Dear Blake,

My friends and family constantly ask me when I plan to get a new phone. I have a slide phone. I used to have a flip phone, which also drew the same questions. I am not a phone person. I have a land line at home with answering/messaging in place. I am sick of the questions about my phone. I don’t want a smartphone. I have my little phone for emergencies, not so everyone I know can reach me immediately. I wouldn’t dream of asking people when they are going to get a better TV, newer shoes, a more expensive car, a bigger house, a more expensive handbag. Why is it that people feel the need to shame me about my phone? It is to the point now that I may turn it off and turn it on only when I want to use it. It is becoming difficult for me to remain civil about this subject. I envision myself throwing it in the trash can next time someone asks. Do you have any advice?

Signed, Leon
From Portland, Oregon

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Dear Leon,

It is not very nice of your friends and family, to be critical of you based on your choice of phone. But if they are bugged by your phone that they consider to be low tech, I suggest that you go out of your way to use even lower tech, which will make them regret that they ever brought the subject up at all. Here are some ideas for your consideration. The next time one of them makes a comment or inquiry, tell them that you are getting rid of your cell phone and land line. And if any of them wants to contact you, they have to call you on the pay phone that’s about a mile from your house, and you’ll answer it if you hear it ringing as you drive by it. Or, you can tell them you are no longer using phones, and in the future you can only be contacted through a walkie-talkie, so anybody that wants to reach you, should move to within 500 feet of your home. You should even consider telling them you want to abandon electronics altogether, and you can only be reached through handwritten letters sent through the Post Office. Also inform them if any of the letters that you receive has any typos or grammatical errors, they will be graded and then returned, with no response to the content. But if you want to yield to them to keep the peace, do it. Tell them that if they really want you to have a phone that is the latest tech, to chip in and buy you one. If they are willing to do that, except the gift gracefully, return it and get the cash, immediately go on a weekend vacation that they unwittingly paid for. And while you’re away having a good time relaxing on the beach, call them all… on your slide phone. I hope this helps.


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