I read this guy’s story with something akin to dread:

And that’s when I realized that little by little, my phone had gotten the best of me.

I’ve often prided myself on one of the few people not shackled to my phone, but after reading this guy’s story, I chided myself for my arrogance.

As much as I hate to admit it, my phone is now an integral part of my existence, as much as my glasses or my car.

We’ve been one-carring it since the beginning of the week — first, my car had to (finally) get completely fixed after my collision with the highway crocodile a few weeks ago, which meant that while New Wife was driving to and from work, I sat at home, isolated.  Then I had to get some errands done (Rx refills etc.) so I had to drive her to and from work for a day.  Then, just as we were going to pick up the Tiguan, I got this call:  “My check engine light just came on.”

So we picked up my car and dropped hers off, to get the oil changed as well as getting whatever the warning light entailed seen to.  All manageable (except the total repair cost for the two cars — I’m going to have to sell a gun or two, and I’m not kidding), but having one car was an inconvenience, really.

However:  had my phone disappeared on me during this time, that would have been simply catastrophic.  Calls to the auto repair shop, calls to New Wife to organize pickup times… the list of critical calls was far longer than I was comfortable with.  And don’t even ask me how I’d have got through to anyone without my phone’s contact list.

Like many people nowadays, we don’t have a landline phone in the apartment.  But I’m starting to rethink that — or else I’m going to get a no-contract burner phone for emergencies.

This modern life is bullshit, and it sucks green donkey dicks.


  1. We gave up our land line years ago and don’t miss it.

    It’s impossible to lose a smart phone. Both Apple and Android have simply computer methods of locating a powered up phone on a map accurate to about 30 feet. I know, I lose mine all the time.

    Paying $1000 for phone is silly. A 2 year old model with fewer useless features costs me about $200 on Amazon. I buy one every 2 years or so because I’m still active in small construction – renovation – property rental business where I do a lot of physical stuff, tools, moving and handling heavy objects etc. and my phones get damaged. Plus, I’m clumsy and I drop them, once in a toilet.

    But the real point is the tremendous efficiency that smart phones have brought to my life and business. I send and receive texts and emails anyplace, anytime. The “anyplace” includes most of the world when I travel and for a truly nominal cost – $12CAD ($9USD) a day, peanuts for the convenience.

    Conference calls are easy, a few clicks per person.

    I use the phone to monitor and receive alerts from thermostats and boilers for 26 residential and commercial tenants, plus our home and cottage, critical in a Canadian winter. Same for our various sprinkler and security systems, not so critical but nice to have. I can even log on to tenants’ thermostats, find out they have had the temperature set to 30c long term and raise the rent because they use a lot of natural gas.

    It’s a huge safety factor when travelling by motor vehicle. I can call for help if the car dies, also critical in a Canadian winter. My wife can find me if I don’t check in regularly. We were driving from Florence to Civitavecchia a year ago October using Google maps when the phone screen started to flash and we got visual and oral messages that the road ahead was blocked and we should turn right immediately. The next exit was only about 200 yards away. We cut through 2 lanes to turn right and were directed down secondary roads paralleling the highway, which we could see and which was solidly blocked for 20km. It saved us hours.

    The sheer personal convenience of organizing and carrying out meetings and activities with my wife and friends is overwhelming. Don’t you remember Christmas shopping in MegaMall before cell phones where everyone ended the day annoyed and tired from wandering around looking for each other, angrily?

    Those things save me 2 hours a day, easy.

  2. Get a skype account with a number.

    You can use your mobile, or your PC to make calls.

    Get a landline and you’ll be tormented by telemarketers. That’s the only calls on my landline I get.

    1. I connected a telephone to the “dry line” I have because of my internet connection, and I just ignore it when it rings, because the only calls I get are “give me money for this or that cause.”
      I’ve turned the ringer down, but it won’t turn off.
      If it wasn’t for the fact that it should work in a power failure, I’d unplug it again.

      1. “If it wasn’t for the fact that it should work in a power failure, I’d unplug it again.”

        That was our reasoning for keeping our land line for so long. We are going to dump it.

        –In a disaster where the cell system actually goes down, the land lines will be simply overwhelmed with call volume.
        –As mentioned, telemarketers. And political calls. The voice mail fills up in no time. We too stopped answering long ago.
        –Even in a power outage, you can charge your phone in a vehicle.

        I like to think that I am not joined at the hip to my i-phone. It is a XR and serves just fine. At home it sits on my desk with the ringer off. Once in awhile it will blow up when a certain offspring is in a lather to reach “Mom” who is indisposed at the moment and not answering. I get a couple of missed calls followed by a ??? text . When the topic was raised face to face, I replied “My apologies. I thought I raised you better than that”.

  3. They are not really Phones. They are pocket sized super computers allowing connection to the worlds knowledge base combined with navigation devices and high-quality high resolution cameras that also happen to be able make and receive calls.

    30 years ago, we would have been amazed , 60 years ago we would have been called aliens from another universe, 100 years ago we would have been labeled frauds and charlatans and likely hanged on the spot.

  4. For 10 years I have used a Samsung Tracfone that costs me about $125 a year. I don’t spend much time “playing around” with it. Got my first cell, a Sony, back in 1994.

  5. When TracFone inexplicably failed to autorenew my service, despite having a valid credit card on file, I was glad to have a VoIP landline via Ooma Telo so I could receive a voice call from my bank with a login verification code.

    It’s always good to have a backup.

    1. Thanks for the tip Bill, I’m going to look into that.
      Because THAT (bank login code) happened to me a couple months ago. I went to the bank and changed my password only to find out it was my phone that wasn’t working. I use the phone so infrequently that I had no idea the service time had run out.

  6. I marvel at their capabilities yet despise them for their intrusiveness. I am not a Luddite, but I’m also not a fan of the IOT (Internet of Things). If you have an iPhone of recent vintage, you can be sure Google (et al) tracks your whereabouts even when turned off. It is most certainly capable of recording, storing and selling your calls and call information. Surveillance Capitalism is a real thing and I want no part of it, since it’s the on ramp to Surveillance Socialism.

    I’m looking into the “Light” phone and it has a lot of appeal. I have a State Farm road atlas in all my cars and if that fails, I’ll phone a friend for directions, not that I ever go anywhere anymore.

    I’m shopping for a couple of new appliances right now and it’s darn near impossible to find one not connected to the internet. I was going to replace my thermostats (3 of them) for Nest/Ecobee types, but after seeing California take them over to control HVAC in residential homes, not gonna do that.

    We’re one generation away from SmartGuns, mark my words.

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