I hate cell phones, especially texting

imitating mom and dad with a calculator as her cell phone

I mentioned in passing once before that I hate texting, well actually I hate cell phones in general.  I know there are reasons to have them, I have one for many reasons. But I really hate texting.   I know everyone does it now, and I  have had to accept that, but I believe it has been to the determent of all of us that this has become popular.  So why do I hate cell phones and texting?

First, let me say I do own a cell phone.  It’s cheaper than a land line ($10 per month) and if I were to be in a situation where I needed help I can call for it now.  That doesn’t mean I want to be connected to it at all times. Surprisingly, recent statistics state that there are , check out the whole article  from View From the Bleachers for a few good laughs.  Okay I get it some people have more than one phone, a personal phone and a business phone, but if you eliminate children too young to have a phone yet, and those who don’t have cell phones, were talking about a lot of multiple phones per person to come up with that figure.

Shortly after I broke down and purchased my first cell phone I was visiting with a friend.  There were the two of us and three of her children sitting around the kitchen table.  Soon every one of the children were texting away while visiting.  I realized this was very different from what I had known up to this point in my life, and sure didn’t like it one bit.

I hate cell phones, in general, because I don’t like being connected to anyone who wants my attention where ever I am. I have one family member who will text, then every 30 seconds or so (less than a minute) will send another and another, first it’s “hello, where are you” ending with irate messages about how rude that I’m not answering.  I’ve explained that if I am driving or busy (like in the shower, please let me have a shower in peace) I will respond when I can.  Doesn’t stop her one bit.  I wish she knew how to use the internet, I’d send her to this site to learn some texting etiquette

Here is an example of someone who texts me, knowing fully well I can’t stand texting as much as she hates making a phone call:

  • Friend:  Hiya
  • Me: Hi, what’s up?
  • Friend: uggh
  • Me: getting frustrated and typed with anger building) what??? (when I use more than one question mark it means I don’t want this conversation)
  • Friend: I feel horrible
  • Me: (getting more frustrated) why???
  • Friend: I hate the rain
  • Me:  I reply nothing, I’ve had my fill of this game

20 minutes later

  • Friend: My joints hurt
  • Me: sorry
  • Friend: It was the first day of school
  • Me: I know

And on and on this will go from one subject to another without any rhyme or reason.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do like my friend, but she has embraced the habit of being perpetually on her cell phone through texting.  While she’s sending me these messages she’s also sending several other people texts.  I will get a message that makes no sense and then one after that says “sorry, wrong person”.

Her phone never leaves her person.  I find it really annoying when she stops by then sits here texting the entire time she’s “visiting” me.  What’s worse is to have her suddenly burst out laughing then look at me and respond with “inside joke”. Go home then until  you want to actually converse with me.

Doesn’t this look like more fun than pushing keys on a phone all day?

I don’t like having to pick up my phone when I am busy to read these messages.  If I am in the middle of making a meal or worse with company (and say so) they still don’t stop, but I have to check to see if it might be from a family member who really does need something from me.

I could have had a conversation covering everything she wanted to talk about in less time than it took me to get my phone, read and reply to each and every message. Oh and did I mention the tasks I was trying to complete when I kept getting interrupted, they end up taking 3 times as long to finish?

But texting (and cell phones in general) has also led to other problems.  The main two for me are lack of manners and the interruption of enjoying another person’s company.

If you are out in public, you can see people out having dinner, at a movie, at a music event, grocery shopping, or simply taking a walk.  At least one will be checking a phone and having a conversation by way of texting rather than talking to the person they are with.  It’s just rude in my way of thinking.

And  please put the phone down while you are checking out in a store.  Stop and say hello to the person waiting on you. Thank them and wish them a good day.

I hear  complaints about how rude your servers are, I want to scream and ask them “have you ever stopped to see what they deal with all day?  Would you be in great mood after spending an 8 hour shift on your feet trying to wait on people who ignore you for someone not even there?”

