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BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool

wysiwyg 25 Oct 07 - 12:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Oct 07 - 12:50 PM
Rapparee 25 Oct 07 - 01:18 PM
wysiwyg 25 Oct 07 - 01:53 PM
Wesley S 25 Oct 07 - 02:03 PM
RangerSteve 25 Oct 07 - 03:25 PM
Rapparee 25 Oct 07 - 05:20 PM
Bill D 25 Oct 07 - 05:57 PM
number 6 25 Oct 07 - 06:19 PM
wysiwyg 25 Oct 07 - 06:28 PM
jeffp 25 Oct 07 - 06:59 PM
JohnInKansas 25 Oct 07 - 07:17 PM
Bill D 25 Oct 07 - 07:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Oct 07 - 07:36 PM
JohnInKansas 25 Oct 07 - 08:43 PM
Bill D 25 Oct 07 - 11:06 PM
PoppaGator 26 Oct 07 - 02:35 AM
Liz the Squeak 26 Oct 07 - 03:12 AM
The PA 26 Oct 07 - 03:18 AM
Grab 26 Oct 07 - 06:44 AM
Rapparee 26 Oct 07 - 08:54 AM
Anne Lister 26 Oct 07 - 04:06 PM
Little Hawk 26 Oct 07 - 05:29 PM
wysiwyg 27 Oct 07 - 12:00 AM
Greg F. 27 Oct 07 - 06:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 07 - 08:04 PM
PoppaGator 27 Oct 07 - 08:04 PM
wysiwyg 27 Oct 07 - 10:05 PM

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Subject: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 12:17 PM

When Hardi talked about getting cell phones, I thought he had lost his mind. My only frame of reference was the pagers he and I had been required to carry in the past, and I had no interest in either of us being THAT on-call. Nuh-UH, no way, nohow!

But when he got his, as he used it I began to see that it was going to be a useful tool under OUR control, and that it was actually much more like the email I had come to know and love. We don't use them to be on call; we don't talk on them while walking down the street; we don't use them to interrupt busy people on THEIR cell phones.

We joke about it now, because at first I was all for email and Hardi didn't want to learn how to use it. Now he's become quite the email correspondent, and I'm becoming quite the cellphone user myself.


So I wondered-- have others found ways in which you use your cell phone differently from how you thought you would, when you got it? What do you NOT do with it, that "kids today" do with theirs?

For instance, we DON'T text-message, email, or take pix with ours. We leave them in silent mode most of the time and check for messages only when we have time to actually have a conversation appropriate to the work we do (our outgoing messages indicate calls will be returned LATER). We use them to find each other in big stores, or when one of us is at the pool and the other is road cycling, to see if we're ready to finish up and where to meet. We use them a LOT as alarm clocks, because we have three different master bedrooms on this property as well as frequent overnight trips for work. We use them to order takeout we are on our way to pick up on the long drives our area requires. I'm going to use mine for driving directions I leave myself that I can retrieve in voicemail, the same way I use my MP3 player sometimes. Hardi likes a belt holster for his; mine is usually in a pocket. Hardi's has more features and is new, since he got started first; mine is his old one since that's the one I learned to use by borrowing his and thus he knows ALL it's features in case I have a question. Hardi checks messages often, between appointments, and once again as he leaves the church. He and uses the drive-time home to return most calls and once he's home, he's HOME and not on the phone all evening. I batch my messages for breaktime in the midst of chores or other activities.

You?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 12:50 PM

We call them mobiles here, not cellphones. We each use them to phone the other phone as a way of finding it when it's lost. It'd be handy to have a sort of mini-mobile attached to keys for the saem reasom.

When out shopping as a way of finding each other, for example in a supermarket. Or to make it easier to go off and then meet again without the hassle of having to fix a time and place in advance. ("I'm by the bookcase in the pub").

Or to check if substitute purchases will do instead.

Handy things. But I'd never use mine for a conversation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 01:18 PM

Handy tools. Mine has a speakerphone function that has come in handy in several meetings. But if I want to take a picture (which my phone does not do) I'll use a camera and if I want to use the Internet I'll use a computer. I don't send text messages, although I do sometimes call my family because there are no charges or minutes used if I call within the Company's network.

