So we got our tax refund this weekend, and my wife decided that she wanted a Blackberry Curve. I got a PS3, five games (Rainbow Six Vegas, Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty 4, and The Simpsons Game for my daughter) and three Blu-Ray discs out of it (CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, BLADE RUNNER, and RATATOUILLE). I think I got the better end of the deal. That’s okay, though, she’s happy with it.

Anyway, we went to T-Mobile so she could get her plan discount. The salesman smiled and said, “You know, once you go Blackberry, you never go back… berry.” Another gentleman in line behind me laughed at that. “My kid’s addicted to the damn thing. I don’t see the big deal myself.” After all was said and done, my wife ended up spending almost $350 and she considered every penny well spent. She’s been playing with the thing for most of the weekend.

Before you accuse me of being all Luddite, I’m really not. I love technology. I’m completely fascinated by it. The PS3 is something to behold, and I’ve been playing with it pretty much non-stop since I got it. I love our PC. But I just can’t stand cell phones. I had one once a couple of years ago, and I just ended up canceling the thing because I didn’t like the idea that someone can get a hold of me any time, any place.

Here’s the thing – I’m firmly convinced that cell phones have played a major role in the slow decay of modern discourse in this country. Yeah, it sounds like I’m talking out my ass, but hear me out. I’m not the most important guy in the world. My job doesn’t require me to be in contact with my boss at all times when I’m away from it. So I spend my free time watching movies, reading, playing games, enjoying my family and visiting with friends. I don’t want the constant barrage of people asking what I’m up to every minute of the day. It makes sense in the case of emergencies, but I don’t want to call a hundred people whenever I have a brain fart and I certainly don’t want them calling me. I don’t think I live that interesting a life regardless, so steady communication with everyone about what I did that day seems frivolous to me.

I want my communications with my family and friends to be special, face to face. The relationships I have weren’t formed over the phone. I think we’d all be surprised by how much of our lives are spent talking on the phone to people, especially nowadays. I’d rather just go over their house to see them instead, and enjoy their company. I’m not trying to be holier than thou here, but I can’t tell you how liberating it is to actually be somewhere, disconnected from the rest of the world for a few hours, and the peace of mind that it brings.

Plus, I hate texting, just despise it. I don’t see any reason for it. If you’re going to talk to me, friggin’ talk to me. Whenever I see those damn blue lights in a movie theater I just want to shove that phone in an unpleasant place. I just don’t understand the appeal. If you don’t want anyone to know your business, then wait and tell them in person.

Sorry, this is getting all preachy. If your life is made easier by your phone, I’m no one to judge, especially if your career pretty much demands constant communication. But I’ve sat down in a restaurant, read a good book while eating or enjoyed good conversation, and all around me people are wearing Blueteeth and looking like hipper than thou Borg. Maybe I like the fact that if people want to make plans with me, they have to make that extra effort to deal with me. I’m not some anonymous series of words on a tiny screen. When I’m not blogging, anyway.

Now get off my lawn!