Probably the strangest thing I’ve ever seen was two people in the same room texting each other rather than speak aloud.  Seriously?  I asked finally if this was some sort of secret and said it was rude to exclude the others in the room for this private conversation.  This was a husband and wife, their response was no, it was nothing they couldn’t share with everyone, but they communicated better by using texting because that way each actually had to “listen” (by reading it) and therefore couldn’t ignore the other person or what they were saying.

We can use our fingers for this too

Are we going to forget how to have an actual conversation?  Maybe it will get to the  point that we are surprised if we hear a human voice once in a while.   Am I the only one who is bothered by this behavior?  Technology can be a wonderful thing, when it doesn’t exclude actually living your life.  Okay so this is a pet peeve of mine, what’s your pet peeve?

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39 thoughts on “I hate cell phones, especially texting

  1. Holy Moly! You are preaching to the choir on this one. Nobody in my immediate circle even knows how to text (including me.) Hell – I hardly even know how to use my cell phone! My cell phone is for emergencies only, and it only gets turned on about a half dozen times per year. A few weeks ago CatMan and I were gonna meet along the bike path but I got a flat tire, so I tried to use my cell phone to call him on his cell phone. It was totally hilarious because neither of us could figure out how to answer a call! It took us about half a dozen failed attempts before we finally connected!

    I actually cancelled my FaceBook account because I just couldn’t stand getting those instant messages from some person I barely knew in high school who suddenly wants to “chat.” It drove me absolutely NUTS! I can’t even imagine living in a world where random people think they have a right to my attention whenever they want it. I generally won’t even pick up the phone unless CatMan’s name shows up on the caller ID.

    Perhaps I’m a tad bit misanthropic, but it just seems to me that this sort of “communication” really isn’t designed to communicate, as much as it is designed to provide the illusion of communication. It’s like people want to think that they have “friends,” but on some level they don’t really want to have to deal with other people and the complications of real human interaction. I’ve even heard people say things like how they would feel so “out of touch” without FaceBook and texting, and it really makes me want to shake them and say “HELLO?!? The world doesn’t live in your computer or your phone, the real world is out here!”

    I’m really glad that I’ve decided not to play that particular game. As a friend of mine put it “I preferred things back in the time when phones were dumb and people were smart.”

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    1. I hadn’t thought about the fact that it makes people feel important, but you are so right. My sister is like that, she gets upset if she isn’t hearing from so-and-so on a regular basis and feels it’s some reflection on the state of their friendship.

      I’m not as bad with the cell as you, but I did need my children to teach me how to use it. When we first got our phones my youngest was 15 and had to show me how to activate everything and set up the voicemail. Since he lives 2 hours away, when I have trouble with a phone I send him an email to tell me how to fix the problem. So much for being the grown up.

      As for facebook, I was adopted by my mother’s second husband, no one but family knows what my birth name was so I use that on facebook so I can keep in touch with my son and see pictures of his daughter in between visits, but it took until a couple of months ago for my kids to talk me into it.

      I so liked it better before even answering machines, but at least they were better than this constant attachment with the phones today. At least then I knew I could enjoy what I was doing and check messages later when I felt like it with no one complaining about my not returning their call immediately.

      And yes I think people are losing their smarts 🙂

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        1. So true and I guess if I stop to think about it I’d have realized that’s where the kids are getting it from. BTW, I’m wondering at what age do you think it’s too young to provide a child with a cell phone? My son sells them, and he’s had one since 15 when we moved across the country and didn’t know anyone there. I had a hard time getting used to not knowing who was calling him, but when he began working in the industry he came home one night upset because a dad bought his 8 year old daughter one, top of the line full unlimited texting, the whole works. He sold it, it was his job but boy was he mad.

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  2. I can understand your frustration, though my cell contains everything from personal to my professional life on it. I have learned that when I’m with people or out in public, I need to be more aware of my actions. I absolutely hate when people are ordering coffee on their cell phone because I’ve been on that side where I had to take the order. Not fun at all!

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    1. I am so sorry you had to deal with insensitive people who treated you more like a machine it’s the rudest thing I can think of to do to someone waiting on us.

      I don’t have much on mine but more than I would have ever imagined. My son downloaded Instagram on it for me to play with my pictures, I use it for a camera, my calender is on there rather than buying one, but I rarely need to put anything in it. And I use it for an alarm clock rather than have the alarm clock plugged in all the time.