The worst part was a) when my sister called me when I was having a coughing spell outside of church, b) when my sister called when I was painting the back porch, and c) when the cops called at 10 p.m. to tell me a door was open at work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 01:53 PM

One of the pockets mine travels in is the pocket clipped to my keys where the cash and cards travel. Unfortunately the keys have never been mislaid when the phone has been in that pocket, or set to ring instead of vibrate.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: Wesley S
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 02:03 PM

Only a very few people have my cell phone number - and that's the way I like it. And I don't feel obligated to answer it just because it's ringing. That's what voice mail is for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: RangerSteve
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 03:25 PM

I've used it only in my car, when I'm traveling long distances and want to the the folks I'm visiting that I'm close to arriving, or to get directions when I'm lost looking for their house.
Also to call AAA when my car breaks down. The last time that happened, I was on I-80 in Pennsylvania, and there were no landmarks or signs, so I couldn't tell the AAA folks where I was. They advised me to call 911. It turns out that they can track your call by satellite and tell you your location. While some hysterical types will pull their hair and cry that this is Big Brother at work, it's a type of technology that I can live with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 05:20 PM

I also turn my phone OFF when in dental or medical appointments, churches, museums, meetings, concerts, theaters of all sorts, and so on and so on. I don't use call waiting, even though it's a feature on my phone, because I think it's rude: the caller can leave a message and I'll call them right back (and this is true of the land line at home as well).


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 05:57 PM

It has saved my butt twice when my van broke down....I did NOT have to walk a mile or find a pay phone. I sometimes use it, as mentioned, to call home to double-check the grocery list...and once when I...umm...left the list at home.

   I do have one distant friend who is not able to 'call' often, but will send a text message about availability for computer chats. As I mentioned in the other thread, when we were traveling a few weeks ago, we had a book of listings for EconoLodge motels, and we called ahead when we had some idea of where we were going to be....and got specific directions about exits and landmarks.

Once or twice a year, we are at craft shows, and when one of us needs to be away from the booth, it is useful to have a way to call them if something needs their atention AT the booth.

To do all this, I have a very cheap plan, as I spend VERY little time actually talking on it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: number 6
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 06:19 PM

I can attribute to having a mobile phone in me being present at the birth of my grandson. One of the most memorable moments in my life, next to the birth of our son and the adoption of our daughter.

I was at meeting on that day ... if I hadn't have had my cell my son-in-law would not have reached me.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 06:28 PM

The best use for me in transit has been a recent trip downstate in an area Hardi normally drives us. When my printed direx failed, I called him up and told him my location; he gave me perfect direx from that point, via an excellent alternate route.

Coming home from the same trip, I was quite light on cash and gas, and the workshop had run long past ending time so that we just missed dinner time at the facility. Well, I bought a dollar burger when I started to get dizzy, and then I had what I thought would be ample spare change left on board for the last push home over the mountains-- until traffic came to a creeping halt due to a road accident, and we were directed around via a hilly detour. I was very, very glad to be able to talk to Hardi as I headed up our mountains, knowing that if I ran dry he'd know right where I was in the dark. I mean, I was enjoying the extended length of the long drive-- it had been an intense event and the processing time was wonderful. But when the 4 hour drive became a 7 hour drive lacking food and gas-- I hadn't told him I'd gone so light on gas because it was my own dumb fault-- it was nice to be able to tell my honey I was almost there, and to hear his voice as I started that last, tricky hour. (I came home to find he'd gotten me a new gasoline card so it would never happen again, and that was nice too!) Next time, we've discussed, either of us could do some phoning from home base to find the traveler a friendly church along the way for a nap and a cup of coffee, if not a churchy bed.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: jeffp
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 06:59 PM

Probably a bite to eat as well.

When my late wife was going through cancer treatments, we bought a couple of cheap pay-as-you-go cell phones so she could reach me or emergency services from wherever she was. Very few people have my number and I use it mainly to keep in touch with my girlfriend when I'm away from home, make long-distance calls from work, that type of stuff. Recently, my internet service was on the fritz for an extended period, so we learned how to text message to replace the instant messaging we usually did for a goodnight kiss.

Now we find that a quick text message serves very well for information that needs to be sent but doesn't require right-now conversation. And it only costs a nickel versus a minimum 25 cents for a call. I even was able to call my father on his birthday from the middle of Annapolis harbor. Very nice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 07:17 PM

We got LiK a "minimal" phone for her occasional road trips to visit relative in Texas - a 350 mile trip each way. Except for her having forgotten to take it on at least three recent trips, it's reassuring that she could have it when she's on the road.

It later came in handy when one of the relatives "promised" to join us at the WVA festival, since they could call to find us. (There are no street addresses in the campground.) Of course, they got cold feet and never showed up, but we were assured they could have found us if they'd come.

Hers is one of those "add a card" phones, which sounded cheaper than a regular subscription phone, but when we tried to add her first replenishment time card the phone informed us we had to call it in from a different phone, and couldn't register the new time from the phone it was being added to. (I don't understand this, so don't ask. That's just the message she got.)

After a trip to town and an extended (3 hour) search for a phone we could use, she finally found one; but to avoid future hassles of this sort we got me a similar "add a card" phone, but from a different service.

