Look Ma, No Cell!

Okay. Just this once I’m going to tell you truth about cells, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God. I won’t omit facts in order to avoid offending others. For ten years I have never once been tempted to purchase a cell phone and I’ve been very careful to never openly criticize others who can’t seem to function without a blackberry in their hand or blue tooth hanging from their ear. But lately I’ve been teased and ridiculed by so many people that I’ve decided to come clean with everyone. I warn you in advance, if you become enraged and defensive anytime someone challenges your actions or if you are easily depressed by facts which clearly indicate that you are unwittingly engaged in deadly or counterproductive activities, please, do not read this Blog.

We all have choices and all I’m going to do is tell you why I don’t use cell phones. Many friends and family honestly believe I’m a dinosaur, and technophobe. Some have called me a Ludite for blowing off cell phone technology, while others have shaken their heads and laughed in disbelief. I understand the widespread addiction to instant communication and immediate gratification and, I have nothing against anyone who uses cell phones. In fact, I’m actually thankful that everyone else wants to be on call 24/7 so that I don’t have to carry a digital leash everywhere. Nobody can track me down, yet I can track down anyone. Whether they like it or not, the whole world is accessible to me and I get to be available to them only when I’m home and in the mood to talk. So don’t ever be concerned about me. Just keep carrying you cell phone into restrooms, athletic events, nice restaurants and golf courses and if I need you, I can find you. Thanks so much!

So, here’s why I don’t own a cell phone. First, call me a sissy, but I don’t want to spend ten years in the penitentiary for murder. I don’t ever want to wake up next to a cellmate nicknamed “Big Blue.” Given the fact that every sixteen minutes another cell phone driver commits vehicular manslaughter, I think I’ll pass. Back when I was a big whiskey drinker, I stayed out of cars. Now that cell phone drivers kill more innocent people than drunk drivers, I think I’ll stick to land lines.

Second, multi-tasking means scattered focus. In Network Marketing, people have to be focused on one thing at a time. In fact, that’s true of life in general. No one can chase five rabbits and catch one. If my goal is to recruit someone, incoming calls will split my focus. Whatever I’m doing, I remain focused. That’s how I get stuff done. Cell phones are electronic focus splitters that Do Not enhance any form of productivity. Let’s just say I can get twice as much done with no interruptions than a much smarter man or woman who is interrupted all day by irrelevant messages and goofy chit chat. So again, I’m happy that all my competitors are willing to use cell phones thereby increasing my strategic advantages based on everyone’s lack of focus.

Third, cell phone conversations in public places gross me out. To a cell user the whole world is a phone booth just like to a cigarette smoker the whole planet is an ashtray. Pitching one’s voice over a cell phone is just like flipping a cigarette butt on a sidewalk.

Fourth, cell phones don’t work where I need them. I’ve noticed that my friends who carry them along on paragliding or trout fishing treks, lose reception about ten minutes into the country. I wouldn’t mind having a cell phone if a bear had me cornered or a friend was having a heart attack out on a lake, unfortunately there’s no reception in places where they are most needed.

Fifth, I’m not a pediatric cardiologist or a kidney patient waiting for an organ. Simply put, I don’t think I’m really important enough to be tracked down in a Safeway restroom. Most calls just don’t seem real important. I was in a restroom recently between the first and second periods of a hockey game and I heard a guy’s cell phone ring two stalls down. I wasn’t interested in his conversation but as you’ve probably observed, most people have a need to yell into cell phones instead of talking normally. From what I heard him yell, his babysitter wanted to know where he had put the ketchup. That just didn’t seem significant to me. It seems stupid to interrupt hockey games or bathroom trips with ketchup-placement questions.

Now for the most significant reasons I don’t use a cell phone. I’ll turn to several technology experts.

Dr. George Carlo, director of the W.T.R. which was set up to lobby for cell manufacturers and prove that there are no health problems with cell phones, stunned the industry during a speech at the annual Cellular Telephone Industry Association. He reported: “The risk of neuron-epithelial tumors on the brain is more than doubled in cell phone users and the risk of neuroma tumors on the auditory nerve is 50% higher among people who use cell phones for 6 years.”

So why aren’t cell phones taken off the market? According to former Motorola cell phone engineer Robert Kane, “More testing has been done that indicates biological damage from cell phones than with any other products that have ever been removed from the marketplace. The opinion-manipulating skills of corporate lobbyists, polling companies, fraudulent scientists and public relations consultants have frustrated every attempt to stop the spread of cell phones by the telecommunications industry.”

For health reasons alone, I’ve drawn the line in my personal life against ever using cell phones. I miss Ken Pontious. He was earning more money than I was as a Networker and swore I was a nut not to use a cell phone. He was earning $600,000 a month and spending his whole day on two cell phones. He could actually talk on two at the same time and he used to tell me that one day he’d be earning a million a week. Unfortunately we’ll never know because Ken was struck down in his prime…by a brain tumor. A month before he died he told me that he really didn’t think it had anything to do with is cell phones. Maybe not.

And now for the biggy. Call me sentimental or old fashioned but I hate to contribute to genocide, rape and Aids. Here are the facts exactly as they were presented in several respected scientific writings. These are direct quotes.

“More than 4 million people have died in Central Africa in a war over Coltran, a heat-resistant mineral widely used in cell phones. By weight, coltran is worth more than gold.”

“Eighty percent of the World’s coltran reserves are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Reports of rampant human-rights abuses pour out of the rebel-controlled mining region, where there is a huge market for prostitution. Local men, women and children are forced into mining, fighting and sex work or they are threatened with torture, rape and murder.”

“The coltran makes its way out of the mines and ends up being bought by Cabot, Inc. of the U.S. Cabot sells it to Nokia, Motorola, Sony and other cell phone manufacturers. On a side note, Sam Bodman, former CEO of Cabot, was appointed in December of 2004 to serve as President Bush’s Secretary of Energy. Under Bodman’s leadership from 1987 until 2000, Cabot was one of the largest polluters in the U.S., accounting for 60,000 tones of airborne toxic emissions annually.”

So you connect the dots for yourself and if you want to use cell phones…have at it. I just thought you’d like to know my reasons for not using them. Let’s review:

  1. They cause traffic fatalities
  2. They scatter people’s focus
  3. They are rude and offensive in public
  4. They don’t work in these areas where I need them
  5. Most conversations are wasted on irrelevant minutiae
  6. They may pose health risks
  7. Coltran leads to genocide

These seem like pretty good reasons for me to stick with land lines and leave toy phones alone. At the very least, I wish the FCC and FDA would require a warning label on all cell phones. Here’s my suggestion:

“Warning! This device was created with raw material from Central Africa. These materials are rare, non-renewable, were sold to fund a bloody civil war and have been largely ignored as a potential cause of brain tumors in spite of scientific evidence to that effect. Those who use this device will be engaged in multi tasking which could result in loss of income or traffic fatalities. Have a nice day.”

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