The new cell phone law goes into effect today, but while many of you are rushing around shopping for headsets, yours truly is unconcerned. (So is Captain Hook, who’s been hands-free for years.)
I’m one of those holdouts who has yet to embrace cell phones. Never owned one.
Historically, so few people needed to get hold of me that owning a cell phone seemed like an act of vanity. The inevitable rebuke would be day after day of silence, akin to the disappointment of coming home from vacation to find a big red zero on the answering machine, except the cell phone’s zero would always travel with me.
It’s likely I’ll have a phone before the end of 2008 because now, there are enough times when it would come in handy that it’s probably worth the trouble. Also, not having a cell phone is an increasingly untenable, not to mention eccentric, position. At this point it’s almost like not having electricity. In the meantime, I’m savoring the freedom.
Not that I would expect to ever talk on a cell phone while driving anyway. I don’t know how anyone does it, honestly. Driving is difficult enough. So is conversing, for that matter.
Cell phones are something of a mystery to me, as you can imagine. I watch with curiosity as friends use them. A part of me would like a BlackBerry because of the Internet connection; plenty of times I’ve been on the road and wished I could look up the address or cross street of a business, for instance. If you’re going to get a cell phone, just go for it.
On the other hand, maybe a half-step would be less overwhelming.
I was at a Dodger game last week with a group of dozen friends. The friend next to me (I was at the far right end of our row) kept getting text messages from friends further to the left and responding. One of those people was getting drinks and food for the group, which was quite nice of her.
And yet my friend’s phone kept buzzing, and he would read the message, reply by typing with his two thumbs and hit send. Must have been eight or 10 messages throughout the game. Would you like a drink? What about food? I’m in line, ask so-and-so what she wants because she’s not responding. I’m in line and forgot what you wanted. Etc.
After a while, the allure of the device kind of wore off. It was pleasant to sit there unencumbered, thumbs relaxed, and enjoy the game.
Although I did relay a drink order.