Having all the time in the world, I nap very liberally these days. We’re talking 4-5 hours of daytime sleep in addition to the 8-9 hours of night time sleep. But it wasn’t always so. There was a time, not too long ago when catching a snooze in the afternoon was impossible and if I did allow myself that luxury it was a thing to cherish.But you know what’s the most annoying thing that can happen when you are on that cusp of wakefulness and sleep floating in a languid lucidity – getting a phone call. It absolutely gets on my nerves when I am jolted back to a wide eyed waking state by the mere vibration of my cell phone (my phone is almost always on silent mode). So evidently, silencing it isn’t any help. It leaves me fuming to think that I was denied my precious sleep because someone thought it was important to bombard me with ads about ‘Finding out your love compatibility; Rs.3/msg!’ And a sleep once ruined is lost forever. Utterly pissing off! Now, substitute that sleep with say, a family dinner or something you are writing that requires some concentration or anything that is marginally more significant than entertaining usually unimportant calls that you get solely because you have a mobile phone – like picking your nose. The phone facilitates an intrusion into your private space and no matter how stubborn you are, you will end up checking that message or seeing whose call you missed. I know I’m not suggesting something groundbreaking, but the inconvenience of mobile phones often outweighs their convenience. It is distracting, disruptive and often counterproductive. That is precisely why I think Blackberries are a curse on humanity, especially the large majority of it that don’t need it and yet own it. It’s one thing if you are running a multimillion dollar empire out of your phone, then it is a necessity – granted; but most people who have one are students or professionals who never really do anything with it except becoming its slaves. Email junkies and Internet memes whores. Yes, I speak strictly for myself but I’m sure that I’m not alone. So here’s what I do: I develop a new phone philosophy that essentially changes the way I look at my phone. It is a tool I bought for my convenience and therefore it should go without saying that I should have the control over when or when not to benefit from its utility. I abandon my phone. In other words, I don’t have my cell phone on me at all times. It can spend an entire day, days even lying on my bed while I’m out and about. I don’t switch it off just to know if there’s anyone I need to call back. Turns out, after all the missed calls, what most people have to say can be condensed into an SMS that costs less time, money and saves the pain of forced formalities of a conversation. Besides, I always call back for when I think something needs ‘talking’. Sure, it peeves some people off but I care to leave a message to those who should know when I’ll be unavailable – surprisingly little effort for the peace of mind it buys you, trust me. So that really leaves three ways that are best if you want to reach me each with a different grade of response: email (always prompt), SMS (short, maybe) and letters (delayed but assured and detailed). Choose your pick. Pick your choice?
It is liberating and I wonder what took me so long to figure this simple truth; I mean, I’ve had a phone for over five years now and it has never failed to be a nuisance at some point. I sure saw this happening, though I wasn’t sure when it would happen. It fits well in the larger ‘Social (media) Shutdown’ – it seems only natural that after Orkut, Twitter, Facebook and the privatisation of one blog that the cell phone should be the next to be toned down. More on the social media aspect in another post some other time.For now, here’s to the end of annoying marketing calls!
P.S. Though I’ve started this only recently, it would be interesting if I can figure out a way by which to know if the number of promotional calls I get drop since I barely ever receive them.