Nobody NEEDS a cellphone


People got along just fine without them 20 years ago. Yet now you can't leave home without one!? Also, cellphones make things /too/ convenient. Makes people lazy.

I've heard this argument several times, and again recently. Ya, no one needs a cellphone, we use to get along fine without them. This definition of "need" also applies to:

1. Computers
2. The internet
3. TV
4. Anti-biotics
5. Cars
6. Refrigerators
7. Electricity
8. Plastic
9. Running water
10. etc.

Just because we /used/ to get along fine without technology X doesn't mean we don't "need" it now. Though we're not as dependant on cellphones as we are on electricity (yet) I would argue that we still need them (unless you define need as something you will actually die without, in which case, whatever). So please, spare everyone the i'm-superior-cause-i-didn't-use-to-have-a-cellphone argument next time.

</endrant> <3

Peanut Gallery

Ouch. But look at those


Ouch. But look at those girls - they sure don't look very happy using their cell phones :) Maybe they've run out of things to say to each other. Running water, refrigeration and antibiotics on the same need level as cell phones? Hardly. Six-year olds that 'need' their own cell phone? Hardly. However, from what I've read, there are parts of the world (Africa?) where they are actually 'needed' and perhaps make a difference in people's lives. Which is not the same as most of those one-sided conversations we get to hear in restaurants and check-out lines. Handy? yes; needed? still up for debate.

cell phones


I can understand the use these cell phones can be to many people in business were one needs constant communication but actually the general pubic has them because they want them and most times not based on need. Like me , I bought a smart phone and I don't need a cellphone at all but I love tech gadgets the actual phone rarely is used.
I bought it out right so I didn't get jammed up in an expensive contract.
I guess we have to get used to rude behavior with some folks screaming in to their phones and making a
meal in a restaurant not as relaxing as it used to be.
Being a captive audience in a way in grocery store lines and so on and having to listen to someones babble that can't seem to wait until they leave the store.

I suppose my complaint is how the phones are being used , rather than debating their existence.

Well, what about versus a TV?

Scott Hadfield

Well, what about versus a TV? Do you think a cellphone is more or less important than that? Yet there's an entire generation of people that wouldn't be able to "live without" a television. How else could you have so many people living below the poverty line with not only just a TV, but also a monthly cable subscription.

While I don't know anyone personally, I would say there are a large percentage of africans who have limited access to refrigeration, running water, and anti-biotics, yet they make room for a cellphone (but they also don't have access to landlines).

In addition to everything else, cell phones have probably saved thousands of peoples lives by helping emergency services get to the scene of an accident quicker or helping them find people lost or injured in the wilderness.

With that said, cellphones /are/ still very young, but they're quickly become at least as important as a computer for many people. I would currently place them at a level of importance somewhat above a TV, and taking the entire world into account, also above a car (for almost all large cities owning a car is unnecessary for most people, and I would say less necessary than a cellphone). But still below computers and the internet.

> Which is not the same as most of those one-sided conversations we get to hear in restaurants and check-out lines

Since when does the majority of the use of something not being necessary make the entire technology unnecessary? A lot of anti-biotic use on animals is unnecessary. The vast majority of our electricity, plastics, and running water use is also unnecessary. Because golf courses waste running water does that make that technology unnecessary?

You must think of the /necessary/ use cases to determine if something is "needed", the unnecessary use cases have nothing to do with it.

>still up for debate . . . It


>still up for debate . . .

It appears the criteria for 'need' or 'necessary' needs to be more carefully defined.

"I can't live without it" is more a metaphor than a literal explanation. For example, given a choice between providing people with running water and cell phones which do you think people should be provided with?

It's not so much that cell phones are unnecessary, but that doesn't make them necessary either. There's a huge range between the two and I think that's probably where both sides of the argument break down (or get supported depending on your pov).

Cell Phone

I think it's a personal decision. I need a computer to make my livelihood - I absolutely couldn't make due without one. I don't *need* my cell phone, and could easily get by with Skype. In fact, I'm often happier when I'm harder to get a hold of, as it means people don't bother me for trivial items and I don't get interrupted as often when I'm having fun. But I do *like* having one.

I know a few people who don't have cell phones and they get by just fine. Likewise I know people who don't use Facebook either and they don't seem to be any worse off without it. I like having a cell phone on me when I travel, but truthfully I got in the habit of leaving it at the apartment when I was going out with friends. I didn't travel to spend my evenings on my phone pushing Tweets out or updating Facebook, and it's too easy to get into that trap when you have a data plan and your phone out in public. Other people have more restraint than me I guess, but when I'm out at pubs in Vancouver it's amazing how many people are just staring down at their phones.

It's far cheaper to deploy a cellular base station nowadays than it is to run copper to homes. That's why in a lot of impoverished areas you see cell phone dominance. Costa Rica is a good example, they basically skipped over land lines and went straight to cell phones. I imagine many non first-world countries are similar.

cell phones

Ben Monteith

cellphones SUCK!! We got along fine, and we were happy, with out the damn things when I was a kid. The only reason I have one is to keep my wife happy. I hope all cellphones burn in hell.

cell phones

Sean Lowe

I agree with you I hope they burn in hell as well

Cell phones are over-rated, addictive, expensive, dangerous etc


for 2k per year you get a very small and slow computer so you can check email and send texts and make phone calls you dont need

it allows you to be absent from reality in any situation, go have dinner and sit there and text other people

I was on the beach a few days ago and the girls walked around bikinis, flip-flops, sunglasses and cell-phones texting other people

they make you feel important, check your texts, check your mail etc...

for an average TCO of 2k / year its a nonsense

and to top it off, its killing net neutrality.

good deal!

fake necessity

Ben Monteith

cellphones suck, and they give "homeland Security to track you

Isn't that a bit of a sexist

Isn't that a bit of a sexist picture you've chosen to represent your complaint? :P


Ben Monteith

Cell phones suck, they are a curese. What is "sexist" about that?

There is nothing sexist about

There is nothing sexist about it... I was just making a personal joke at Scott, which caused him to chuckle.

agree with your caption but not your text

Avery St. Clair

We need air, water, food, shelter and, on some level, love. But it's a rare person who needs a cell phone. I believe it's the dependency rather than the device, that's lamentable. I'll gladly spare you any claim to superiority. Should it ever come to that, my claim will be on better grounds than appliance ownership. Some people play their own music, some bake their own bread. Some walk rather than drive. You decide for yourself which machines you need, and why. I'll make my own choices.