out of reach

and happy.

Many people literally show panic-tendencies if their mobile phones lose contact with the network in places. I on the other hand am usually pretty relaxed on the matter.

Unless I am waiting for an important call or message that I have been alerted to well in advance, incoming calls tend to go unanswered for maybe half a minute or so – more than long enough for most callers to give up. Text messages can wait till “some other time” – nothing to gain by responding too quickly.

That my slow reaction to calls and messages is good for safety on the road, is a given. But, my reaction is the same when I am at home, so this isn't about safety – it is about privacy.

Phone calls and text messages are disturbing factors in my daily life. I prefer to be out of reach most of the time, and my friends know ways to get in touch with me anyway so I am not losing out on anything of importance to me.

What I am losing out on is mainly noise … people who wants to sell me stuff or make me contribute to “worthy causes”, and so on. If there is anyone who miss being disturbed by marketeers and cold-calls, raise both hands…

mainly for emergency calls

I like having a mobile phone with me wherever I go, but tend to only use it if/when there is some form for emergency. Doesn't have to be anything serious going on, but when the only way to solve a problem is to make a call, I do.

This means that in practice my mobile phone is maybe used a dozen times in a year, and that most incoming messages are from my service provider telling me that I have crossed into another network as I travel in and out of my own country.

I may upgrade my mobile phone only every 5-6 years or so, and that is mainly because the batteries tend to go dead in no time after that many years, and that it can be difficult to get hold of new ones.
An external power-package solves the problem with dead batteries though, so who knows how long I will keep my already 6 year old mobile.

Network upgrades may also justify a phone upgrade, but not always. Speed on mobile networks does for instance not mean anything to me, as I do not use mobile phones for surfing. Also, it does of course matter where a network upgrade has been introduced – if it is of any use to me.

The area where I live here in Norway did for instance have very weak coverage until last year, meaning my mobile didn't work well outdoors and not at all indoors. A new transponder was put up last summer, providing excellent coverage all over the place. Only 4G is supported on this new transponder though, which means it didn't help my older 3G phone. Besides, it requires change of service provider. Can not see the lack of support at home as a reason to upgrade my mobile phone, as our regular land-line phones work just fine. Also, we get fewer calls by having limited mobile network coverage.

changing needs

My wife has, until very recently, had zero interest in having a mobile phone for herself. She could not see what to use it for, and have enough problems learning how to handle other, more useful, electronic gadgets. After having gone astray and been lost for hours at the pretty large and busy Schiphol Airport on our way home from the US back in late May this year, she does now see the advantage in having a mobile phone handy so she can quickly get in touch with me and clear up similar situations.

So, despite having minimal need for a mobile phone, I may have to buy a new one for her and one for myself. Us both having identical phones makes it easier for me to guide her in how to use hers.

going off-line by choice

I see many potentially useful uses for smart-phones, but the fun and attraction has long since gone out of playing with gadgets. So, apart from carrying a phone in my pocket “just in case”, it doesn't do much for me.

Basically, I don't use today's smart-phones for anything other than what I used the big, bulky and heavy, more-or-less mobile phones we had back in the early 80s, and I use mobiles a lot less now than I did back then.
I spend too much time on-line as it is, working on slightly larger devices, so can't see much point in using mobile phones for anything but the occasional talk to family and friends.

When I choose to go off-line – which I do in periods, I prefer to be totally discon­nected so I can enjoy life undisturbed for a few days. So, that's when my mobile phone is either turned off, or it is set to only accept calls from the few people I might want to talk to. Fact is that I often turn off my mobile when I'm busy on-line too, as I can of course communicate all I want through my larger, slightly less mobile, devices. And, if I am really preoccupied with whatever I am working on, our land-line phones get disconnected too, or calls are simply ignored.

It is good to be able to turn off communication channels at will, and focus entirely on watching the grass and rose-bushes grow. Life is so much better without all the dis­tur­bances life in the fast-lanes of today's societies bring.

And, all this is written by a man who used to live in the fast-lane and rely on good communication around the clock in order to do business. Things really do change…

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 10.jun.2015
last rev: 10.jun.2015

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