In the recent past, I have gone out with two guys who did not own a cell phone. How we even managed to meet in person is beyond me, as not being able to shoot a text or check bus-tracker presents all sorts of logistical nightmares for dating in this city. Not to mention, it takes sexting completely off the table, which – of course – is essential for making an honest connection with someone.
As to whether this was a personal or a financial decision for them, this form of voluntary cell-phone veganism was completely foreign (read: borderline unacceptable) to me. I’ll admit it: I’ve had a cell phone since they were the size of stilettos, my middle-aged father gets his news from the TMZ Android app, and my grandma sends text messages. And you know what? Even though no one looks each other in the eye at dinner anymore, it has dramatically cut down on the amount of dysfunctional conversation we share. And trust me, that’s not something you want to rock the boat on in the Belden household. Not by a long shot.
Look, I get it. Cell phones can go off more than bat-shit girlfriends on the rag, which cannot be pleasant. But you have to remember, like your annoying significant other, your cell phone puts out. Regularly.
From your Facebook feed, to photo and video capabilities, to the unlimited save-the-day apps you’ve downloaded, your phone is like a high-end hooker that you pay $100 a month to in exchange for round-the-clock “you-call-it” action.
It doesn’t judge when you google “Plan B” at 4:00am on a Saturday, it won’t complain when you download and stream the season premier of The Voice, and it says nothing when you drunk text your ex. Anyone who can’t see the value in a device that accepts such behavior clearly doesn’t belong in a room with me, as I will likely twit-pic the pigeon carrier you used to set up our meeting and completely tune out.
Okay, by now, it’s evident that I’m a pretentious wench who experiences withdrawal symptoms while in airplane mode. But I assure you, I’m more than capable of roughing it when need be. And by “roughing it,” I mean finding something else to do on my bus ride home besides play Angry Birds. For anyone else looking to get back to basics, here are my Top 3 “No-Phone-Necessary” time-passers:
1) “I’d Buy That Porno” – I like this one the most because it combines two of my favorite things: judging people, and sex. In this game, you look at any two people you want – friends, co-workers, CTA attendants, perfect strangers, you name it – and picture them doing the dirty. Then you ask yourself, “Would I buy that porno?” Sounds simple enough, but when your only options are a hard (no pun intend) “Yes” or “No,” it forces you to really think about who you’re going to put through to the next round. I’m convinced it’s critical thinking exercises like this that prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, but that’s another story.
2) “Aggressive Bus Riding” – Get on everyone’s favorite line, the Clark 22, during rush hour and don’t hold on. Sounds like a death-wish, I know, but for anyone who is California dreamin’, this is the closest thing to surfing without having to slip on a wet suit. Plus, you’ll engage muscles you never even knew you had if it means not letting your $600-purse touch the ragamuffin sitting by the window.
3) “Read” – I know, right? But someday soon, the book I’ve been working on since this time last year will come out. As such, I feel like I have to shamelessly plug the very act of reading something longer than 140 characters. Sue me.
Alright, it’s time to upload this sucker…thanks to my wordpress mobile app, of course.