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  3. Me too!!! I hate that people are with me but not with me. Im a bit like you ECL – if its not my hubbies name on the caller ID, theres a good chance that Im busy. And then I call them back on their land line when I do! I had a friend call me persistently at work – maybe 13 times and I simply cant answer it (assuming I could hear it as we arent allowed them on us – I work in hospitality). She got sh%#@er and sh%#@er and then called again at 11.45pm to see if I would answer the phone then at home in bed – I didnt!
    So yes, I think the whole smart phones are for dumb people too! – Kara

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    1. Kara, you made me laugh. I agree smart phones are for dumb people. The only way to reach my youngest son is by texting him. I do it rarely, if I really need to reach him for something. He is a manager for a cell phone company so they use their personal phones for business, and he is a real estate agent. He asks that I text him so his phone doesn’t actually ring and he will know I need something and will get back to me when he can. Today’s version of the answering machine. But I would never text or call someone at work, that’s crazy.

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  4. I hate the text, people think I’ve got a message that I probably haven’t because I don’t always have the phone on my person, or charged. I have to call people back when they say things like – lets catch up – maybe sometime next week – because that is just way too many texts for my liking to reply.

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  5. I never text either. I have a cell phone. It’s in my purse, turned off and used only for emergencies. People who know me, know that if they text while “visiting” me, I will either tell them to turn it off or go home. I’m pretty up front about that. Also, the couple who feel more comfortable texting each other rather then talking have more problems then they think. Texting is no substitute for talking face to face. Being in a relationship means having communication. Not texting. Talking.

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    1. I can’t agree more. Good for you for standing up to tell someone to turn it off or go home. Isn’t that the craziest thing a husband and wife who text to communicate? I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it happen.

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      1. Yeah, I’m known for not putting up with rude behavior 😉 as for the couple texting I know a couple like that too. And they most certainly have bigger issues. They can’t talk to each other face to face. They are like big kids and hurt each other. It’s so sad and weird at the same time.

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  6. Hi Lois,
    I don’t have a cell phone, and glad of it. I don’t want to be reached everywhere I go. When we travel, I have my husband or son bring their phone, and give that number out to immediate family to reach us in an emergency. But basically, if we’re not home, we don’t want to be reached. I just enjoy the calm and peace of a silent mind sometimes. And when I’m out with someone else, I don’t want the distraction of that extra being — the phone.

    I can see definite uses for cell phones. My husband and son use theirs to communicate about ride-sharing home. If one misses the bus to the park and ride, he can let the other know, and they can figure out a new plan to get home. I also think if someone travels a lot alone, that a cell phone might be nice, for peace of mind, knowing you could reach help in a emergency.

    Cell phones and texting in other’s company reminds me of when I was a child and I’d bring a book to the table at dinner. My mom would explain how rude that was to not give the rest of the family my attention during the family meal time.

    Just my 2 cents.

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    1. When I don’t want to be interrupted I at least send a message to each of my son’s letting them know I won’t be answering my phone for a while because I’m going out, but I promise to take it with me in case of an emergency. My boys are funny, if I don’t answer they worry I’ve gotten hurt (I can fall pretty easily and get hurt doing so often) and will either rush over here or call someone to check on me. So I let them know out of respect so they don’t worry.

      How funny, I take it you are a true book lover. It is frequently hard for me to put a good book down. My oldest is like that too. When I first gave him A Wrinkle In Time, he was so engrossed he brought it with us to the grocery store. He read it all the way through the shopping trip. I learned quickly to call out directions for him so he knew when to stop, turn a corner etc because his face was riveted to the pages. People in the store laughed and many remarked they wished they could get their children enjoy reading that much.

      I heard an interview with Stephen King where he said the dinner table was family reading time. They passed a book around while each person took turns reading aloud and they had a discussion of the book at dinner. I so wished I had been a part of his family, if only at dinner time.

