Gransnet forums


AIBU by refusing to get a mobile phone?

(104 Posts)
LondonGranny Tue 24-Sep-19 15:42:42

A few years ago it was an issue at work & they said I had to buy one. I pointed out there there was nothing at all in my contract saying I had to buy a mobile, or indeed anything else, to do my job effectively.
In the end they provided one and it never once proved neccessary. My line manager would text me out of hours with stuff that could have been emailed to my work email and dealt with when I got into work. Sometimes she'd text late at night or at weekends or when I was on leave. I never replied and dealt with it at work so in the end I left it in my locker, switched off and only switched it on at work. Not that it was ever needed during work hours either. When I retired it was a joy to hand it back.

So far, so boring BUT increasingly friends are pressuring me to get one. Not having one is not a problem for them as far as I can tell. I have asked specifically if my not having a mobile has caused a problem and they say no but then come up with hypothetical reasons which haven't ever happened or are unlikely eg what if you were knocked down on the street? What if you were abducted? I can't see that having a mobile would make a difference.

If I go and stay with friends I tell them what train I'll be on and anyway, I know where they live and don't require being met at the station or anything. The world did function before they were invented. So far I have never phoned or texted once on a mobile, not even on my work phone. It was really pointless having it.
Friends that do have one are often just contacted by people asking them to do things for them. If people need a favour they can ring my landline. It's the same number I've had for forty-odd years and people ring me on that.

So, none of you have a dog in this fight and have no agenda about this... Am I being unreasonable?

Pudding123 Tue 24-Sep-19 15:50:15

I didn't have or want a mobile phone as I didn't want to be interrupted and my argument was I could be contacted on my land line.3 years ago I got a mobile phone and guess what? it hasn't interrupted my life in any way and texting is a boon to me and my friends and relatives.I wouldn't be without it,it has made my life better so London granny my advise to you would be to get a simple smart phone and see how you go .

crazyH Tue 24-Sep-19 15:52:42

All I can is, I need a mobile phone to get in touch with family or vice versa. I am out and about a lot during the day. I do school runs - if my daughter is at a meeting or whatever, she can just text me and let me know. I am 24/7 at the end of the phone, if she needs me. She is a single parent.

lemongrove Tue 24-Sep-19 15:53:20

Of course you are not being unreasonable, it’e your choice, not anyone elses.
I only have an emergency mobile phone, a basic one, to take out when on long walks, or in the car, or as this last few days,to ring DH for a chat when on holiday with my friends.
I enjoy not having to answer calls or at the beck and call of texts.

LondonGranny Tue 24-Sep-19 15:54:16

Can you say why it's a boon, the texting I mean? I know it's cheaper than making a call but my landline can receive texts. If I get a text saying "Ring me" I always do.

Riverwalk Tue 24-Sep-19 15:56:27

You're not being unreasonable as such, just as I'm not by not having say, a smart TV, satellite channels, or own a car etc. It's just a lifestyle choice.

However, a smart mobile, as opposed to the old ones that are just a phone, is so very useful and life-enhancing.

Simple things like it's useful to know that the next bus is 2 minutes away, not 20 minutes; you can find the location of the nearest public loo; you can locate the street you're desperately trying to find if you take a wrong turn!

grannylyn65 Tue 24-Sep-19 16:00:23

Obviously my phone is not smart enough

LondonGranny Tue 24-Sep-19 16:00:24

I don't have a TV or a car either! I do have a digital radio though (well, three, kitchen, sitting room & bedroom). I do watch TV on my computer though, but not often.

Riverwalk Tue 24-Sep-19 16:03:21

Also, I don't have need for a Fitbit as the phone tracks my steps; it's a camera and you can share/store the pics; it has a torch facility - the list is endless.

There's also a very useful App that measures - I've just discovered this - you hold it up to the sofa, carpet, wall whatever and it gives the dimensions. What's not to like!

annsixty Tue 24-Sep-19 16:04:05

I would hate to be without my mobile phone.
Why? I don’t know , I would just hate to be without it, end of.
That is my choice and I totally accept yours.

BlueBelle Tue 24-Sep-19 16:04:43

It’s your choice but I wouldn’t want to be without mine I m not sure about the abducting bit but there are many situations when it could be needed you could have an accident no one is immune to them, if you drive your car it could break down, I don’t know if you have kids but something could happen to them and they need you, You could be in a little used area and find a person having a heart attack There’s a million and one reasons you could need a phone and probably only one reason not to and that is I DO NOT want one, and no one will make me have one, so there ?

annsixty Tue 24-Sep-19 16:05:01


LondonGranny Tue 24-Sep-19 16:18:06

These are all valid points but have been made before and don't apply. I can't drive and live in Central London so no need on that front. The tube runs every two minutes and I have a wide choice of bus routes. I have a maglight on my keyring and always carry a tape measure in my bag. If I fell over (sorry, had a fall, my age means the terminology has changed) I am surrounded by random people with phones who are probably itching to dial 999 and save the day. My husband has a mobile but reception in our house is non-existent so he uses the landline unless he's out and about.

callgirl1 Tue 24-Sep-19 16:20:18

I`m with you in your thinking, LondonGranny. I do have a mobile phone, but a very basic one, because my family say I should have one. It lives, 99% of the time, in a cupboard, taken out if I go out anywhere knowing I`ll need to ring for a taxi home. Texting? I haven`t the patience to send one, and wouldn`t know how to access it if one was sent to me. In short, I HATE my mobile phone!

