October 23, 2009
Are you a cellphone refusenik?
I was a cellular holdout for a long time. Like years. And while I maintain a landline and have been known to leave the house without my mobile phone on occasion, I can't imagine returning to the days of worrying about missing a client's urgent message should I step outside, or worse, trying to find a payphone if late or lost en route to an important business meeting.
Apparently, however, there are still people unenchanted with the idea of being accessible anytime and anywhere. They're in the minority, but they're out there.
According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 85 percent of U.S. adults now have cell phones. And as the New York Times reported this week, those who don't "tend to be older or less educated Americans or those unable to afford phones."
But as the New York Times learned, about 5 percent of the country's cellphone-free adults are simply holdouts who prefer to live off the mobile grid. They may have a computer and an email account and even a blog. They'd just rather not be reachable round the clock.
I respect a person's right to avoid the whole slippery slope of mobile messaging and cellphone contracts. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels a twinge of envy about the choice these cellular refuseniks have made (though I'd hate to be in their shoes and run out of gas on a deserted road in the middle of the night).
Of course owning a cellphone doesn't mean you have to become one of those people who can't let the digital bugger out of their sight, from dinner table to bathtub to nightstand. There is such a thing as leaving your phone in your bag or coat pocket. Or better yet, turning it off.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
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