Friday, September 21, 2007

My Cellibate Life

Taken from, a part of Unplugged or Unhinged:A Tech-Free Week, 9/21/07:

(amNewYork Photo/ Lane Johnson / September 20, 2007)

As a journalist, when it comes to living without a cell phone for a week, it's all about strategy. Anyone can do it -- but it takes style to wind up with an iPhone at the end.

First, the nature of the freelance journalist means being attached to the phone and laptop at all times, ready to place desperate cold calls and inform an editor that "Yes, I will go without my cell phone for a week for a story."

And so I turned my phone off last Thursday. And you know what? It was great!

At first, losing my phone didn't seem like a big issue. I still had instant messages, e-mail and all those Web tools that supposedly let people track down where I am. For the first day, my hands were happy to be free. No need to constantly rummage in my pocket, checking for missed calls or texts.

I also had no idea what my friends' phone numbers were without my address book--in my phone.

I solved this by taking down what numbers I could into a mini notebook and carrying that around to use at a pay phone. This seemed like a great idea until a) a very angry man told me I was using "his office," and b) my friend's phone went straight to voice mail, taking my coins with it.

It became clear that I needed my cell phone -- or a fistful of quarters wherever I go. We've become so accustomed to instant gratification that even a week without one seems like social suicide.

Oh, and as for my iPhone? It's the payphone on Avenue B between 2nd and 3rd Street with "I P H O N E" scrawled on it. You take it, I'm keeping my cell.
--By John Lichman, Special to amNewYork

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you wearing an mgbfc hoodie in that picture, john? i do believe you are.

10:40 AM  
Blogger John Lichman said...

vtsv 4 lyfe.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gonna see that sumbitch next week. i'll take a picture or something for you.

6:39 PM  

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