The Last Man Without a Cell Phone

Anne Kadet interviews New Yorkers without cell phones. 3% of Americans go without.

I use a computer—a lot! For my work, and reading things online. I do email. But I don’t have any felt need to have it with me all the time. It’s like, I watch TV, but I don’t feel like I need to carry it around with me all day. The cell phone feels like a solution to a non-problem. Before it existed, you didn’t see undergraduates running across campus to get back to their room after class so they could make phone calls. But now you see them walking around, on their phone, all the time. The contrast I’ve sometimes used is, I grew up in the DC area with no central air conditioning. And we knew perfectly well there was a problem. It was hot and stuffy all summer. And we’re laying on the floor reading the paper in front of a fan. Everybody knew there was a problem, and central AC solved it. But in this case, what was the problem? I don’t see the need.