MARIA GARCIA/Coachella Uninc
My name is Maria. I am 15 years old, and I do not own a cell phone.
This makes me a rare breed among people my age who are constantly connected to their smart phones.
And I always wonder why this is the case.
It frustrates me when I speak to my older sister — or try to – and she is looking at her phone and doesn’t hear a word I say. If she does realize I’m talking to her, she responds with, “What were you saying?”
I think it’s common courtesy to pay attention when someone is speaking to you, but I guess I am asking too much.
The main reason I don’t have a phone? Money.
Even the best “deal” would mean high monthly payments for data and minutes. It seems like a great deal at first because you don’t have to pay much to get started, but you will have to pay sooner or later. If you go past your data limit, then you will really have to pay. What happens if you drop your phone and break it? You will have to pay for that, too.
So I wonder, is it really worth it?
Some people are very obsessed with the newest technology. As great as that might sound, it might not actually be the case. The more knowledgeable the techie, the more dependent they are on their devices. There are so many apps nowadays, and I’ve seen people rely on them way too much. Plus, it seems phones are outdated almost instantly.
I obviously don’t have a technology dependency problem. Sometimes I think it would be nice to communicate with my friends, but then I think, “Do I really need to, when I see them every day at school?”
Phones are useful, though. Like if you need to be picked up from school at a different time, you can easily call home for a ride. When you need to speak with someone very urgently, then cell phones can be super useful. Otherwise, your only options are borrowing phones and using pay phones. I can email, but I don’t always have access to it.
There are times I feel left out and wish a smart phone would magically appear in my hands. I wish I could easily share something with friends or have something to pass the time when I’m waiting for my parents. I would love to be connected with my friends and watch anime whenever I want. But for the most part, because my mom worries a lot, it would be nice to be able call her when I need a ride or to tell her I’m safe. In the meantime, I continue to be an outsider to the smart phone world.
Yet I manage to survive. Most of my friends have cell phones, so I can borrow theirs. As for contacting my mom, she always knows where I am and where I’m going. We make pick-up arrangements in advance. When I have Wi-Fi, I take the opportunity to message my friends through Facebook or a messaging app on my iPod.
It may seem hard to believe, but my life without a cell phone isn’t so bad. I’m aware of people and of my surroundings. I also don’t worry about losing, charging, or breaking my phone.
As nice as it might be to be connected to everyone all the time, maybe one day we’ll come to the realization that technology has taken over our lives and that it may not be as great as we had once thought.
Maria Garcia, 15, is a sophomore at Olive Crest Academy in Coachella.