Out of touch, and gratefully so

Sometimes you just have to back away from all your connections:

These days, everyone expects everyone else to be connected all the time. I dislike it. I almost never turn on my cell phone so no one can bother me with their so-called emergencies. If you want my attention, do it via e-mail (this means everyone, even family). Of course, getting a reply from me depends completely on my whim, whether I deem a particular piece of e-mail urgent or not, or if I’m bored.

I need to adopt something like that as Official Policy.

I’m already well on the way to this point:

One day, I’m just going to let it ring forever while I continue doing whatever it is I’m doing. In the old days, people went about their lives perfectly fine without phones or other electronic gadgets. It’s not going to kill anyone if they just stopped using this stuff for a day.

And if it did, you could argue that they wouldn’t be missed: they were constantly pestering you.


  1. fillyjonk »

    5 March 2009 · 10:57 am

    I’ve often thought that in the future, being “high status” would mean that you’re NOT reachable 24/7…it used to be cell phones were a mark of a high-status individual. Now they are practically giving them away in cereal boxes and every annoying 14 year old has one – so there’s no longer any status in having one (yes, I know the argument of “newest and best” and I’m going to ignore it).

    But being at the beck and call of others? That seems awfully much like being a servant, rather than an important person. I don’t like being at anyone’s beck and call.

    I have taken my home phone off the hook (or rather, disconnected the cord, because when it’s left off the hook it starts up an annoying “hey you left me off the hook!” tone) when I’m practicing piano. There is almost nothing in this world I am involved with that cannot wait for 20-30 minutes.

    It’s my experience that 90-95% of the stuff people think is URGENT is URGENT to them alone.

  2. McGehee »

    5 March 2009 · 1:33 pm

    Heh. I have a cell phone and it is on all the time –except when it locks up and I have to pop the battery to reset it. It’s not an annoyance for the same reason the landline phone at home is no longer an annoyance: If I don’t want to answer it, I don’t; and if the caller is too good to leave a message, he or she is damn well too good to be calling me in the first place.

  3. Francis W. Porretto »

    5 March 2009 · 4:04 pm

    Jeez, Charles, it took you long enough!

    I trust you’ve met my Esteemed Co-Conspirator The Unknown Glitch?

  4. CGHill »

    5 March 2009 · 4:21 pm

    The term “work in progress” seems to apply here.

    The beginning: First Monday in October, a film notable for (1) Jill Clayburgh as a Supreme Court nominee (and, briefly, in the shower), and (2) this grumble from Mr. Justice Walter Matthau: “The telephone has no Constitutional right to be answered.”

    The next step was automated call screening.

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