I didn’t spot this September 7 article till now: ﬁve 20-somethings were asked to go without cellphones for 48 hours in The Dominion Post. They had organized their entire lives with them, using them as alarm clocks and socializing tools (a few had two phones). But the repercussions of going cold turkey were not too bad: the most text messages missed was 18, plus two voice messages. No one seemed to miss their phone because they had no means of taking a fuzzy, low-resolution photograph or play a video game.
As I read the ﬁve testimonies, things did not seem too serious, civilized life did not end, and the consequences were by and large positive. They felt withdrawal and wondered where their phones were at times, but these were natural—and nothing that can’t easily become a “new normal” after a short period. One young woman used her phone as a distraction for when she was bored.
‘When I was with friends,’ wrote ofﬁce administrator Emma Bramwell, ‘I felt completely focused on them rather than wondering if someone was going to text me.’ After 48 hours, she had eight messages.
Four a day—four people who could easily be asked to call Ms Bramwell on a regular telephone or use some other means of communication.
I thought about how much money they and their friends saved in a country where cellphone calls are ridiculously expensive.
The cellphone as a social tool has its advantages and I can see a lot of plus points for personal safety. But I still enjoy having “me” time—I have never owned a cell, will likely never own one, and I even enjoy being the odd one out. Those whom I socialize with are my genuine friends who want my company and arrange it, not people who text or call me because they are merely bored. Posted by Jack Yan, 18:40
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