(We later found that, after visiting their web site and registering her phone there, she can add time from her own phone so we don't need the second phone for her to add time to hers.)

We have used the two phones some, especially while I'm at WVA waiting in line before she comes down. She can call me with good reliablility. From Winfield, 80 percent of calls originating from my phone fail to connect, although incoming calls are reliable.

Around home, we've used them often since she has a habit of "disappearing" in large shopping centers. I can simply call her cell phone and it rings to alert her to look for me. The only problem is that it invariably rings at home in the kitchen where she's left it on the charger.

My own was worth having the one time, at Winfield, when she dropped into a diabetic coma and I had to call 911 to have her hauled to the hospital. THAT WORKED PERFECTLY, and I was VERY GLAD to have the phone in the campground. (Since they hauled her off without telling me where they were going, it was also helpful that the 911 number also worked to have the cop shop tell me where the @$#!# hospital was.)

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 07:34 PM

Oh...that reminds me. I read that legally, even an old phone that is not currently enabled must be able to call 911.

Can anyone confirm that?I still have an old one with a charger.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 07:36 PM

One of the neatest uses I've seen was a workman working up on the roof keeping in touch with his mate on the ground, without having to bellow.

Or if I'm out in the shed I'm still reachable. And if I've lost my key coming in I can phone and say "let me in".

It's just not the same way of using it as the way I use a traditional phone. It's the same kind of difference as between when it was a matter of there being a phone box on the corner, and when we had a phone installed in the house.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 08:43 PM

Bill D -

So far as I know, it is a requirement that any cell phone (in the US) must be able to reach "911."

A number of charitable organizations collect old phones for distribution to persons with "special needs" on the premise that they'll be able to call for emergency assistance without the need for an "activation" or an active phone account. They're especially in demand by those counseling "battered spouses" (who sometimes are husbands as well as wives).

Phones manufactured and sold recently (a couple of years?) must also provide a GPS position (to 911 operators) that at least gives an approximate caller location, and so far as I've heard this feature is supposed to also work without an active account, although reports of the "accuracy" of the locations vary greatly, apparently depending on the equipment that the emergency service has installed.

If you don't want to keep an old phone for "emergency use" it would certainly be in order to look up one of the agencies that can put it to use.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 11:06 PM

Thanks, John...this phone is about 6 years old, so won't have all that extra, but it was in use and working fine until last fall. I will check out what to do with it...(without actually calling 911).


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 02:35 AM

If it's a "slippery slope," I've already slid all the way down.

Where I live, all the standard "land line" phone service came to an abrupt halt on August 29, 2005, thanks to the levee failures in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Back in the old days, before the flood, my wife was just becoming a cellphone user, and I had no interest in ever being burdened with one. However, once we found ourselves in a situation where cell phones would become our only phones, we've both developed new, evolving attitudes.

We don't "always" ignore the ring and check voice mail later ~ but we do find it easy enough to learn ways to live in the mobile-phone age ~ turn the little gizmos on and off at the appropriate times, etc. We use text-messaging sparingly, and almost exclusively with our kids (who taught us how). Peggy had to replace a phone, and got a camera-phone as her new unit; I'm still using my camera-less model. We've had a bit of fun with phone pix, but haven't learned all the ways to copy/send/share. And when we set out to take pictures, we still use the regular digital camera. (Having a camera built into the phone you always carry is great for taking advatage of unexpected photo opportunites, of course; I'll be wanting one of my own soon enough.)

It was well over year before we had the opportunity to reinstall conventional telephone service at our home. We're not bothering to do so. It's an unnecessary extra expense; the cell phones give us everything that the old housebound units provided, plus much more, and for a better price.

Old farts that we may well be, circumstances forced us into "future-shock" in this particular context. But the younger generation is already "wired up" wirelessly. Old-style telepony is already a thing of the past; we're witnessing the beginning of its end.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 03:12 AM

I'm at the bottom of that slippery slope and paddling happily in the mud...

I got mine after I started a new job that meant travelling for an hour to get to work. I use it as our emergency contact as I try never to leave the house without it. It acts as my phone, my clock, my calendar, my alarm, my notepad and, with a previous model, my composer. As I'm the only one of us who can remember the number without looking it up, it's used as the contact for various car rentals, hotel bookings and school outings.

I mainly use the text facility, my tarrif makes it cheaper than actually phoning, and my friends can respond whenever they want. When in meetings, church etc, I have it on silent rather than off, as I forget how to switch it back on. I try never to use it when driving, unless I'm sitting in a traffic queue, and then, only to tell the person I'm meeting I'm going to be late.

Manitas has a mobile phone too, but it's useless calling him, he never picks up and if he does, he can't hear you. You're better off e-mailing him because he's got one of those all singing, all dancing Blackberry things.

