Thursday, October 27, 2005

Cell-free Self-Reliance

I despise cell phones with a passion that borders on mania. In fact, I hate them almost as much as I hate SUVs. I think that cell phones breed insecurity. I don't mean a lack of self-esteem, I mean they increase people's fear of.... everything. Afraid you might get lost? Bring a cell phone. Afraid you could run out of gas or have some other roadside emergency? Bring a cell phone. Afraid you'll witness a group of terrorists harassing an old lady? That's why you have a cell phone.

Before I get too far into this, I should admit that I have a cell phone. It was given to me by my employer and is in all actuality a leash. I hate it. When I get a new job, the cell phone is history.

Back to my rant. Last night as I was riding home, I saw a dude crouched next to his bike on the side of the freeway. I pulled over to see if he needed help/tools/whatever. Then I noticed he was talking on his cellphone. He finally noticed I was there, and came over and told me he thought his tank was in the reserve, and he wasn't sure which way to turn the petcock to get it into the reserve.

Say WHAT? Now, I admit that if the valve wasn't marked (I've seen some aftermarket bits that don't have "ON" or "RES" markings), it could be a little confusing. But you've got a 50/50 chance of getting it right, bud. Turn the petcock and see what happens.

I wished him luck, and tried to send some good vibes his way (just because he's not too bright doesn't mean he doesn't deserve some compassion.) as I rode off again.

I believe that if he hadn't had a cell phone, he most likely would have made damn sure he knew how to operate this vital part of his bike. And that's the problem, having a cell phone seems to absolve you of needing to know ANYTHING. Instead of using your personal knowledge, you can just call someone to come rescue you.

Now, this is a big one to wrap your head around, but it's a simple concept: There is no security. Nothing is permanent, and anything can change at any time. You need to be able to take care of yourself. In fact, that's the only true security. And once you can take care of yourself, you'll realize that a cell phone is just another gadget that really does very little to improve the quality of your life.

1 comment:

Surly said...

You have a way of putting into words things I have been thinking. Thanks for that. My cell phone rang twice over the last two or three days-I didnt recognize the number so I did'nt answer. Havent lost a bit of sleep over it either.
My cell phone is a watch with a monthly fee.