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  7. Ah Lois….as I said, spending time going through things…Gosh, I smiled when I came upon this post…bet you will too, when reminded how much you actually need the cell phone at current moment..grin…

    I have many of the same thoughts on this as you. Something similar is folks (bugs me) who have call waiting on their phone..Now, of course, I do understand if it is business or some emergency, etc..bug..When talking to a friend, and the beep beep on the line to let them know they have another call coming in..so they put me on hold, then come back..oh it was such and such (as in trivial gossips type stuff), and back and forth with the hold, etc

    I learned a neat “trick” from an elderly friend….when this happens to her, she will say..”oh you are busy, well, call when you are free and we can chat…”, and says bye and hangs up…

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    1. I love your friend solution. When people ask me if I’ll hold while they check their call waiting I tell them I’ll talk to then later, I hate being put on hold.

      no I still hate many things about cell phone. Having people think you are always available is one, the other is the way some text. Here’s an example from Friday night. Hiya…what are you doing…at this I answered I had just sat down to dinner…i need your opinion…its about aesthetics….i have a planter I’d like you to tell me where to put…that won’t nt work…because I’m putting a tree in it…i really need you…can you come out now…it won’t take long…

      I’m sure this would bug anyone, but this person knows I don’t like to text and continues to do this. Just say what you mean in the first message and let me get back to what I was doing.

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      1. exactly…i agree.
        yrs ago, when my son was little, he was sick a lot, so i finally gave in and got a answering machine (hate them), so i could put it to catch phone at first ring, if he was managing a bit of sleep..(didnt want to waste any sleep time)…so, he didnt get sleep/I didnt either..So, this answering phone seem handy. That is, until, I had a couple of friends who had called and left messages, and when i would talk to them the next day, or possibly later that evening..They would be rather anoyed I had not called back within the hour..Even though they knew all of the above…

        I read once that the problem with the phone is people think it obligates you to be instantly accessible TO THEM. The writer insisted NOT SO. And, gave the example, back in the good old days of many farms and long drives, people were not so instantly accessible to being hospitable as some thought.. For example, the writer pointed out, that almost all country homes had long drives, and dogs. Plenty of time for a dog to bark and alert you someone was on the way. You could peek out window, and decide if you were home..Grin..

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        1. I like that way of looking at it. I find its the same with texting or voice mail, people want instant responses. I didn’t grow up that way and can’t get used to this mentality.

          your solution of an answering machine was a good one to get some needed sleep.

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  8. I like cell phones (or, “mobile” phones. As we call them here In the UK) and texting. Without my mobile phone and texting, I would be lost. as Im still young, addicted to my phone and addicted to texting

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    1. I would be lost without mine as I no longer have a landline, but unlike you mobile phones weren’t something I grew up with and have had a hard time adjusting to the changes that come with them.

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  9. Hello How are You . I agree with you all the way . I go against the Grain all the time . I am 37 years old I grew up in the 1980s as a kid. I wish for the love of pete it was still those simple times there is not a minute goes by that I don’t think of old simple times. I do not have a cell phone and don’t want one nor do I need one in my life . I still have a old rotary dial telephone in my house works great .Old School all the way . I am hands own I am a do it yourself kinda guy . I like to figure out how things work . I can name all the gi-joe guys names from the 80’s . What cartoon now can kids do that to .Thank You and God Bless. Keep pushing forward with a old Solid Attitude cause we were cool and cool is what we are 4 ever n ever. Thanks……David.

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    1. David, I wish I could live without a cell phone but being disabled and in a wheel chair I need to h ave a way to contact help if I should run into a problem when out. I do leave it behind or turn it off often. It’s none of those things I hate but for now can’t find a way around.

      I too wish for the olden days. I grew up in the 60-70s I still remember when black and white was the only option for a TV and one was the maximum in a household. And when it came to phones, we hadn’t heard of answering machines not alone voice mail, email etc.

      Life was simpler then wasn’t it? I hope we will see a return of a simpler way of life and more face-to-face friendships.

