Here’s a thought for our modern lives: just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to use it.
Three Unwanted Services
In my case, this was brought to my attention because we recently had FIOS installed. With it, our basic phone system was upgraded to include caller id, voice mail and call waiting. I have never had these three things before, and have never considered adding them to my calling plan before. And, by golly, I don’t have to use them now.
I never found use for caller ID, because if I want to speak to whomever is ringing, I will pick up the phone. Otherwise I will let the answering machine pick it up. Do I need to know who is calling if I choose to pick it up? Not really. I will know within seconds of answering who it is. Those I don’t ever wish to speak to don’t have my number, and those who presume to force themselves on me (telemarketers, politicians) are soon put in their place (nicely, of course).
Note: telemarketer scripts do not include a scenario for “I’m sorry he/she can’t come to the phone because he/she died yesterday.” The telemarketers will 99% of the time hang up. The polite ones will say “I’m sorry” before doing so.
I have a perfectly good answering machine. It hangs on the wall and blinks at me when there is a message. It also allows me to monitor my house remotely. The voice mail we got with the FIOS requires me to remember another number to access my messages, plus a “secret code”. The only way I will know if I have messages is to pick up the phone and listen to the dial tone. Well, that poses a problem. I make so few calls I would never remember.
So I decided I wouldn’t use the voice mail. I recorded polite greetings in the voice mail saying “If you reach this, please don’t leave a message, because we won’t check it. Call back and leave a message on the answering machine.”
I believe that call waiting is just another way to be rude. “I’m sorry, I have to stop talking right now to answer this other call from someone I think may be more important than you, but hold on, I’ll get right back to you in case it isn’t.” That’s the message of call waiting. It’s multitasking for phones. So while I haven’t found a way to permanently disable the feature, I can ignore it. In which case the caller will get the voice mail instructions to call back.
You Don’t Have To Use It
What this all boils down to is you don’t have to use features of things just because you have them. You should choose what truly suits your life and use those; no more. Features can often complicate a life, and simplicity is the name of productivity and sanity in our modern world.
Photo by malias