened to the message and picked up mid leaving it! (subtle way of saying answering machine goes along with this post!) IF you ever decide to venture…i will help you pick! xo

      1. only because i HATE calling people back….how many years will you hold out for on the cell phone then…i think i had my first one in 1995? which means you already broke your answering machine record!

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