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      1. Bless your Heart God Bless . I know what you mean . I am like you I do hope e can go back to simplier times . I watch lots of old tv series such as Chips and fall guy all the classics . It breaks my heart to watch old shows and see jus how much things have changed . It seems we are being pushed out of the way to make way fo the new ways . I am bull headed so I don’t like change …lol. Thank You for your reply ……David

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        1. David,weren’t those older programs much better? TV was never a big part of my life when I was younger but I did have a few favorites. I was telling my son just the other day how we knew there would only be 13 episodes of a program for that year and once aired they would run the same 13 over and over until the new season. So even if I loved a program I knew I could miss one and see it again during the reruns if I wanted.

          I see the end to cable TV coming. My son now uses Google Chrome to view programs,, there are online resources such as Hulu where you can watch your favorite programs on your schedule,and of course Netflix. While I see people still glued to the TV I believe it is the beginning of taking back our lives from a TV schedule.

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  10. I’m 20 and do have a cellphone, but I passionately hate my generation for being idiots. Well, malevolent narcissists that manipulate truth into suiting their convoluted ideology… but idiots also works.

    Thing is, many people keep insisting how they need a cellphone, NEED a smartphone, NEED Google Glass… and use arguments that even a child could tear down.

    My brother in law tried to convince me that smartphones are great because you can “Watch a movie at a red light”. That is called distracted driving, and what are the chances you’ll really STOP watching when the light changes? Don’t lie. It’s 0%. I see it all the time, “just until the next scene… let me finish typing what I was doing… mutter whatever excuse you want”

    These… idiots… honestly believe that distracted driving is a SKILL they can improve. And with Google venomously fighting laws preventing people from using Google Glass and driving because “Not enough people have died due to our product to warrant such laws…” [Yes, they really did… imply… this] (of course, more people die from texting and driving EACH YEAR than died in the 9-11 attacks. But I guess that isn’t enough to stop doing THAT either!)

    This is… people trying to feel self important by reducing the seriousness (and commitment to) of individual relationships and increasing the quantity of “relationships.” Communicating via voice means they’ll have to use “human communication” where they have to think about what the other person is saying and respond accordingly instead of using shortened language where a response can be automated via computer.

    I can only imagine the “Relationship of the Future” where the most communication a couple will have will be “Ohh, yes… yes… yes… I’ll text my husband that I’m coming home now.” Cause even the relationship books of the times effectively say that a “Committed Relationship” is a thing of the dark ages, now it is all about “What a spouse can do for ME!”

    *** Really, it is how screwed up we’ve made society that annoys me. This is very much a “me” generation; with people acting as if their personal freedoms are more valuable than the lives of others.

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    1. I too worry about the youth of today and how they will learn to communicate if they are so dependent on their phones.

      People, like your brother, who use their phones for movies or the Google Glass have made driving a dangerous activity. Even walking or biking are affected by distracted drivers. It amazes me that people are so obsessed with being connected via their phones that they can’t enjoy the moment they are in.

      My sister is similar with her phone. If she sends a text she expects an immediate answer. If she doesn’t receive one she will send repeated texts asking why you aren’t answering. It’s crazy and has caused plenty of disagreements between us because I don’t live by my phone.

      We only have one life to live, to spend it attached to a phone when there are so many other wonderful things to experience is definitely a sad commentary on society.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts about smart phones.

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  11. I absolutely agree with your article one hundred percent!! Just the other day, I had a friend over who I hadn’t seen in a while, and wanted to chat and spend time with, but she seemed so preoccupied with her cell phone, constantly texting someone on it. At times, I felt like I was having the conversation with myself! And I’ve also witnessed teens texting each other while in the same room.To me its completely bizarre behavior and very rude to the other people in the room as well. This younger generation seem to be losing their skill of communicating and socializing, very sad! Life was simpler, more enjoyable and happy before cell phones and texting.

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    1. Tanya, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve seen my one son and his wife texting while sitting next to each other on a couch while visiting me. I put a stop to that quickly.

      Those who live by their phones have no idea what they are missing out on in real life.

