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Old 09-26-2012, 01:45 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, 03:50 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vailpass View Post
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.
I don't have kids and slowly getting myself off the grid. If you ever have a week to not give a **** come deep into the Rockies. Bring gear. You and about 15-20 other people here have open invite.

Understand the whole family thing but you learn to not like your cell phone. Actually you learn to hate it.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:05 PM   #32
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Originally Posted by HemiEd View Post
Do any of you still have land lines?

That is our issue, we got rid of ours about three years ago.
We have two Voip lines because we don't get even close to a solid cell reception in our home. Plus, I like having a wireless phone in nearly every room. I'd lose my cell and miss an important calls for one reason or another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vailpass View Post
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.
All of this and more. I can't imagine not having a cell in Los Angeles and I don't think I've forgotten to take my cell with me when I leave the house in over a decade.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:21 PM   #33
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I'm 27 years old, don't use a Cell Phone, Twitter or Facebook.

Gasp....
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:25 PM   #34
Bearcat Bearcat is offline
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Lesson 3, based on 0 new vm and no pressing emails: We're not as important as we think.

I recently completely disconnected from work for 12 days, which was the longest I had gone in probably 5 years... and I was also without internet/phone/text for most of that time (excluding a couple of hours on free wifi the first and last day). Granted, I was pretty excited to have access at the end of my vacation, I didn't miss it at all, which kind of surprised me.

Of course, it's different when it's planned... I hate not having my cell on me during a normal day, and if you don't respond to something right away you have to deal with those who think you should be available all the time.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:31 PM   #35
Bearcat Bearcat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HemiEd View Post
Do any of you still have land lines?

That is our issue, we got rid of ours about three years ago.
I'm 32 and I've never paid for one.. I've had a cell phone since around the time I graduated high school. Time Warner will call me every once in a while about how I need a landline and they'll go through all these scenarios...

Bad reception?
Two phones, two carriers... nope.

Emergencies and your cell phone is dead?
Again, two phones, not a problem.

Kids at home?
wut
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:32 PM   #36
mr. tegu mr. tegu is offline
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If I am with the fiance I go without looking at mine on many days. Although with football, that doesn't really happen as much anymore due to having to check scores and fantasy lineups.

So basically, I can go without using it pretty easily, but I think not having it would cause some anxiety. It is one of those things that you only really want it if you don't have it, so having it is a comforting feeling.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:36 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detoxing View Post
I'm 27 years old, don't use a Cell Phone, Twitter or Facebook.

Gasp....
I'm right there with you on all accounts except I'm 33. I went to 54th Street about a year ago and was talking to the bartender. I told her I no longer used a cell phone, and I shit you not, the whole smoking section stopped talking and looked at me like I just walked into a KKK meeting or something.

Crazy!!
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:40 PM   #38
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Could I go without it? Sure.

I wouldn't prefer that though.
It becomes like a reward to catch up and see everything going on. I also understand that there's people that just enjoy checking e-mail, twitter and the news every half hour. It's kinda like the opposite of going camping if that makes sense.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:44 PM   #39
mr. tegu mr. tegu is offline
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Originally Posted by Detoxing View Post
I'm 27 years old, don't use a Cell Phone, Twitter or Facebook.

Gasp....
I don't have any Twitter or Facebook, but I do need my cell phone.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:47 PM   #40
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Do it all the time. I need a phone but i can live without it.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:49 PM   #41
|Zach| |Zach| is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otter View Post
It becomes like a reward to catch up and see everything going on. I also understand that there's people that just enjoy checking e-mail, twitter and the news every half hour. It's kinda like the opposite of going camping if that makes sense.
I enjoy getting away and everything but I value and enjoy reading shit...being tuned it...and talking to people. Well...not a lot of voice calls but texting.

I share a bit of similarity to the author in that I need to be ready to take on opportunities as someone that is self employed.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:01 PM   #42
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I have to push myself to even use my cell.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:11 PM   #43
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Must be a shitty comedian. I didn't laugh once while reading that.
my exact thought
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:38 PM   #44
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I never had a smart phone till I started working for my current employer. They provided it for me and I have to say that if I had to buy my own phone again I would probably have to get a smart phone. Too freaking convenient for a multitude of things. I keep in touch with my wife daily while we both work and my son loves to play games on it while in waiting room to get his allergy shots. I don't know I think as a whole our world has become dependent on such things.

If you started watching Revolution TV series for the past couple of weeks... Everything electrical comes to a stop. A woman carries her uncharged iphone around with her because it is the ONLY thing she has with pictures of her kids on it. I can see where this could happen to A LOT of people. Makes you think.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:43 PM   #45
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