fb pixel

Log In


Reset Password

Can I get one with a rotary dial app?

The decision has been made.

In fact, by the time you read this, the deed already could be done.

There are simply some milestones — shingles shots, colonoscopies, that glazed look you get standing in front of a refrigerator without knowing why you opened the door — that must be accepted despite the distress and embarrassment.

I have come to such a line of demarcation ... and, despite dedicating decades to delaying destiny, there is no turning back.

I am buying a cellphone.

It was that famed intergalactic environmental psychologist, Dr. Zachary Smith, who was known to lament: “Oh the pain ... the pain ... the pain of it all!”

If you are familiar at all with my courageous battle against the incessant march of technological domination, I know what you are thinking.

Him ... with a cellphone? That does not compute.

No, no it doesn’t, and yet here we appear on the precipice of a life-altering moment matched only by Joe Banks standing on the rim of that volcano on the threatened island of Waponi Woo.

On one hand, Joe took the leap and found salvation ... away from the things of man.

On the other hand, soon I will be affixed with the eptiome of the things of man — an insidious device that tracks your every movement, allows anyone you know (as well as multitudinous robocallers you don’t) to reach out and touch you at the most inappropriate times ... all while causing your thumbs to grow biceps of their own.

Oh, the pain ... the pain.

As with most critical junctures over the past 40-plus years that have resulted in distress and embarrassment, this too is her fault.

(No, not the cat. The other one.)

The die was cast in the days after the Almeda fire — as the extent of the destruction of peoples’ homes and disruption of their lives began to emerge through our smoke-filled “Extremely Hazardous” skies.

She decided that this would be a fine time to head after work to Ashland to complete a couple of necessary errands.

That, also, did not compute. At least it didn’t to me — bolted, as I was, within my cubicle, sitting before a metaphorical open refrigerator, having failed to recall at what hour she had said she’d be home.

I haven’t had a watch since 1977, relying on my own internal clock to maneuver me through the day ... a clock that was currently shocking my nervous system as I stared at the landline on my desk.

There would be, in this minor melodrama, no cause for alarm — just a clueless husband fallen victim to the theory of relativity. But, driving home that night, it dawned on me with the brightness of a flashlight app that — while there are multitudinous robocallers with whom I have no need to stay in touch — there is one voice at the other end of the line whose whereabouts matter beyond all defiance of cultural convention.

And thus, scared straight, I am buying a cellphone.

Soon, I shall have at my disposal the sort of portable “smart” technology that has succeeded only in making society dumber by morphing the majority of its owners into Ingsocian ideologues unable to flex the muscles in their brain to think things out for themselves.

Why do I need to give anyone from hackers to the government to government hackers the ability to track me down 24-7-365 ... when, to be honest, I don’t even want to know where I am at all times?

I rather prefer my status as an unperson.

Turn off the GPS? ... Ha! I’ve seen enough episodes of NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: Salt Lake, and NCIS: New Orleans to know that any McGee, Triple P or Eric Bartholomew Beale III could turn the danged thing back on at will.

I’ve seen family, friends and co-workers turned into assimilated members of the cellphone collective as they treat their phones as though it were their favorite child — playing with it, tapping it, cradling it, talking to it as though they were the only two people in the universe.

And these issues don’t even account for the matter of carrying such a thing around. No wonder so many current styles of pants have extra pockets.

Sure, it’s very exciting ... as a luggage problem ... but if this keeps up, we’ll all find ourselves lugging about a variation of Joey Tribbiani’s man-bag.

As someone who carried a briefcase to work some 40-plus years ago — Hey ... wait a minute ... I sense a theme — I can assure you it’s not always a good look.

That matters not now, however, as the footsteps of the incessant march of technological domination can be heard in the distance, approaching to plant their flag into another conquest.

Sure ... society and circumstance can convince me to buy a cellphone. But they can’t make me open the box.

Mail Tribune news editor Robert Galvin lives under a brain cloud at rgalvin@rosebudmedia.com

galvin_lawn.jpg