One way to discern a person’s real age is to discover how they feel about mobile phones. If they regard them as an extension of themselves, as an add-on that continues everyday conversation, then they are probably under forty. If, on the other hand, they see them as an intrusion, something that keeps bothering them at inconvenient moments, then they are probably me.
It was revealed on the TV news last night that there are currently 65 million of the blighters active in the United Kingdom today. As the U.K.’s population is under 61 million, and as a large swathe of people – babies, toddlers, “living vegetables” and the like – are not likely to have one, that means that some drug-dealers must be walking around with 476 stuffed into their combat trouser pockets. No wonder they walk funny.
My job is primarily a concert promoter (doesn’t that sound grand?) and I have an office telephone, which is manned during so-called “office hours” and an iPhone, the chief purpose of which is to play podcasts and check how far it is from Helsinki to Swindon. (Not for any work reason, just because I get curious) As far as I’m concerned, the calls coming in are a nuisance, rather than a function I approve of. I’m just grateful that the iPhone fades in the ringing tone gently.
I haven’t given the iPhone number to more than a dozen people and yet I get more calls on it than I do on the landline, which is displayed on the website and printed on all my stationery. I even have an old cellphone – the one before the iPhone – they let me keep on for a fiver a month all-in that gets 5-10 calls a day and I’ve been telling people not to use it for eight friggin’ months.
I much prefer email, which you can respond to when you have time. Not like a mobile telephone, which is like someone screaming into your ear: “Stop what you’re doing now and speak to ME, no matter how trivial my reason for calling is! Speak to me NOW!”.
Why is it that people ring me at exactly the most inconvenient moment? Like when I’m just about to be served after queuing for 40 minutes. When I’m trying to sneak out of somewhere without being noticed (is that just me?). And ten seconds after everyone in the chapel of rest has been asked to turn off their mobiles.
I hate them. Do me a favour: only ring me when it’s absolutely necessary, OK?