As recently as the '90s most people didn't have cell phones. Doctors, and other professionals who genuinely needed to be reachable 24/7, on the go, etc., did - but the rest of managed to live without them. Civilization not only worked - it worked better than it does today. People were less rude; the pace of life was saner. There was a clear line between "work" and "not work." Your time was your time. In your car, out in your yard, in the theater.... you were free.

Today, even pre-teens have these damn things and are constantly gabbling - usually about nothing. Many spend hundreds of dollars on the phone itself, then hundreds more per month on "minutes" and the rest of it.

It's ridiculous.

And it's another brilliant success of advertising propaganda - which has convinced most people that a cell phone is a Life Essential that cannot be done without.

And yet, it can be done without. Ditto the exorbitant cost - to say nothing of the increased stress that comes with never being truly alone or out of reach of some buzzing, beeping piece of electronic equipment. To say nothing of the shitty reception and constant dropped calls - which were never an issue with corded land line phones and still aren't!

Just say no!

A simple, old-school home phone with a 9 digit keypad and a cord costs less than $10 and is both idiot proof and totally reliable. No hassle - other than the manufactured one of convincing ourselves (or being convinced by advertising) that we just have to be able to walk all around the house while we're on the phone.

Get one with an answering machine and you're out maybe another $20.

No "plan" - no "minutes." No fuss, no muss.

Civilization will continue to function. And if you feel some need to be able to make a call "in an emergency" (how often do such things actually happen?) you can buy cheap, "emergency use" portables that do the trick. No "plan" or "minutes" here, either.

All you "lose" is the ability to constantly jabber on the phone - and be hassled by people calling you at all places and times - which is not just an assault on your own peace of mind, it's an attack on civility generally.

So, join me. I assure you it's possible to live without a cell phone. And I promise you a better life, too.

Throw 'em in the woods!