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  12. So glad to know I am not alone. I have a sad little Nokia phone that I use for emergencies. It doesn’t have a camera, no internet connection, I still have to text the old fashioned way, and I pay month to month because I never max out my minutes. My family tried to get me to upgrade a few months ago and bought me a newer phone with better capabilities, but I haven’t even figured out how to use it completely. And I have really no desire to. I only got it for the camera, but haven’t taken more than one or two pictures, and that was on the day I got the phone. I feel like I should learn to use the technology, but I’m too cheap to get locked into a contract. And, quite frankly, if I’m not home, I usually don’t need to be reached. We took a vacation this summer and did not spend the day posting pictures (as I said, I don’t have internet capability – yes, I took my old phone). Instead we enjoyed every memory-making moment of our vacation as a family…offline.
    My biggest fear is that I’m cheating my kids out of learning how to use a phone. But they still enjoy reading (from an actual book) and drawing (with a real pencil). Even my tween daughter doesn’t really care if she has a phone or not.
    Just my two cents. Glad I’m not alone.

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    1. Lisa, I think it’s wonderful that you got to enjoy a vacation without trying to photograph every moment. I obviously take pictures for the blog, but I don’t have photo albums or pictures of my travels, the memories are in my head.

      I don’t think you are cheating your children.They will be exposed to the technology through school and friends along the way. Instead, you are showing them an alternative to being connected by technology which I think is better.

      We have no idea how long the materials needed to produce all these phones tablets and so on will be available so there might come a day when it becomes hard to get the gadgets or too price prohibitive to consider the purchase. Which in a way I wish the prices would go up to reflect the true costs involved in manufacturing.

      You are definitely not alone, thanks for sharing.

      P.S. I think you have done something right if you have a tween daughter who isn’t begging for her own phone. 😉

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  13. I not only hate phones, but…

    I HATE THE 21ST CENTURY!

    What’s so great about the Past?
    Things were Simpler and straightforward. Before people became wealth/status obsessed, building McMansions everywhere and broadcasting their superiority and inequality. Before people becamse so hyper-sensitized to race, religion, politics, smoking, drinking… And people weren’t scared shitless or polarized over it all. Before peoples’ language and speech were Dissected by the hyper-sensitive politically correct assholes (usually in search of racism or some dirty secreted meaning, hoping to recruit some blood-sucking lawyers to leach money–and otherwise Condemn the
    person, perhaps destroying his or her career). You know, when people could say whatever the hell they wanted to say–no matter how brilliant or how stupid–without fear of getting Arrested (when Freedom of Speech was REAL!). Before computers took over everything and spawned a lazy new species called the Computer Nerd. Before phone-head obsessed idiots materialized everywhere yapping and tapping as they drove, walked, and shitted.Before surveillance and paranoia–the latter justifying the former to no end. Before terrorism.
    When people were able to–Forced to, in fact–Think on their own!
    Rather than make decisions based upon celebrity input or the majority, as channeled through the Internet.

    Getting back to That… I miss Real phones you could grip in your hand and Clearly Hear, Loudly, the guy on the other end. I miss Telephone Booths with these things called Closing Doors so such a thing as Privacy existed out there in the world…

    And speaking of Physical Damage these things are doing to people:
    http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/01/31/wifi-invisible-killing-fields/en

    I’m typing this from dial-up Internet service…from my home’s old desktop computer…

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    1. Captain, thank you for speaking your mind! I agree with so much of what you said, or rather all of what you said. When I am standing in line at a store and notice the covers of magazines I have no idea who most of these celebrities are which allows me an objective viewpoint on the stories highlighted. Who cares if a star’s baby wears matching clothes to his/her parent. And political correctness has gone too far.

      I too miss the phone booths that used to be found on nearly every other street corner but hadn’t realized until just now reading your words how much I missed the privacy that was a given with the doors. No one would have considered having a conversation with the doors open if there were people passing by, now we hear everyone’s life stories while doing our shopping or taking a walk.

      I congratulate you for keeping dial-up service and your old desktop. If it weren’t for work I wouldn’t have a computer at all. Unfortunately, while I despise my cell phone, missing my corded phone (with 25 foot cord) it is a necessity to my continuing to live on my own with a disability. I do worry about the wi-fi problems and even the signals just coming from the phones themselves and go so far as to talk on speaker rather than hold it to my head.

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