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On Friday, I cancelled my cellular telephone service. See, I've had analog service for several years. I've gone through a variety of phones, from a Motorola Brick, to the ubiquitous Nokia 252. My latest phone, an Ericsson of some kind, has died on me.

So, I shopped around. You can't really get new analog phones anymore, so digial was my option. Cellular service really pisses me off: existing customers get no benefits, while new customers get all kinds of discounts and incentives. New customers, however, are required to give a deposit on their phone service. Also, a lot of the 'discount phone' offers came in the form of mail-in rebates. The objective in all cases seemed to be "get as much money from the customer, regardless of the service offered."

The only Verizon person to offer me any discounts was the account-cancellation representative, and by that time I was so pissed at the prospect to accept her offer. Plus, the phones she offered were really crappy, compared to ones I could get through Sprint PCS for the same price. Well, same price after I get my rebate check in the mail, and a $125 deposit.

As such, I'm cellularless now.

My cellular service cost me around $45-$50 a month, and now I'm trying to find an alternative....

...and Monet wireless internet access is appealing. While having a phone on my person was slightly useful...carrying my laptop around with me, instant internet access available anywhere, seems much more fun and far more useful than a cellphone. Phones I investigated offered crippled, restricted internet functions. Monet would give me full-fledged network connectivity anywhere in town.

...or, would it be better to save my money and live disconnected while away from home? Omnipresent internet access, while useable, isn't necessary. Then again, you phone-carrying people, neither is your cellphone.

I'll mull over this for a while.

Cell phones and I have a strange relationship. I've never owned one. Mostly they make me feel ancient. And crotchety, a carping grandfather before my time. (Hey I'm only 47) I remember my own grandparents complaining about the reckless speed of life assaulting them in the mid 60's. That's how I feel when I look out into a crowd of students and profs and townfolk and see them walking about talking on cell phones. It's not like they're harming me, it's just that it feels wrong for a technology that used to be attached to the land and private to have gone public and untethered so fast. I still have the rotary dial phone that I bought from Ma Bell at the time of the breakup of the phone company in the early 80's. It still works fine and reminds me of a slower time when no one could dial a seven digit number in less than 10 seconds. (Just went and timed my phone # from the first 18 years of my life) Hve I made good use of the 5 seconds per initiated call I've saved since starting to use a push button phone 20 years ago? Even with these ancient man mutterings, I think the age of cell phone usership is right around the corner for my family because we have a daughter going into High school next year and we'll want to be conected to her to feel (somewhat) safe.

--busmun, 5/15/2003 04:08:46

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