Life Without a Cell Phone


The nowadays life can not be imagined without the means of communication. Computers with their instant messages, voice mails, e-mails and cell phones which make us available for our relatives, friends, companions etc have completely interwoven in our lives, and became an essential part of this mad world. First of all it seems that mobile technologies give us the freedom of actions and movements, give us mobility, but on the other hand this freedom is rather conventional. It is like a proverb, that goes the following: “computer easily helps solving the problems, that did not exist before its invention”. Surely it is professional humor, but every joke is a joke just partially.

Phones in our lives

The cell phones are such indispensable, that we even do not mention their presence until one is lost, or missing. The extent o their penetration in our lives is so huge, that even well known cell phone sub-culture appeared. Here the Shorthand contractions and abbreviations are meant.

The notion that there might be value in easily understood shorthand has proved to be prescient. If u cn rd these days, and, just as important, if your thumbs are nimble enough so that u cn als snd, you can conduct your entire emotional life just by transmitting and receiving messages on the screen of the cell phone. (McGrath, 2006).

Shorthand contractions, along with letter-number homophones (“gr8” and “2moro,” for example), emoticons (like the tiresome colon-and-parenthesis smiley face) and acronyms (like the ubiquitous “lol,” for “laughing out loud”), constitute the language of text-messaging – or txt msg, to use the term that txt msgrs prefer. Text-messaging is a refinement of computer instant-messaging, which came into vogue five or six years ago. But because the typical cellphone screen can accommodate no more than 160 characters, and because the phone touchpad is far less versatile than the computer keyboard, text-messaging puts an even greater premium on concision. Here, for example, is a text-message version of “Paradise Lost” disseminated by some scholars in England: “Devl kikd outa hevn coz jelus of jesus&strts war. pd’off wiv god so corupts man (md by god) wiv apel. devl stays serpnt 4hole life&man ruind. Woe un2mnkind.”

This may be the universal attraction of text-messaging, in fact: it’s a kind of avoidance mechanism that preserves the feeling of communication – the immediacy – without, for the most part, the burden of actual intimacy or substance. The great majority of text messages are of the “Hey, how are you, whassup?” variety, and they’re sent sometimes when messenger and recipient are within speaking distance of each other – across classrooms, say, or from one row of a stadium to another. They’re little electronic waves and nods that, just like real waves and nods, aren’t meant to do much more than establish a connection – or disconnection, as the case may be – without getting into specifics. (McGrath, 2006).

“We’re all wired together” is the collective message, and we’ll signal again in a couple of minutes, not to say anything, probably, but just to make sure the lines are still working. The most depressing thing about the communications revolution is that when at last we have succeeded in making it possible for anyone to reach anyone else anywhere and at any time, it turns out that we really don’t have much we want to say.

The internet research, that was conducted on the issue if it is possible to live without a cell phone showed, that people, who got used to having it all the time within grasp can not do without it.

The Yahoo Answers service is accessible enough to have the complete reply on the question, whether the “immobilized” life is possible:

I live without one, and I think it would probably be horrible to have to live with one! We keep a pay as you go phone in the car for emergencies. Other than that, I wouldn’t know why I would ever need anything beyond a land-line.

Well, cell phones are made to be convenient. You can just pick up your phone and call anyone anytime. Without a cell phone, you’d have to go home, or use a pay phone. Without a cell phone, I think people would have harder time to communicate. But for sure, even without cell phones, we can live.

I have been living with a cell phone for more than 10yrs now, and when it got broken I had to get it fixed and they told me I have to get it after a week(poor service but cheaper) I thought ill die having no communication to others!!! But I actually loved it. I felt free!!! It felt really great. Like I could dance in the rain without thinking that ill make my cell phone wet, or I could go anywhere without thinking that someone might call me. It really feels great! But after a week I got my cell back and have to handle lots of stuff that I have left behind!

The people who consider that such life is possible are so rare, that it was difficult enough to find the completed consideration. People just argue that it is either possible or not. Some define the life without a phone as a relief, confirming their thoughts by the notion, that people would have more possibilities to meet each other, while they just talk over the phone, often living next door to each other. Surely, it helps keeping in touch the people who live far away from each other, but cell phone is also an electronic collar, that helps parents, bosses or chiefs control the person at a distance.

