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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Phantom Buzz

Look at that title. I’ll bet you’re thinking that I’ve got another what-do-you-mean-we-finished-the-whole-box-of-wine story.

But no. Not this time.

The Phantom Buzz? Just my most recent foray into things that didn't used to be a problem but are, now.

You see, set on “vibrate”, I imagine, several times a day, that I hear my cell phone beckoning me.

And nine times out of ten, I am wrong.

You turn your phone off at work, right? You set it to vibrate?

It all starts so innocently.

The cell phone as gateway drug. Sure, sure. First you’re just checking your phone, maybe using it as a clock or a way to take a picture of yourself working, but in no time there’s invitations, FaceBook events/updates, videos…

Hold on a second. You hear that? Lemme just check my phone real quick...

Nope. Sorry. Thought I heard it buzzing.

Where was I?

Oh, yes: I have been behaviorally conditioned by an inanimate object.

Of course, I don’t know why this should surprise me. More and more, if some electronic gadget isn’t buzzing, it’s lighting up, flashing, spinning, demanding that I stop what I’m doing and do something else…

OK. I have very little "spinning" going on presently, but mark my words, somewhere, something is spinning.

So I rebelled the other day. I turned it off this last weekend; and as a result, I missed two events: Gorilla Yogis (a grassroots yoga organization) practicing yoga at First Avenue (the same First Avenue featured in Prince’s “Purple Rain”) and a Drag Queen Beauty Contest at another location.

Spontaneous free-form yoga in a club where I once saw Motorhead?! Glitzed-out men with tweezed brows in sequined gowns? We will never know what kind of blog posts those would’ve been.

And so there you have it.

Bowing to my technological overlords, I return to the buzzing-beeping-booping sounds coming from my purse.

I know when I’ve been beaten.

44 comments:

Simply Suthern said...

My phone is furnished by my work. I am on call 24/7 so it is usually on. I leave it permanantly on vibrate so I never have to remember to turn the ringer off. I have developed Phantom vibrating hip. It is annoying. Then of course I tend to miss all the real buzzes.

Pearl said...

Simply, I have begun to understand why people move to the mountains...

Simply Suthern said...

My family came down off the mountain to join this rat race.

Ya reckon the native american had that issue with phantom smoke signals.

Cake Betch said...

I'm not quite there yet, but I know as soon as I get my grubby little talons on an iPhone it's all over.

haphazardlife said...

I must be the only person left int he universe without a cell phone. I am an anachronism.

- Jazz

Pearl said...

Simply, have to wonder if they ever regretted that decision, comin' down...

Cake, the iPhone signals the end, that's for sure!

Jazz, is that right?! I'm impressed!

Krissy said...

You know you FORCED me to check my phone during this post, right? I cannot believe we missed out on those possible posts because you wanted to assert your independence! Are you happy now? :)

laughingmom said...

It's a Phantom Menace (oh, so sorry -couldn't help myself!).

Snappy Di said...

We refuse to be tethered by an invisible cord to an inanimate object. Most of the time my phone is off and I don't even know where it is. If it's important people will leave a message and I'll call them back if and when I feel like it.

DI

Hutch said...

Thank God(dess) you didn't miss drag queens doing yoga with Prince. That is the stuff that dreams (of some kind) must be made of.

Cheeseboy said...

Let us not forget the constant barrage of car alarms going off I hear on an almost daily basis.

becca said...

love this another wonderful story my friend

Joshua said...

See, the beauty of being a nerd is that I have made my phone my bitch. My cell phone never actually rings unless it's A) a wrong number, B) my wife needing something, or C) and emergency. I think of my 1500 minutes last month I actually spoke on the phone for 250 of them. Regardless, smartphones can be programmed to do things on a schedule. You can have it ring between 7-7:30am while you're commuting, but then switch at 7:30 to vibrate only. Or switch to vibrate after 8pm (if you have kids or some such environment where ringing would be bad), and then to vibrate for phone calls only after 10pm, thereby silencing all incoming emails and text messages and Facebook blah blah blah. And any variation you can think to want.

Technology is my tool. And my bitch.

Louisiana Belle said...

Hello, my name is Gail and I'm addicted to my iPhone. But please don't help me.

Sioux said...

Pearl---I am the only person left on earth who uses their cell phone JUST to make calls. Sad, but true.

If you want to read a bit of a fairy tale with Pearl and Dolly Gee as a star, check out my post today at http://www.siouxspage.blogspot.com.

Eva Gallant said...

I loved this post. It's the reason I have a cell phone that does not accept texts or access the internet. (I called the phone company and had those services shut off.) I use my cell phone only in an emergency, such as when I'm in the Ladies clothing department at Walmart and Hubby is in automotives and I'm ready to go home. Then I call him.

