Here are just some of the big problems with cellphones

People don’t believe me when I tell them I don’t carry a cellphone but it’s true.

I worked in Denver for six months back in 2000-2001 and I had a cellphone back then because it was a temporary assignment and I didn’t want to pay to have a phone installed where I lived.

But I haven’t had one since.

I jokingly tell people that I don’t carry a cellphone because “people kept calling me and wanting to talk.”

My wife doesn’t carry a cellphone, either. We do own a Tracfone that we bought at Walmart for about $30. We only use it when we go out of town and we don’t give the number to anyone but family members. It is an emergency phone. We buy minutes (we use it very sparingly) and it is very cheap to use.

Some people get mildly upset when I tell them I don’t carry a cellphone and some don’t believe me. I actually know several important people (whom I won’t name) who also don’t carry cellphones.

Here are some of the reasons why I don’t carry a cellphone.

– I have three landlines in my home and office.

I know that people are getting rid of their landlines in favor of cellphones. There are some professions – real estate agents, doctors, insurance agents, ministers, etc. – that are benefitted greatly by having cellphones.

If the Tulsa Beacon were a daily paper, I might carry a cellphone. But we publish once a week and immediacy is not a priority because we send the paper to the printer on Tuesday and our readers don’t get it until Thursday.

– The service is not as good as landlines.

I can’t tell you how many times I was on the phone with a cellphone call and the signal started breaking up. That is especially true when a caller is driving through a tunnel or out in some rural area with poor service.

Sometimes on my radio show, Tulsa Beacon Weekend on KCFO AM970, I will have a guest call in rather than in studio. I always try to talk them into calling on a landline to the station’s landline because the quality is so much better.

– Cellphones lead to rude behavior.

I call people on their cellphones and half the time they don’t pick up.

Have you ever been in church or a movie theater when a cellphone rang? I have seen children and adults checking their cellphones during church.

Young people spend way too much time playing games on cellphones and it diminishes interaction with real people. Our family drove to Florida a few years ago and we were on the road for less than five minutes before our kids were engrossed in video games. That mostly ended any conversations.

– They are dangerous to drivers.

If you are ever driving on an arterial street and someone is going 20 mph in the right lane it is almost always because they are on their cellphones. It’s hard to stop at any busy intersection and not see someone texting.

Someone ran a red light in Downtown Tulsa a few years and hit my car. I am convinced he was distracted by his cellphone (thank goodness no one was hurt).

Considering how many people text or talk while they drive, it is amazing we don’t have more accidents. People should concentrate on their driving. Do you really have to be on the phone constantly?

– Cellphones are expensive to buy and operate.

They cost hundreds of dollars and really are expensive on a monthly basis to operate. Landlines, on the other, don’t upgrade their technology every 90 days and don’t require expensive equipment. It’s very hard to destroy a landline phone and I have never heard of anyone losing a landline phone.

And you don’t have to sign a contract for a landline. It’s month-to-month service. People are bombarded with TV ads for newer, faster and sharper cellphones with enormous capability. Do we really need all those functions? I think not.

– Cellphones are a potential health hazard.

The jury may be out but cellphones haven’t been around long enough to know any long-term health hazards. Are they safe? I know several knowledgeable people who either don’t use them or use an ear bud to keep them away from their ears.

If they are somewhat dangerous, just think how many people spend so much time with those things pushed up against their ears. Except for cordless landlines, the other phones are certainly safer.

My chiropractor, Dr. Matt Hunt of Hunt Spinal Care, has treated clients for neck strains due to spending so much time bent over while texting or playing games on their cellphones.

– People can invade your privacy by listening to and recording conversations.

It takes a warrant to do that on a landline.

I understand that anyone reading this might tell me to move into the 21st Century. I know that cellphones are a critical part of the ever-expanding social media. Ex-president Barack Obama started handing out free cellphones and you can see people lined up wanting one all over Tulsa.

I think I can defend my lack of a cellphone. I just hope the day never comes when you can no longer own a landline.