“I’d be lost without my mobile, Lenny man!” is a punchline from a Lenny Henry live show. He goes on to say that the only reason we carry mobile phones is so that our mums can get in contact with us at any time, day or night. “We shall fight them, on the beaches, in the air, and on the land. (deedily dee deedily dee deedily dee dee) Hello! Mother, now is not a good time. Yes, I’ll make sure to wear something warm if I go into the hills” is his impression of what would have happened had Churchill possessed a mobile phone. It sums up the exact opposite of my life this week.
I’ve been without a mobile phone since Saturday. Until then, I’d had a Blackberry something-or-other, which died due to water damage. My brother lent me one of his spares on the Sunday (a HTC Windows bleh) but I gave that back on the Monday – due to a big fight I had with him, and his phone not starting up.
It got me to thinking: Do I really need a mobile phone? The answer it seems, is a resounding maybe.
I don’t think that I know anyone who needs to get in touch with me in an emergency. In fact, most of the people I know would contact the emergency services in an emergency – with the exception of one or two obvious people. So, friendly banter is not at the top of the priority list – mostly because I hardly get any mobile phone based friendly banter any more.
This has lead me to think that web technologies are replacing mobile telephony rather quickly these days. Most of my friends have a Facebook account and/or a Twitter account, and a few even have Skype accounts. In fact, a lot of them will be learning about this blog post through those technologies because of the auto-publishing feature WordPress has on Facebook and Twitter.
The only people who seem to need a mobile phone contact number from me are recruitment agencies, and since none of them have been able to find me a job recently, I’m starting to lose my faith in them. Don’t get me wrong, they provide a service that would be very difficult to provide on an individual company basis. But the interviews I’ve had over the last year have come with very little (if any) post interview contact, regardless of whether I got the job or not. Even then, if they can’t reach me by phone, they email me, so what’s the point?
This has made me believe that I can, and will, go for a long time without having or using a mobile phone. It’s not something that will cripple me. I doubt it will even make a big enough dent in my day to day life, to be honest. So why bother worrying about it? I don’t. I can live without one, and I will. I’ve already stopped checking my pocket for my mobile phone – something I used to do to check them time, since I didn’t see the point of wearing a watch and carrying a mobile phone.
I check my email accounts on my laptop, the same with my Facebook and Twitter accounts. So, why should I need a mobile phone. These technologies are free to use, and free to implement on any device that has an internet connection. I could even check my email on my friends refrigerator (seriously, his fridge requires an internet connection)
So, to sum up: I have no mobile phone right now, and that’s fine. As soon as I get some money – probably though employment, though that seems to be a little less likely as each day goes by – I’ll buy myself a new one. Until then I’ll struggle on, using free technologies at home whenever I feel the need to connect with people.