~Tim said...

Part of the problem is that you have confused setting the phone to vibrate with turning it off. I am amazed at the number of people I have met that fail to recognize this distinction.

Pale Rambler said...

Same problem here. It's like Pavlov, minus the dog food.

Pat said...

I'm antediluvian but behave in the same way with my computer. No bad thing - I run up and down stairs about 50 times a day.

who said...

you bet you know what I am thinking? I'd take your bet, if I only knew that is. See, I suffer from a complete lack of momentary short term memory. So every time I remember to think about my thoughts, that becomes my thought. Since I can only know what I think at that moment, I forget my thought because remembering to recall becomes the thought.

It's a very unflattering loop of a kid who thinks he's a dog trying to catch the tail he doesn't have.

But I want to catch it so bad some days

Oilfield Trash said...

I must be the only person on the planet that does not have a smart phone.

rosaria said...

Yeah, many new addictions on the horizon. The worst part is people expect you to be addicted as they are, expecting you to be availble all the time.

Glen Staples said...

I dread to think what really was buzzing in your purse if not your phone!

What you need to do is record yourself saying "Oh I really need the toilet" then set that as your ring tone. That way, if it goes off at work, not only will you know for sure that it is your phone, but if you simply stand up and head off to the loo to answer it - no one will know you are taking a call, hence no embarrassment!
If you get a lot of calls one day then simply rub your stomach and tell people you went out for a curry the night before - a perfect cover!

Happy to help.

jenny_o said...

I agree with rosaria - and it's not just friends and family who expect you to be available, but bosses, on a full-time basis.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Too many opportunities...too few....

Where is the balance....

You need a Phone Philter that can weed out the flotsam and jetsam of your life, yet still allow you access to the treasures that await.

You need people. You need staff. You need lackeys. STAT.

Sex'n'Fries said...

Loved the read and we stole some stuff hope you don't mind

randine said...

That's so funny. I forgot my cell phone at home today, and I feel so lost without it here at work. At first I only started bringing it "in case of emergency." But soon enough, I was texting things like "LOL, lumpy gravy's the worst!!"
How quickly we devolve.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I do this too! I hear my phone vibrate all the time yet when I get to it, NOTHING. It's in league with the sweat pants thing to make my life confusing, I'm sure. Maybe, subconsciously, I just want a text from someone saying something impossibly witty to break the montony. Or telling me I've won a new car.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Or how to spell "monotony"...

Jhon Baker said...

I hate to miss drag queen shows but I still manage to lose my phone quite often - not finding it for days.

Pearl said...

I love these comments. I'm going to send each of you a crisp five-dollar bill as a token of my affection.

Pale Rambler said...

That's only marginally less than the Amazon royalties I've earned through the sale of my first book!

Jimmy said...

"Glitzed-out men with tweezed brows in sequined gowns" You've visited England I see.

a Broad said...

Now I am mourning the loss of the opportunity to read about the glitzed- out men with tweezed brows in sequined gowns story ...
Lemmy ? is he still alive ?

Gigi said...

A slave to technology....yup, that would be me. I don't have the Phantom Buzz though as I never set my phone to vibrate. It's either on or off. But I do have the Phantom Blinking Light thing. My phone blinks to alert me when I have a text, missed call or email. I'm constantly thinking I see a blink. But nine times out of ten, it turns out that *I* must have blinked.....

Tim Riley said...

Oh man, First Ave. I used to live in Minneapolis, and I went to a lot of great shows there. Bringing back the memories.

Great post-nicely captures the love/hate relationship I have with my technology.

Fireblossom said...

LOL @ beaten. :-)

You have such an engaging, fun to read style, Pearl!

Ann Imig said...

I experience the phantom buzz all the time, but I can FEEL it vibrate in my purse.

I SWEAR.

And if not the phone, well than???????

Hugs to you Pearl.
Ann

Amanda said...

Sounds like a perfectly peaceful weekend!

John McElveen said...

Hello? Damn-- I swear it vibrated,

J

Toomuchtime said...

Yeah, the many blessings and curses reduced to the absolute essence. Another great entry Pearl!

hoodyhoo said...

My problem is when I put the phone in my pocket ('cause if it was in my purse I'd NEVER hear it) and set it on vibrate... and all day long I think I FEEL it buzzing. It's highly disconcerting.

the walking man said...

I have a rotary phone. The cord is to short to carry it with me, it is to heavy to hang from my belt and it only takes calls because the phone company no longer recognizes the dial signals. Needless to say I don't talk on a phone I am not controlled by.

R. Jacob said...

somedays I am amazed at all the wonderful responses you get.