The title alone has already become a terrifying thought for many of you. 7 days without a cell.... must be hell, is what you were thinking right? Today marks one week that I have been without my blackberry. Back in the good ole' United States of America, the Blackberry Tour is never further than an arms reach away. I use the blackberry for just about everything.
First and foremost I use it as a phone, but also for texting, surfing the internet, instant messaging, GPS, a notepad, a calculator, facebook, twitter, and the list goes on and on. I typically laugh when I hear the term cell phone addiction because its not an addiction at all, I can go without it, I just choose not to. Its like alcohol, some people really do struggle with addiction to the substance while others who may appear do, just choose to do what they do. Some may struggle with cell phone addiction, I just chose to always be connected.
There are some very strong upsides to being plugged in 24/7. The amount of information processing is amazing. I can take in large amounts of news, random facts, my daily quotes, sports scores, and social events at an amazing pace. One of my favorite things in life is socializing and networking. Want to land a new job? (not that I want to but its a good example) Expand your network. Want more opportunities to volunteer? Expand your network. Want to have more options on weekends? Expand your network. If you know more people, you are opened up to more culture, more friends, and you will become a more well rounded person. If you want to know a lot more about a lot more, expand your network and constantly read the news via Twitter!
Over the years, I have learned to be texidextrous, yes that's a real word, even though I thought I just made it up. A quick "g search" shows the word already exists in the Urban Dictionary. Regardless, I am a texting machine, often typing out over 6,000 text per month prior to getting a blackberry. Now that I have a blackberry, its tough to understand the full population because BBM's (Blackberry's Instant Messaging Program), Twitter, Facebook, emails, and picture mails don't all show up on the phone bill. Regardless of these astonishing facts, I do not need the 7 step program to cure cell Phone Addiction.(I bet you didnt know there was one!)
Back to me, since after all I am the author of this fine blog that has amassed nearly 1500 page views in just one week! The last time I had a usable phone was 1030pm last Friday night as I boarded Continental Flight 031 from Newark, New Jersey headed to Sao Paulo, Brazil. I have to admit, this time it was pretty easy to go without the cell phone, especially since it did not work outside of the U.S. Over the past week, I have occasionally felt my phone vibrating and reached for my left pocket and realized there is not a Blackberry Tour in there. I have also gotten up from the dinner table and looked around for my blackberry because I could tell there were 4.58 ounces missing from the left side of my body. If you do a quick internet searching for "cell phone phantom vibrations", you get over 1.4 million hits. To my surprise, it even has its own wikipedia page. (On a side note, you may be surprised to see several links to wikipedia from my blogs, but to my defense wikipedia is an actual approved references for the majority of colleges and universities now that Wikipedia has instituted a log in system, cross referencing, and hired a staff of crackpot research analysts.) A browse through the articles and its apparent that I am not alone in these very unusual muscle twitches that simulate the vibration of a text message in my left pocket. Apparently its even a big infliction of many doctors and medical staff. I mean, its a big enough deal for a YouTube video documenting a study.
Hopefully most of you skipped that video, but I wanted to include it for my mom and dad because they are retired and get bored frequently so I try to entertain them as much as possible. In the video, they claim that it is in fact not a phantom occurrence, but rather a hallucination. But then state further that its actually a natural part of human physiology. Last time I checked, hallucinations were not something that normal people had on a regular basis (unless of course they have digested something at a Pink Floyd concert). Other items that make the case for me being addicted to my blackberry would be that my first instinct when the taxi driver gets lots is to pull out my gps, or when I cant understand what the waiter is asking me at the restaurant, I reach for my phone to help translate. Despite these findings, I am still convinced that I am not addicted to my blackberry. You want to know how I know this? Because today, after 7 days without a cell, the compmany I am working at helped me get a new one that works locally here in Brazil.