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Jesus Creed

Do you remember your first…

Cell phone? I do, as it was purchased last Friday. Yes, that’s right. A hold out is what I had going on. But after a few mess-ups, one at an airport, Kris and I realized it would best if we both had a cell phone. Kris has had one for years, and we originally jumped on the cellphonebandwagon when Kris began to commute. But I was a hold out. Why?
My first encounter with a cell phone was on a golf course. I was playing with a friend who had fancy, schmancy cell phone but he spent nearly every hole talking to business associates about business deals. He was dealing with millions of dollars, so it seemed important to him. What was important to me was our game of golf, and enjoying our day, and not being bugged by someone when we were out playing golf. So, I took a stand to hold out.
I was also a commuter on the train, and train cell phone talkers bug me at two levels: first, they talk too loud and keep others from their accustomed quiet time for reading and praying; second, they say things that are not public — like lying to spouses and clients and speaking about things that should not be public knowledge. Cell phone conversations in public … well, you all know what I’m talking about. One time I was riding on the train when I got into a seat in a car that was silent. And then when someone got a phone call, the so-called sleepers starting “shooshing” and “sh-sh”ing randomly; it was planned; and it worked. The person put down the cell phone and kept quiet.
Then I have students: their cell phones ring during class (and I try to answer them); they mess around with them in class (I figure they are playing games or sending text messages); and I give them a hard time if their phones ring during class. So, cell phones annoyed me.
And it is dangerous to drive and talk on cell phones. So, I was holding out.
But, it was getting too hard not to have a phone, and Kris’ phone contract was about to run out, and … yadayadayada. So, we went to the local mall’s kiosk, bought two Razr phones with a two-phone contract, and in thirty minutes I had a phone. The sales lady said to me, “This is your first cell phone and you’re getting a Razr?” “Yep,” I said. Two for one hundred dollars is what we paid.
Not that I know what I’m doing, but I will say this. When I was at the airport this weekend, when we landed, I pulled out my phone to see if anyone had called. It seemed the “chic” thing to do as everyone else was doing that: it dawned on me that I hadn’t given the number to anyone but my kids (and now my Dept colleagues) so it is quite unlikely that anyone was going to leave me a message. But, stunned for a moment to realize that everyone had messages but me, I gave it a long look as if I was checking a variety of calls. I came back to reality when Kris said, “Scot, no one is going to call you; no one even knows your number.”

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posted March 30, 2006 at 7:05 am

It’s getting lonelier all the time for us holdouts. They keep telling me there is a cell phone in my future…I hope they are wrong.
Priceless, checking for messages :) The cult of connectivity makes us feel important, when the reason we are important is because the Son of God died for us.

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posted March 30, 2006 at 8:40 am

The Upward Way Press » Blog Archive » McKnight Comes into the 20th Century

[…] Scot McKnight gets his very first cell phone, incredible as that may sound. Not that I know what I’m doing, but I will say this. When I was at the airport this weekend, when we landed, I pulled out my phone to see if anyone had called. It seemed the “chic” thing to do as everyone else was doing that: it dawned on me that I hadn’t given the number to anyone but my kids (and now my Dept colleagues) so it is quite unlikely that anyone was going to leave me a message. But, stunned for a moment to realize that everyone had messages but me, I gave it a long look as if I was checking a variety of calls. I came back to reality when Kris said, “Scot, no one is going to call you; no one even knows your number.”   [link] […]

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posted March 30, 2006 at 9:17 am

I had a cell phone for 3 years during grad school. I got rid of it shortly afterwards and haven’t regretted it since. We will probably have to get a cell in the near future for similar reasons – increased travel for both of us and teenaged children. I’ve only missed having a cell phone about 4 times in the past five years. A caveat: If I was a pastor, I would surely have one.

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posted March 30, 2006 at 9:23 am

whatever you do, don’t give-out your number. People abuse cell phones and think having one give them permission to interrput you at will. I got my first on about 12 years ago and I did not know my number.

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Greg Mc

posted March 30, 2006 at 9:45 am

Ahhh but I miss the the backpack that it came with, and cranking the handle was so much fun.

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Ben Finger

posted March 30, 2006 at 9:51 am

Ha! I just got rid of my cellphone. It so nice for people not to be able to get in touch with you. (Though in truth I have a secret pre-pay cellphone I keep charged up for sheer emergencies).