Mobile phones have become a worldwide craze. From Europe to Asia, from Australia to Africa-mobile phones have generated a huge sensation. As more and more sophisticated models have been launched, mobile phone users are now able to keep themselves abreast of latest technology and information. First came the camera feature, then the music-Internet is the latest addition. Today you can access the Internet from anywhere anytime. Thanks to WAP and XHTML for making Internet available with the mobile handsets.

Frankly speaking, it’s really difficult (if not impossible) to imagine life without mobile phones. Over the last few years we have been addicted to the mobile phones in such a manner that they have become as essential to us as that of food and shelter. To put it another way, we have joined the mobile bandwagon called “mobile mania”.

The data on the matter what people think of living with or without cell phone can be found mainly in the places, where people share their thoughts and emotions openly – in blogs (the authors of the blogs wished to stay unmentioned):

Recently, I happened to lose my cell phone… has been so miserable until i got a new mobile….1 day without mobile was a 9th wonder for me).

Donno how on earth we were living few years back, without a mobile phone….and donno how we could live if there is no cell phone on earth….gosh…cant even imagine things….I did not know any of my friends or family member’s number…neither did I had a back up of all the contacts….lost all my good ring tones, beautiful pictures taken along with family and friends, good sms

People start losing the ability to communicate openly and face to face. Most prefer sms to real communication, and care more on the matters of ringtone than on what to tell. It has been mentioned long ago by the communication psychologist Leil Lowndes, that everyone is anxious if there is nothing to put on when going to a party, but no one cares if there is nothing to tell. The similar situation is with the phones: the more expensive the phone – the more the person is popular, especially within teenagers.

Underlining all the observations it is possible to mention, that people who have not lost the ability to communicate, and keep their phones to keep in touch with the people they need to contact, will be able to live without this collar until the moment it would be necessary to have contact with someone who lives far. This type of people has their phones exceptionally for contacts, and do not overfill the memory with games, applications, and media not associated with their friends other persons to keep in touch with. This may be regarded as “friend-in-a-pocket”.

The people who can not imagine their life without a cellular are subjected to cult of electronic devices, and mostly obtain phones, pocket PCs, flash-players not to get all the conveniences these gadgets provide, but because it is fashionable to have iPod player, Apple lap-top, and iPhone. These type of people purchase their phones to have as more fashionable ringtones, pictures or videos on their phone as possible, and these users are mainly teenagers, just because the older the person is, the less time one has to fill the memory with all that garbage. (Collins, 2008).

Surely, this hypothesis had been made without taking into account all the mobile services, like shops, information services, emergency etc. And it is impossible to argue, that these two types of cell phone users are distinct: surely, like all the other divisions these criteria are polar, and the types are often mixed.

As for the matters of cell phone sub-culture, the essentials of which had been revealed above, it is necessary to mention, that it is just a kind of cyber punk, or techno punk movement. It mixes the inevitability of technical language development and the development of the conversational slang, it is a silent protest against the restriction of the messages by only 160 characters per each and the desire to insert as more sense as possible into the lesser amount of symbols. Some these methods had been borrowed from the stenographs, and are meant to save the time for decoding and encoding the information. In the case with the short messages it is claimed to spin out the symbols. One of the most notable fact in all these letterings is that Netiquette fully allows such abbreviations and contractions: the only claim is that these messages were readable.


Inspite of the fact, that electronics are gradually capturing our lives; we are still staying social animals, and can not do without communication. All the gadgetry that we use make us forget how to communicate face to face, and distant messaging help to conceal real thoughts and emotions. Living without having a phone number is regarded as something extraordinary and sometimes silly, as not to get lost in this mad world one should always keep in touch, and be able to understand all the slang expressions, born by electronic communication. Inspite that academic electronic sources use literary language, alive conversation more and more takes place with using contractions like 2moro, gr8, 4u, and emoticons, or, as they are also called – smilies.

Works Cited

Collins, Bob Can you live without a cell phone? News cut. Minnesota Public radio. 2008. Web.

McGrath, Charles. The Pleasures of the Text The New York Times, 2006.

Minsky, Marvin L. Will Robots Inherit the Earth Scientific American, 1994.

Yahoo Answers Living without a cell phone? 2008. Web.

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