I recently plunged back into the world of modern communication ; I got a cellphone. I haven’t had one of my own for about a year; not since Felipe dropped his down a well and I relinquished mine for his business purposes.
It’s nice to have one for safety reasons. I was stung by a scorpion this week and called Felipe for a reminder of which symptom warranted an anti-venom shot. The last time I was stung I decided the anti-venom was almost as bad as the sting, so I wanted to wait it out. Sneezing…if you start sneezing the poison’s attacked your respiratory system. That’s when things can get dicey. So in this case, it was nice to have a phone. (I didn’t sneeze, by the way, just the sensation of being stung by a hundred hornets, and my tongue went numb).
But most days, since the arrival of my new phone, I spend being harangued (and losing my Zen composure) by the insidious infiltration of my home by text messages from Telcel: noticias, health alerts and offers to sell me English lessons.
Of course, the first thing I did when the barrage began was scour my menus for a disabling command. No luck. Felipe warned me, “Don’t open them, you’ll get more.” I tried, but after the third offer to teach me English in one day, I sent a message I felt certain that the creative use of expletives would make clear I was a native speaker.
I received an immediate response: a special offer! For advanced students.
I can’t buy a bottle of Dijon mustard within fifty miles of my home, but am now, against my will hard sold( yes, I consider a text alert a hard sell) goods and services and invaded by sports scores in my home! I have a messaging blackout from 10am to around 5pm most days, I can’t send a text, but I still receive my “news” updates about telenovela stars and warnings I may have renal failure.
Why haven’t I called the company? BAhhhhaaaahhhhaa(cynical laughter on the verge of mental imbalance). Well… Telcel cannot be reached by cellular phone and there isn’t a reliable landline for miles. The company is letting many of their public landlines die…SO WE’LL ALL BE FORCED TO BUY CELLPHONES AND ENDURE THEIR HOME INVASION! Whoops…sorry, I warned you about the possible psychotic break.
But this is my real question: my real concern. Is it possible the majority wish to be inundated with information and product “opportunities” in the privacy of their home? Honestly, I think most people in La Tigra love the services their phones provide. Am I the last person on earth who doesn’t want my day disrupted by “breaking news”, and updates from my Facebook friends; the only person who prefers to choose my own information sources and regulate when I receive it? Must I turn off my phone, denying my mother the ability to contact me, so I don’t have to listen to it vibrate with idiocy?
It seemed I’d made the sacrifices necessary to extricate myself from information encroachment: living in the &*%*$* Timbuktu of Mexico. But apparently not… not if I’d like to own a phone, that is.
What do you think, am I being a maniac? Must I come to grips with this “modern” world? Anybody know how to end my phone misery short of smashing it with a mallet (it’s a pretty elaborate fantasy at this point). I’d appreciate your input.
PS. In the several weeks it’s taken for me to get this post published, the messages have dissipated, though not disappeared. Felipe says, “I told ya so.” I have yet to relinquish my indignation.