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Joe Kennedy

posted March 30, 2006 at 12:47 pm

When I was in undergrad I would put mine on silent and then call people who were in the same class randomly just to make theirs go off. Yes, I know it’s distracting for the professor and the class, but the other guy always had his on silent the next day. And it was fun to see him get embarrassed.

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posted March 30, 2006 at 1:55 pm

Glad to see you found (or will find) a balance. Cell phones can be the most annoying things in the world, or the biggest blessing at the right time. I got my first one at 16 (7 years ago), mostly because I lived in Alaska and my parents wanted me to be able to call if I slid off the road and got stuck in a ditch while it was -20 out.
I agree – be careful who you give your number to. I think you’ll enjoy it.

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posted March 30, 2006 at 2:25 pm

I’ve had mobile phones for about 12 years, with my latest job, I didn’t get one, instead opted for a phone plan that allowed me and my wife to call each other free for 300 minutes a month, and call fixed line phones in Oz for 20c for the first ten minutes.
This allows me to call my wife randomly as required, and to call landlines for really cheap, rather than cell phones, to make sure I’m not using it to stay hyper-connected.
The upside is that only the admin staff at work know my phone number, not clients, so if there’s something really important, they’ll text msg me!

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Dana Ames

posted March 30, 2006 at 2:57 pm

We held out until a few months ago; we only use ours when one of us is away from home (including the one teenager remaining)- we use it for calling, not receiving calls (except from college daughter who calls us on her cell phone- the first thing, after books, she spent $$ on when she got to San Diego-)… rick has it right. Only give the number to those you REALLY want to be able to reach you. The only people who have our cell phone number are our family members and the woman who covers my transcription work for me when I’m out of town.

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Ben Finger

posted March 30, 2006 at 3:05 pm

I remember one of my most embarrassing cell phone moments. I was in middle of one of my undergrad classes and I heard a cell phone going off. It kept getting louder and louder and louder. I eventually turned around and said hey would someone cut that off. Mind you I am normally a reserved kid of guy. Well to my displeasure my neighbor tapped my shoulder and pointed to my pocket. It was my new cellphone. I hadn’t heard it ring yet for no one had called me. I forgot to put it on silence. Oh I was so embarrassed. Simply to say at that point I excused myself to the bathroom. Oh boy was I red.

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posted March 30, 2006 at 3:16 pm

Guard your cell phone number carefully. How many people really need to reach you at any time? Even if you decide not to answer it, its not the same as blessed silence.

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posted March 31, 2006 at 12:32 am

Up until 3 years ago, I carried one for about 3 years. Job. The job disappeared; the cell phone disappeared. I’m not worried about being stranded in the middle of nowhere, although some others are. There are times when I think having one would be a good thing; I could report the obvious drunk drivers at 2 in the morning on the weekends, or, if need be, call for emergency help in case I find an accident. Right now, though, I can’t afford one, so I’ll just have to muddle on as I have for the last 3 years. I really don’t miss having one.

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posted March 31, 2006 at 3:28 am

You and me Scot. Got mine today, a something 2000. I picked it cuz I think it’s the prettiest ( : Isn’t that such a girl thing? Hubby upgraded the one we already had, 50 bucks and mine is free. Only increases our monthly bill by 10 and so many free long distance numbers it’s silly.
I had surgery in November to remove cancer, it’s pretty much shook our world. We are going to have 2 weeks in Key West this Spring. One day, hubby is driving my sister back up to Ft Lauderdale to catch her plane. He wants me to be able to get hold of him, if needed, thus the cell. Like I’m going to die that day or something! Ok, he gets that piece of security. Plus, my life has been sooo many appts lately, and driving around, I’ve thought it would be good to have a cell, like the day I forgot to pick up more of the Prescription cat food from the vet that we have to use or one of our cats dies, and needed to call hubby to get it. Or many other things that come out when I’m out doing appts.
Only people getting my cell number are family and all the %#@^$ drs I’ve had to go to. Friends can call me at home.
Now, I have to conquer mega anxiety to learn how to use the thing. I just want to be able to call someone and be able to answer incoming calls. Not all the other features that come with it. I’ll have to learn how to pick up messages on it, will need to be instructed how to, softly, like talking a jumper off a ledge.
I did tell hubby that when I’m at my next appt, I’ll have it on vibrate and he’ll have to call me so I look important !

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