Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Yorkers are hanging up cell phones and plugging into landlines

New Yorkers are hanging up cell phones and plugging into landlines   

Some feel they are released from the pressure of having to constantly respond to others; even celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker and Shailene Woodley shun the cell


Thursday, March 20, 2014, 2:00 AM
NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiANDREW SCHWARTZ/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Olivia Fernandes, who lives a cell phone-free life in New York City, is just fine with pay phones.

Call them, maybe.
New York is so hyper-connected that people check their email in the shower, but there some renegade Gothamites who don’t own — and never use — a cell phone.
And they don’t miss it.
“Having a cell phone is kind of like having a gun,” says Gavin Baker, a 39-year-old artist from Greenwich Village who ditched his portable digits 10 years ago. “You don’t need a gun, but if you had one you might use it.”
About 45% of Americans have cut the cord on landlines, according to the United States Telecom Association — an indication that more people are going wireless. But some, including many celebrities, are staying connected only at home.
Sarah Jessica Parker famously shuns the cell, and Vince Vaughn admitted that he only recently began taking his conversations on the road.
Actress Shailene Woodley, who stars in the sci-fi thriller “Divergent,” doesn’t own a mobile phone at all.
“I'm talking to people more than ever because I no longer have that crutch,” the 22-year-old told the Daily Beast.
“The more you get away from all the technological buzz, the more freedom you have.”
That’s Baker’s line, too. The artist now relies on his iPod Touch to send emails. He’s never sent a text message in his life.
NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiBARRY WILLIAMS/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Gavin Baker, a 39-year-old artist, with his landline phone. Baker doesn't have a smartphone or even a regular cell phone. 
“I’m not at anyone’s beck and call,” says Baker. “It’s funny how they market a cell phone to you as if it gives you so much freedom, when really you’re fielding things all day long.”
The downside? Well, he does miss a half-dozen calls a day. And when his friends go out he’s not sure where they are.
But he’s unrepentant: “You don't need a thing that James Bond didn’t even need in the ’60s.” (After all, 007 wasn’t seen with a cell phone until “Tomorrow Never Dies” in 1997.)
Then again, Bond was often behind the times — in this case, 24 years after the first cell phone was created by Motorola.
Today, of course, being “off the grid” is a luxury that few can afford (even at a luxury resort). And more noise is coming: there is already service at about three dozen subway stations and the feds are talking about allowing cell phone use on airplanes.
That’s a dystopian future to the cell haters.
“Back in my day we’d go outside and play football, not Candy Crush,” says Delfeayo Marsalis, author of the children’s book “No Cell Phone Day,” which he wrote to show his 13-year-old daughter the value of quality time.
“We actually made plans, you had to use that pay phone,” adds the 48-year-old brother of Wynton and Branford.
Is Marsalis onto a larger Luddite trend? TV certainly thinks so; he’s in talks with Nickelodeon on a “no cell” project.

 EMBARGOED UNTIL SUNDAY MARCH 16, 2014--Shailene Woodley poses during a press junket for the film, "Divergent", at the Four Seasons Los Angeles hotel on March 8, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. Photo by Francis Specker
Shailene Woodley says she talks more to people now that she's given up cell phones.
The lesson is that we can all gain from losing the cell. Justin Forman, 23, noticed that once he dropped his mobile service, his social life flourished. He even uses his inability to pick up as a pickup line.
“I told my neighbor she had to knock on my door or send me an email,” says Forman of Murray Hill.
And he finds that he meets people much faster now.
“I used to use Bing (directions) to get places,” says the waiter. “Now I just ask people.”
There are other side benefits of not being hyperconnected: “I don’t miss getting bombarded with updates from people. I don’t want to see anyone’s lunch on Instagram.”
He’s also saving hundreds of dollars a month.
Some are born to the disconnect button, others have it thrust upon them. Westchester native Olivia Fernandes, 23, tossed her touch screen when her battery failed — and stayed offline for seven days.
“I didn't realize how addicted I was to my cell phone until I no longer had one,” says the Midtown apparel production manager about her “cell phone cleanse.” “It was a really stressful week at first, but you realize how many hours you have in a day when technology is cut out.”
Admittedly, she misses apps like Pandora and HopStop, but the brief phone fast left her feeling clean long after.
“I’m more productive,” says Fernandes, who uses her cell sparingly now. “I feel I have more time.”

1 comment:

  1. Interesting article. It all makes sense except the part about the gun--the truth is, you MIGHT need a gun, but only for emergencies. The same is true for cell phones.