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Old 09-26-2012, 12:45 PM  
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Man spends a day without a cell phone in NYC

Could you go a full day without touching your cell or smartphone?



http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/26/opinio...html?hpt=hp_c1



There are millions of cell phone users in the United States. But one day last week, there was one less: Me.

My CNN editors asked me to participate in an experiment where I won't use my cell phone for one whole day. I thought: How hard could it be? I know many of you, like myself, are old enough to remember America B.C., as in "Before Cell phones." We made it through just fine.


So off I went into the streets of New York City sans a cell phone. At first, I felt liberated, like Neo in "The Matrix" when he took the red pill and could finally see the "real world."

Instead of texting or checking my e-mail, I began to actually look at the people I was sharing the streets with. It truly resembled a movie set filled with extras from all walks of life. A beautiful woman walked quickly past me while fixing her make up. Asian tourists were busy snapping photos. A businessman looked busy talking on his phone. A group of Hasidic men were kibitzing while an Arab man sold falafel from a cart.

It was truly exhilarating. For about 14 or 15 minutes or so. After that, I began to worry: What if someone needs to reach me? What if there is an important message waiting for me?


Being a stand up comedian, I run a unique small business. I'm not only president of my company; I'm also the only product. While I have an agent, I still need to be able to respond quickly to certain booking offers or just move on to the next comic opportunity.

I soon began to feel phantom cell phone vibrations in the front left pocket of my jeans where my phone usually resides. My stress level started to escalate. I had to check my voice mail. But doing so would require me to engage in an activity I had not done for many years: Use a payphone.

While there's no short supply of pay phones in the Big Apple, there's apparently no one charged with cleaning them. The pay phones I saw looked and smelled like homeless people had confused them for bathrooms or had used them to clean certain parts of their anatomy.

Despite the stench, I held my breath and made my call to retrieve my messages. How many did I have? Zero. This instantly took me back to memories of life in B.C. America when I would call my answering machine to retrieve messages and often be met with the (gleeful) robotic voice stating, "You have no new messages."

While relieved, my anxiety over my unchecked emails began to ratchet up. Please keep in mind I'm a NYC comedian. I'm hyper neurotic by nature.

I needed to find an Internet café. Sounds simple enough. But it's not. While establishments offering free Wi-Fi are everywhere, venues with computer terminals to use are not.

I began walking the streets asking people if they had seen an Internet café, like I was searching for my lost dog. The responses ranged from "no," to odd looks like I was a time traveler from the 1990s, to offers of stories on unrelated topics. (One man had no idea where an Internet café was located but enthusiastically suggested a great Turkish restaurant that I should check out.)

Fourteen blocks, two avenues and 45 minutes later, I finally observed a sign outside a slightly run-down deli that read, "Internet." And there I saw three computer terminals, whose best days were clearly behind them, available for rent at the reasonable rate of $2 for 12 minutes.

So what e-mails had I missed? Nothing pressing, to be honest. They all could have waited until I returned home.


As my cell phoneless day continued, I began to wonder: Would we actually talk to each other more if we weren't so attached to our gadgets? Would we be better people without our cell phones distracting us so often? Better spouses? Better sons or daughters?

But I also realized that without my cell phone, I felt unconnected to my friends, my business, and the world. I began to feel lonely in the most crowded city in America.

Riding the subway home later that day, and without my beloved baseball game to play on my phone, I had time to really look around the subway car. And there I made a startling discovery: I had never read the emergency evacuation sign posted in each subway car. That knowledge could very well save my life one day.

My experiment without a cell phone taught me two valuable lessons. One, my cell phone is not just a piece of technology; it is like Linus' security blanket in the "Peanuts" comic strip. Without it, I felt less comfortable. Less confident. I felt alone.


And two, in case of fire in the subway, don't panic. Wait for instructions from the train conductor. Help is on the way.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:46 PM   #16
Steron Steron is offline
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I feel naked without my cell phone but I think I could ditch it for one lousy day.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwana View Post
Likewise
Yep, except for the occasional call/message from family & friends it's digital heart burn in the palm of your hand.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:48 PM   #18
Old Dog Old Dog is offline
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I could spend the day without the cell phone easily enough, but I ain't going to NYC for ANY damn reason. I'd prefer to do without it right here.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:50 PM   #19
saphojunkie saphojunkie is offline
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Originally Posted by Sofa King View Post
Must be a shitty comedian. I didn't laugh once while reading that.
This was my thought exactly. If you are going to mention being a comedian twice in your article, then I should have laughed at least as many times.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:50 PM   #20
rockymtnchief rockymtnchief is offline
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Originally Posted by Bwana View Post
Not a problem.
This

If it weren't for work I doubt I'd have a cell phone.

A month ago I went 4-wheeling up in the Beartooths (no service) and didn't once miss it.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:52 PM   #21
vailpass vailpass is offline
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Originally Posted by Otter View Post
If I didn't need it for a living it would be at the bottom of the San Juan right now.
I hear you but even without business needs I couldn't do it. Raising three kids in a big city, plus the wife, gotta' have it in case they need me. Or I need to use the locator feature to make sure the kids are where they are supposed to be. And get appointment reminders for their doctors and dentists and lessons and recitals and games and everything else they have.

Or looking up insignificant trivia at 3:00 a.m. while sitting out having a few with the wife. Or taking impromptu pictures or video. Or putting Soundhound up to see what the name of the song is or who sings it. Or changing my fantasy football lineup on the golf course. Or using the Amazon shopper app to scan a bar code at the mall to see if I can get it cheaper. Or Yelping to find a bar or restaurant in this part of town. And on and on and on.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:58 PM   #22
Chest Rockwell Chest Rockwell is offline
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Or looking up insignificant trivia at 3:00 a.m. while sitting out having a few with the wife. Or taking impromptu pictures or video.
Heh. Are those two related? The later at 3:01 after wife lose bet over said trivia? Ehh? Ehhhhh? Ehhhhhhhhh?

You old sea captain, you! You motorboatin' sonofabitch!
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:03 PM   #23
|Zach| |Zach| is offline
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Could I go without it? Sure.

I wouldn't prefer that though.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:15 PM   #24
Richard_Cuckold Richard_Cuckold is offline
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Easily could go without a cellphone for a day

Would be pretty relaxing actually
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:17 PM   #25
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Realizing that you left home without your phone is such a terrible feeling.

So yeah, I have went without my phone, but it ****ing sucked.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:18 PM   #26
Old Dog Old Dog is offline
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Realizing that you left home without your phone is such a terrible feeling.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:23 PM   #27
LOCOChief LOCOChief is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockymtnchief View Post
This

If it weren't for work I doubt I'd have a cell phone.

A month ago I went 4-wheeling up in the Beartooths (no service) and didn't once miss it.
Ahh Beartooth, unbelievable place haven't been there in 8 years but think about it all the time. No way I'd waste one mili second up there with a phone.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:28 PM   #28
HemiEd HemiEd is offline
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Do any of you still have land lines?

That is our issue, we got rid of ours about three years ago.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:31 PM   #29
Micjones Micjones is offline
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I never realized how attached I was to my phone until it was stolen.
You would've thought someone died.
I mourned for three days.

Still, I think I could go a day without it.
As long as I still had access to a computer.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:48 PM   #30
Bwana Bwana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockymtnchief View Post
This

If it weren't for work I doubt I'd have a cell phone.

A month ago I went 4-wheeling up in the Beartooths (no service) and didn't once miss it.
That's one of the things I love about the area.
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