Why cell-phones are not for everyone

October 21, 2004

It’s always amazing how people react to their own cell-phones. Sitting in one or the other public transport, you’ll always find the “surprised phone-owner”. Now, I get phone calls on a regular basis, somewhere between one and two per week. When I get a call, I answer it, because I know that I have a cell-phone. For the “surprised phone-owner”, that is not the case. When their phone starts ringing, most of the time a bit muffled because it’s somewhere deep inside their bag, they wait for ten seconds before starting to rummage through the bag to retrieve it. The ring tone, which most of the time is a super-mario type intonation of a Top10 hit, gets louder, already turning heads. But instead of answering, “the surprised phone-owner” starts staring at the display, probably trying to figure out what all those flashing lights and the black bars criss-crossing the display of that blaring little box are supposed to be. Then, another ten seconds later, “the surprised phone owner” tentatively pushes a button and hesitantly puts the phone to an ear.

Helloooo?

With so much surprise in their voice, you’d think they’d just realized that yes, this is a phone. It rings, you answer, you speak. Why the hell is it so difficult for people to understand that when you buy a cell-phone and give people your number, that the phone will actually ring from time to time. It’s beyond me.