Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ten Digits

Yesterday I learned that we in Alberta are going to ten digit phone numbers from 7. Not that dialing an extra 3 digits will kill anyone but along with that come extra costs. Like the nearly 100 dollars I have to outlay to up grade my security system so that it can call home when some cell packing dirt bag breaks into my house. And what's more my system is old almost 7 years old so that makes it over the hill. And I have to upgrade that at a cost of God knows what.

Seven years old does not make something obsolete. Except for electronics I guess. So I am on the hook or unprotected. And the girls don't count. In fact if you look the Beagle up on the Internet I am sure that somewhere it says protection: NONE. ('Cause I seen it!) If someone broke in Belle and Dixie would wonder over tails a wagging to see what treats the intruder brought. Anyone could clean out my place for the price of a couple of milk bones or a rawhide chewy if I was relying on the girls to protect the place.

So why do we need the upgrade? Simply put Cell phones. Every one has a cell phone or two. And a land line and a blackberry etc. The province has a population of 4 million tops why do we need 40 million phone numbers? Sure you need your home phone heaven knows the telemarketers need someone to call at suppertime. And there is your office phone, and your office cell (So you can get interrupted in that meeting, and so on and so on.

But what really pushed it over the top are kids. Kids as young as 10 or 12 with cell phones. Kids whose Idea of a good time is sitting on thier butts on the couch text messaging to their buddy in the easy chair next to them. Kids who think they ahve to be in constant contact with their friends. Even during school when thy should be paying attention. Kids from 10 to 25 who can't leave home without their electronic apron string. How did we survive the 60's or get out of the fifties alive without having a cell phone.

Do I hav a cell? Yes. I use call forwarding to link my home phone to my cell when I am out of town for more than a few hours. I don't carry it with me all the time. And it is about 7 years old too, it doesn't take pictures play games or surf the net. It makes phone calls. It could text message but it makes phone calls and does not need to text message. I can call someone and they don't need to be able to read alphabet soup I can talk to them. But I don't need to be in contact 24-7.

The idea that you have to be at the beck and call of all your buddies all the time is absurd. That you need a phone on your person all the time is ridiculous. No one is that important. If you believe that you are that important you are suffering from delusions of grandure. That belief in the old days would have labelled you a nut. If you live to have people call you on your cell and cannot make it through the day without one maybe you are a nut. But you have plenty of company. So much that we need 10 times as many phone numbers as we have people. And what ticks me off is your insane need is costing me money.

Just sitting here waiting for your call....


1 comment:

The Phantom Hack said...

Amazing, utterly amazing.

Very interesting in the light that on March 30 a well respected cancer researcher published a new report claiming that excessive use of mobile and cordless phones increases your risk of brain cancer more than smoking a pack a day increases your risk of lung cancer.
Ya, not just speculation, this guy actually did a 10 year study and put it pretty bluntly, in fact, stated something to the effect of: a greater health risk than cigarettes and asbestos combined.

Cell phones have been tied to status since the inception of the product. In the 80's when nokia first put out the brick, it cost more than any other appliance you owned, and about 50 cents a minute to use. If you had one, you showed it off, despite the fact the thing was only portable by means that it didn't weigh as much as your fridge. I remember in 1991 hearing a radio ad on boxing day stating 'if you promised yourself a mobile phone when they dropped below a thousand dollars, now is the time to get one'.

Now that cell carriers pretty much throw phones at you to get them out of the back room, the whole status of just having one is invalid, and status now comes from how many or how expensive your device is. That being said, few cell users are satisfied with the base model phone, and instead opt to buy the hundreds of dollar upgrades that play music (poorly) take pictures (that are blurry and grainy) and pretty much light up and make horrible noises to attract those of the opposite sex, kind of like a baboon's bum.

Now, with those two things being said, there's a funny twist to all this. As a smoker, ya, sooner or later I'll quit too, but as a smoker the two things I hear most as valid reasons to quit are the health risk and the cost. Well, guess what. A 300 dollar cell phone plus a 100 dollar a month cell bill and a risk of brain cancer much higher than my risk of lung cancer, means: TADA! Smokers are no longer the scourge of society any more.
Yay! Now I don't feel so stupid any more...except, of course, I have a cell phone too.....