Unto now, I’ve been happy not to have a cell phone. My rationale for this was that cell phones are annoying and cost money that I could spend better somewhere else. Also, I liked being unreachable—for example, if I were out walking in the woods, I wouldn’t want to talk with someone on my cell phone, because that would ruin the experience. I also always get annoyed when I’m talking with someone and they get a phone call, and talk to that person instead of me, who am currently with them in real life, and I didn’t want to be the guy who does that. And after all, before the 1990s people got along just fine for centuries going to college without cell phones, so I should be able to just as well, especially since I’ve got an advantage over all those previous decades in that I can use email too. But I’ve been coming to realize that it doesn’t work quite like that. It’s hard to get along without a cell phone because society has morphed to make them the first means of communication that people think about.
For example, it seems—at least in college—that people don’t honor meeting times anymore, or even think about meetings in terms of a certain time, especially if it’s just two people meeting. They just ask your cell phone number, and say they’ll call you and figure out when to meet. No one sets a time for hanging out anymore, as I imagine they did before cell phones. They just call someone and say, “Wanna hang out?” When I tell someone I don’t have a cell phone, it throws them off, and I get the feeling when I’m setting up a meeting time with them that it’s something they haven’t done in a while. And since people always have the luxury of changing a meeting time, they probably don’t think as hard about whether they might have some sort of conflict. It’s all well and good except when they’re going to meet with me, and then realize they’re going to be late, and so I stand there for several extra minutes, puzzled and wondering whether I misremembered the time.
It also seems like, now that there are cell phones, people don’t use other forms of communication with quite as much dedication. Over the last few days I’ve been trying to get in touch with Eric a lot to figure out when we can do another of our awesome exploits, but I’ve been writing to him with email, and out of probably six or seven emails that I’ve sent him, all of them asking for a reply, he’s replied once. I just have to find him face to face, and he doesn’t go to any meals, so it’s caused me to have to delay our exploit. To sum up, it’s annoying not to have a cell phone, because everyone else has one and it seems like it’s the only way they talk to each other anymore.
So I guess this summer I’ll get one. Probably a cheap one, without a lot of features that I won’t use, and probably a pay-as-you-go thing. I’m not real happy about it, but I’ve concluded that people just can’t deal with it these days if I don’t have one.
Oh, a couple weeks ago, I was snooping through file cabinets in Bob’s, and in one of them I found a big Quaker Oatmeal canister full of CDs. I ripped a bunch of them onto my computer. Got some Radiohead, Barenaked Ladies, Die Toten Hosen (which is German for The Dead Pants), System of a Down, and some bands with interesting names: The Afghan Whigs and The Alphabetical Order. I like that around here you can just happen upon about a hundred hours of music. Too bad a lot of it was scratched beyond repair.