Why refuseniks get mobile phones

Posted on October 23, 2009  /  1 Comments

I have always been interested in why people refuse convenient technologies that most of us take for granted. I recall visiting Amish country in Pennsylvania with a friend, Diane Zimmerman, who had written a book on their refusal to use the phone within their homes. Now the NYT has done an interesting piece on those whose refuse to use mobiles.

Given our teleuse@BOP work, I found this piece about what is likely to tip a non-owner into ownership quite interesting. It is the “crisis.”

And even the best-laid plans falter. Jenna Catsos, 22, does not have a cellphone because she thinks the idea of always being reachable is “scary” and prefers to keep in touch with handwritten letters. While at college in rural Vermont, Ms. Catsos decided to drive to Massachusetts to surprise her father for his birthday. Halfway there, her car’s transmission broke down. She walked half a mile to the nearest gas station and called her parents from the payphone, but because they were not expecting her, they were not home. After leaving a message with the payphone number, she stood in the gas station parking lot for an hour waiting for them to call back.

“It’s situations like that when I would really love to have a phone,” she said. That might happen sooner than she would like, because she will start looking for a new job this winter and stay on friends’ couches for a few weeks, without her own landline. “It’s really getting impossible not to have one.”

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