Please leave a message…

cellphonejunkie.jpgI was a bona fide cellphone junkie when I was in the Philippines. A large chunk of my paycheck went to my cellphone bills and it didn’t really bother me at all. You can call me anytime, text me anytime. Even texting me at 2am is fine.Texpert” me would reply in a few seconds even with my eyes closed. A mobile phone, for me, is one of the best conveniences of the modern world by far. But then, it can also be one of the best inconveniences in this day and age if you don’t know how to make it work for you.

There are quite a number of people out there who are incapable of letting a ringing phone go unanswered. I used to be one. But lately, I have learned to turn a deaf ear to the sound of a phone ringing. I have reached a point in my life when I realized that just because it is convenient for someone to call me at this specific time doesn’t necessarily mean it is convenient for me to answer.

This might be impolite and selfish to some but then think about this — how many times had a ringing phone interrupted your much needed sleep? an interesting conversation? a quiet night for yourself and loved ones? a hot meal? a moment of passionate lovemaking? a burst of ideas at work?

I think that is the reason why voicemail was invented in the first place. So they can just leave a message and you can return the call at your comfort – depending on the importance. You can even choose not to return the calls of those you don’t wish to talk to. Yes, it does take some hardening of your social graces. But doing this, no matter how ill-mannered it may appear to some, definitely made my life a whole lot simpler.

Of course, there are certain people who have access to my 24/7 hotline. I just assign a special ringtone for them. They knew better not to give me a ring on my particular NO CALL times but they also knew that they can go ahead and call me on my NO CALL times should an emergency arise.

Let your cellphone work with you and not against you. It might not be as easy as A-B-C but in the long run, it will probably be one of the greatest things you’ve done. But then again, you are you and I am I. What worked for me may not work for you. Weigh your options. I admit, it felt sinful at first… but I have never felt this peaceful and in control – with my cellphone life, that is.

“Hi! I’m sorry I can’t answer the phone right now. Please leave a message after the beep.”

*inspired by the suggestion of E. St. James

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5 Responses to “Please leave a message…”


  1. 1 marj Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 6:48 am

    hola shang! got great news for you. my immigrant petition was finally approved today. I know we still have to wait again for the visas but at least we’ve moved to a higher level na… hoping to be there soon annd see each other again…

  2. 2 Auntie Chang Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 6:53 am

    marj! i’m sooooooo happy to hear that! i really, really, really miss all of you. and it would really be great to have all of you here. although naa na sad koy share of friends diri, but lahi gyud nang someone who knows me inside and out. i am so excited for you guys to finally settle here na. take care!!! let’s keep the faith.

  3. 3 Gwen Friday, July 13, 2007 at 2:36 am

    Oh how I hate cell phones.. What happened to the days when you spent time with a friend and it was just the two of you. Not anymore, we will be in a good conversation only to be interupted by call after call.

    I think it is rude actually. I even at home, when I have company will not answer the phone. I figure those who made the effort to visit me takes precedence over those who make a call and the machine can get the message.

    I feel no guilt about not answering the phone when I need alone time. If it is important, they will leave a message.

    I even got rid of call waiting… to stop a conversation to click over and say, “i will call you back, I am on the other line”, I again think is rude to the one I am speaking to.

    Just my opinion, but all this technology is moving us farther apart from each other. I would love to spend time with someone without the constant ringing from a cell phone..

    Hugs, Gwen

  4. 4 Sveta Friday, July 13, 2007 at 7:40 am

    Or i understand you!! I have my cell turn in 24 hours a day and sometimes it is ringing just not in time… Mostly I have to answer course only couple persons have habits to call not in time and..it is my parents!!! I don’t know how it happens, but when I’m seating in dean’s office, or on interview…I know that there is gonna be a call from my dad… And if my mom will understand that I can’t answer, my dad will not, so…. I’m pushing the deny bottom and than recall telling that I was busy and soon I’m gonna be home..
    Cell is very useful, but also a lot of times i want to pull it in a water and forget! But…but my cell also is connection with my friends… And most of my friends prefer to call me on my cell..he-he…
    About bills.. Oh yeah!!!! I have long bill too, but… but thanks God it is not so expensive here in Ukraine.. usually I have to pay something like 20-30 dollars in month for my talking-writing and also i have good contract with cell company, so i have 15% discount…
    I don’t have voice mail..I found it is not comfortable for me, so i just telling to everyone – if I’m not answering, so I can’t, sent me a message! When I will be free – I will recall…Mostly people understand….
    Take care my dear friend…
    P.s. i can make a voice message and sent, but I don’t have microphone for my PC still.. I guess i will buy it in nearest future, course I want you to hear me :):)

  5. 5 HARNIE Sunday, July 15, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Year 2003, i had a traffic violation – ROLLING STOP. I wasn’t paying attention to my driving ‘coz i had to answer my CP. I paid $345 and attended traffic school for eight hours para dili lang mo-apppear sa akong driving record akong offense. Karon, defensive driver na kaayo ko – dili nako mousab kay traumatic kaayo – hadlok ko sa police, hehehe!

    AND NO CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING – PLEASE!


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