Have you ever noticed that if you put a mobile number down as 'number to ring if you want us to tell you more', no-one ever calls you back? Useful little tidbit, that.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: The PA
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 03:18 AM

We were travelling back from Cornwall this year and on the motorway got cut-up quite badly by a chap driving a hired mini-bus. He was overtaking on the inside (is that undertaking?) whilst texting on his mobile. The mini-bus was full of kids and we were travelling at at least 70mph. As he came past us for the 3rd time I took a picture with my phone and captured not only his face but the name address and telephone no of the car hire company. I was of course in the passenger seat of our car. We passed this to the police but didnt hear if anything came of it. He was last seen with both hands back on the wheel and driving at a very sedate pace on the inside lane. Good use of a mobile i thought.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: Grab
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 06:44 AM

I'm still unsure about phones with cameras. OK, it's handy, but I'm not convinced it's filling a major need in the market. Still, people do use it a fair bit, so I spose other people do find it useful.

When we finally got a second (ultra-cheapo) phone so we could have one phone each, we started doing the "meet you at point X" thing. I also now use mine for diary reminders, because it's the only way to be sure I'll remember stuff and record it somewhere.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: Rapparee
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 08:54 AM

I've already destroyed three of these phones, and this is getting expensive. My current phone is armored against vibration, shock, and dust, meeting some Military Specification or other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: Anne Lister
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 04:06 PM

Mine is almost always off, unless I need to call someone, or call home. I don't give the number to many people for that reason - trouble is if I'm working (performing, storytelling, teaching) I definitely don't want to be called and wouldn't answer anyway. But I use it to call home when working away (far easier than trying to find another phone), to check my email when away from the computer (I can read but haven't sorted out sending yet, which is fine because I can check if there's anything urgent), and to call our home answerphone and check messages. If we're on separate errands we can check in with each other, and when we were still living 120 miles apart it was a wonderful thing to send a brief loving text. I originally bought one so that I could call for help when my unreliable car had let me down - these days I don't need it for that too much.   
I have used it as an alarm clock (I prefer the real thing but when travelling light it's handy) - my husband always uses his as an alarm, as he reckons he can change the sound often enough that he doesn't get used to it and sleep through).
And the camera has been useful if I've forgotten to take mine, as well as for spur of the moment snaps from the car (when I'm a passenger).
In short - wouldn't really want to be without it, even if it never actually rings.

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 05:29 PM

It's the fact that these phones do not automatically morph at the push of a button into a comfy lawn chair, barbecue, and wading pool that has kept me from buying one so far. I mean...cameras?...videos?...music?...alarm clock?...text messaging?...built in PC with calculator?...taser blast capability?...all that stuff is soooooo "old", man. ;-) I want real bang for my buck when I purchase a cell phone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Oct 07 - 12:00 AM

That's the IdPhone, LH.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Oct 07 - 06:22 PM

"Benefits" of cell phones? Here's one:

Wait till your cell phone craps out (they DO break, they're only hand-held radios after all) or the battery goes dead) and you need to find a pay phone to make a critical call -- Or any call, for that metter. Pay phones no longer exist.

Cell phones are also an upper and middle class phenomenon; poor folks can't afford 'em. As land-line phones disappear, they're screwed (as usual).

But hey - as long as Buffy can text her mates while she's driving & Lance can use his Blackberry to keep track of his dentist appointments, the world is a better place.

Right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 07 - 08:04 PM

poor folks can't afford 'em

Mobiles are used by people who couldn't afford a landline, especially in places where landlines are hard to come by.

They are about as far from being "an upper and middle class phenomenon" as tabloid newspapers are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: PoppaGator
Date: 27 Oct 07 - 08:04 PM

I see folks talking on cell phones while buying groceries with food stamps. They really are not just for the privileged classes any more.

(Again, we're talking about a community where the entire metropolitan area lost land-line service, some areas for just a few weeks but other areas for two-years-plus-and-still-counting. So, many cell-phone users are NOT also paying for a "home" phone.)

Cell/mobile service is not as expensive as it used to be. Of course, if you're paying for a conventional phone, adding a cell IS an extra expense. But as an ALTERNATIVE to old-school phone service, a cell phone can be pretty economical. Long-distance calling, in fact, is much cheaper via cell than via land lines.

We have a family plan, x number of minutes shared among four of us (and soon to include all five); we never exceed the limit, and so never pay over the flat rate, and our monthly tab for phone service is no more than what we used to pay for local service to one provider and long-distance to another.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cell Phone: Slippery Slope, UsefulTool
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Oct 07 - 10:05 PM

I LIVE in po-folks country; who do ya think taught us how to use these?

~S~


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