After many years of resistance, I’m considering getting my first cell phone. Now, I’m neither Amish nor some sort of Luddite: I’ve been a computer programmer since the 1960’s and, of course, I’m writing this on my PC/online. Cell phones are nearly universal now – I’ve seen more than one homeless guy using one – but I’ve always been wary of technology’s side effects.
Sitting in crowded bars bars full of smart and interesting people – many of whom I know personally – I see a sea of folks who should be interacting with each other instead sitting alone glassy-eyed with their gazes glued to tiny screens, scrambling for electrical outlets to recharge them, and cursing when they can’t get a signal.
I used a cell phone (borrowed from a friend) once in the last year when my car’s battery died in an ice storm and I needed to call a cab to get home, so for the last few months I’ve been coming around to the idea that perhaps there is a certain personal safety factor in having a mobile telephone; the only other time I used a cellphone is when, a few years back, I found a half-naked woman passed out on the sidewalk at 3:30 in the morning and used one to call the police for help.
I’m keenly aware of how using external technology changes people; my keen innate sense of time suffered badly a few months after I started wearing a wristwatch, so I got rid of it and suffered for a few weeks until my internal brain clock came back online. I got rid of speed dial on my landline back in the 1980’s when after another car mishap I tried to call my buddy Michael for a ride and the pay phone in the booth rejected “*6” as his phone number.
Although my family keeps insisting that I man up and get one, I’m still balking a bit at getting my first cell phone, though, after reading the user agreement contracts that come with these modern, demanding devices.
Deep in the details of these contracts one finds the following conditions and restrictions, many of them enforced by federal and local laws:
- Although I desired a brand new phone, it turns out that, under the terms of the contract, the cellphone might have had an indeterminate number of users before me that could be in the double digits or more and it is considered a bit unseemly for me to insist on a pristine model.
- Cellphone contracts are ongoing business agreements, which means that, if I sign one, it is expected to continue for the rest of my life.
- After an early learning “honeymoon” period, I’m only allowed to use the cellphone 2-3 times a week at most, and then, only if the cellphone is available.
- Higher use phones can be obtained by a select, wealthy few but they are prohibitively expensive and are very high maintenance affairs.
- Unapproved use of the phone can result in contract cancellation and even criminal charges, a clause known as “CC & CC.” Don’t be confused, though: these 4 C’s are nothing like the cut/color/clarity/caret weight that men must consider when buying engagement diamond rings for a prospective wife.
- As the owner, I’m responsible for the safety and maintenance of the cellphone and any failure to exercise proper care over it can also result in cancellation and criminal charges (CC & CC) .
- The cellphone must be recharged 2-3 times or more per day, every day, regardless of how often I use it, and, if I neglect it, you guessed it, I can face CC & CC.
- The cellphone chassis must be covered appropriately whenever we are in public together. There are a dizzying array of covers and accessories that seem to change with every season and I am required to help with the shopping process and payment for these accouterments as directed by the cellphone itself, otherwise, CC & CC.
- The contract requires that the cellphone is the only phone I am allowed to use and I could face CC & CC if I should stray and use another phone, even if my need for one was dire.
- The cellphone camera is allowed to monitor my viewing of other, newer cellphones and can shut down the phone unless I avert my gaze and ignore hotter technology.
- Interestingly, the cellphone can be used by anyone the cellphone approves of and under the federal “Violence Against Cellphones Act” (VACA), I am liable for any damages that may result from my refusal to allow the cellphone to be used by others, even if the cellphone itself caused the dispute or explodes violently and unexpectedly out of my control.
- The access ports for the cellphone are not guaranteed to be functional at all and any dangerous software viruses transmitted by those ports are legally my responsibility.
- Financially, I’m responsible for the original cellphone even if it malfunctions and I have to get a new one – I could owe the malfunctioning cellphone up to half of my legally or imputed earnings, plus legal fees, even if I lose my job and have to take a new one with a smaller salary.
- At any time, if the cellphone opts to cancel the contract and move on to a more successful owner, I am still financially responsible for payment for any cellphone add-ons for up to 18 years, even if I never get to see them.
After reviewing these contracts and seeing how disappointed and unhappy other guys are with their cellphones, I think I’ll go against my family’s wishes and continue to refuse to get one.
Hell, in the grand scheme of things, cellphones are unnecessary to my happiness, and I can do without one, just like, as a MGTOW, I refuse to get married or even date women at all.
This article was inspired by a question posed to YouTube MGTOW Sandman. My thanks for the idea.