I adore the internet but I’m not a phone person – essay in Live Encounters Poetry & Writing

A few weeks ago, Mark Ulyseas asked me to contribute to his poetry and writing magazine, Live Encounters (Mark has an adventurous history as a ghostwriter, advertising copywriter, newspaper columnist, photographer, traveller, author and he wears a great hat).

To begin with, I didn’t have a clue what I’d write about, but a contribution in the March issue caught my eye: My Phone, My Life by photographer Jill Gocher.

Aha, I thought. I do have something to say. With full respect to Jill, whose photos are enchanting, here it is. Although I adore the internet, I am Not A Phone Person.

In the piece, I mention a conversation with a friend, Caroline. When she read the article she said: ‘You missed out the part where I was banging my fist on the table and shrilly screaming “When I win the lottery I will buy you a smartphone and MAKE you use it!” ‘

Maybe you’re a phone person, maybe you’re not. Anyway, if you want to join the conversation, the piece is here and you can comment (like Caroline or not) here!

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  1. #1 by DRMarvello on April 2, 2019 - 4:42 pm

    The line I loved was this one: “If the internet city never slumbers, I’ll make my own night.”

    I understand completely. I spend the bulk of my work day on my computer, but whether or not I’m on the Internet is something I can control by simply opening or shutting the browser. The ability to concentrate has always been one of my strengths, and it’s one I treasure. To quote Firefly, it “damages my calm” to operate in interrupt mode where every contact generates a beep or visual cue. I don’t understand how people can think through the connectedness din.

    My wife and I chose to live rural so we could remain connected to nature. Daily, we take our dogs for a 1.5 mile walk (today it will be 3 miles) at lunchtime. We pass exactly one house on our typical route. The additional 1.5 miles we’ll walk today goes across State Trust Land, which is completely undeveloped with nothing to distract us but wildlife and an occasional cow. It’s unlikely that we’ll see even a single vehicle during the entire 1-hour walk.

    As for phones, I have a dimphone as well. My phone is what is now termed a “flip phone” that cost me about $20 at a big box store. I use a pay-as-you-go service through TracFone. The service plan I recently bought for $142 covers two years and gives me about 1,600 minutes of talking time–way more than I’ll use. That’s about $6/mo for mobile phone service. When I hear how much people are willing to pay for the latest Internet-connected smartphone and a service plan, I wonder how they manage to feed themselves.

    • #2 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on April 3, 2019 - 6:08 am

      And I love this line of yours: ‘how can people think through the connectedness din’.
      I also find nature an essential getaway – as you know because of my liking for horses (actually Lifeform Three tackles many of these themes, how we’re becoming more like machines and algorithms ourselves).
      It’s funny you should mention talk plans. Our landline and internet is with BT and they phoned yesterday, trying to get us to buy a mobile plan. ‘How much do you spend per month on mobiles?’ they said.
      ‘About 20-30p,’ replied Dave.
      Disbelieving repetition, at high volume. ’20-30 PENCE???’

  2. #3 by dgkaye on April 2, 2019 - 11:38 pm

    Lol, I loved your story Roz. Some people keep their phones attached like appendages. My husband has an older phone which I don’t even think they make anymore – a flip phone lol. Ya, he takes a lot of flack in jest, but he quite a senior and went through life missing out on the computer era. He doesn’t even text – just reachable by phone call LOL 🙂

    • #4 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on April 3, 2019 - 6:03 am

      Ho ho, Debby – those flip phones are still made! That’s the kind I’ve got!

      • #5 by dgkaye on April 3, 2019 - 2:52 pm

        Lollllllllll I knew it!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. #6 by Marialena Gallagher on April 6, 2019 - 4:11 pm

    Personally, I don’t really remember life before my iPhone. My mother says I’m addicted to it, but I beg to differ. I just use it a lot more. Most – if not all – of my music is on it, and of course, music helps inspire my writing. Plus, music helps me calm down when my anxiety flares up.

    So my phone is important to me.

    • #7 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on April 6, 2019 - 5:02 pm

      Hi Marialena! I think yours is the more usual – normal – way, whatever your mother might think!

      • #8 by Marialena Gallagher on April 6, 2019 - 5:06 pm

        It’s nice to know I’m not crazy, haha. I’ve definitely learned my lessons about when it’s appropriate to use my phone. As long as I know that, who cares how much I use it?

      • #9 by Marialena Gallagher on April 6, 2019 - 9:06 pm

        It might just be that my mother grew up in the Time Before Cell Phones, so when she sees me using my iPhone as much as I do, she thinks it’s excessive because she doesn’t use her phone that much.

  4. #10 by tracikenworth on April 6, 2019 - 11:51 pm

    Reblogged this on Loleta Abi.

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