Scribbles Tue 24-Sep-19 16:20:54

No. You are NBU.

It's your life, your choice. Somebody may not be able to make instant contact with you when they wish but, so what? Unless you genuinely feel the phone will enhance your life in some way, don't bow to peer pressure.

(Having said that, I can barely remember my life BM (before mobiles) and would hate to be without mine. As Riverwalk said, it's useful for so many things in addition to phone calls).

LondonGranny Tue 24-Sep-19 16:21:53

...btw, I have dealt with a heart attack on the street and did CPR effectively. If you look people in the eye and issue an instruction with confidence people do what you tell them (You, phone an ambulance, you, help me turn him over into the recovery position etc).

BlueBelle Tue 24-Sep-19 16:21:58

Ah well everything answered I m not at all sure why you’re asking on here you have made up your mind you know what you want so why even bring it up
You do not want a mobile phone No one will make you have a mobile phone so surely that’s that, what’s the point of asking us?

BlueBelle Tue 24-Sep-19 16:23:31

Good job everyone doesn’t feel like you or no one would be able to call the ambulance would they ? funny how you can rely on others phones, seems a bit double standards there.

HildaW Tue 24-Sep-19 16:25:03

As soon as anyone says I must have or do something, I find myself finding good reasons for not doing so....I am no great rebel but I hate the power that peer pressure can have.
If you do not want to have a phone then do not have one......I have had a 'Granny' phone for a couple of years because we used to live deep in the countryside and dog walking alone can be a little problematic. Once I had to phone neighbour very quickly to say I had found his bull breaking down a wire fence and another time I fell and twisted my ankle badly so needed rescuing. I used to apologise for having such a simple phone....everyone else I knew had such sophisticated ones but I just never saw the need for them...….until this week-end!
Both GC now have limited smart phones and demanded my number and now said cheery 'I love you Grandma' texts and I'd love to respond in kind. My very simple flip phone is so slow at texting and a smart phone will be a lot more fun.
Hey ho......but honestly if you really find that its not something you need or want....then just say NO! Good luck.

wildswan16 Tue 24-Sep-19 16:25:30

I do have a mobile, but rarely use it. I mainly have it to WhatsApp my son and family who live the other side of the world.

I do find it helpful when I'm travelling - just gives me peace of mind I think.

We managed perfectly well without them though. I think the younger generation might feel more confident knowing you had one as they are so dependent on them and can't imagine how you manage without!

aggie Tue 24-Sep-19 16:25:49

I have a basic one , texts and phone calls only , I just feel more secure when I have it , but I see your point , you don’t feel the need , so do what you wish . The people who nag you about it are unreasonable .

LondonGranny Tue 24-Sep-19 16:27:16

...but it's possible one of you will come up with something I've not considered before, it's just since they were available to more people than city traders and bankers no one has yet come up with a reason that makes enough sense to get one. It's not the money, people who do have them seem to upgrade as often as they change their their underwear so I've been offered free ones many times but I always say that there's surely a charity or deserving cause that would love them.

LondonGranny Tue 24-Sep-19 16:34:04

BlueBelle, I have ONCE asked someone to call an ambulance and that was because I was doing CPR so couldn't have used a phone at the same time anyway. I think that's a fallacious argument, as they say in legal circles.

crystaltipps Tue 24-Sep-19 16:44:39

I’m not sure why you feel the need to tell everyone you don’t need a phone and you obviously can’t understand why anyone else wants on either. Chacon a son goût as they say - but the fact that most adults have one these days suggests they find them useful for many different functions. I find the maps useful if I’m out and about, the bus tracker so if I’m waiting for a bus I know where there is one and nearest bus stop, the Loo finder is a good one too, the camera is useful and great to send and receive pictures from family and friends. I have a friend who refuses to have one and I’ve spent many times waiting for her when her train has been delayed and she hasn’t been able to contact me. That strikes me as a bit selfish tbh.Of course it’s possible to live your life without one, but it is small, fits in your bag, has lots of uses, so you might not want to be part of the 21st century and good for you, but lots of people have one without it dominating their lives.

Nannarose Tue 24-Sep-19 16:45:48

Well, LondonGranny, I'm not sure what you wanted from us. It seems to me that you are confusing an unreasonable work request with having something that may be helpful to your friends.

I too live in area with no mobile reception, so keep a basic phone for emergencies when I am out & about. It is cheap,and I put some credit on it every so often, and check it is charged.
I could not be certain that there would be someone else to help if I came across a difficult situation or accident (and like most people our age, I have dealt with a few)
Public phones are getting harder to find (I am aware that London may be different)
I have had the following situations arise:
The person I was meeting has had to deal with a family emergency. Sure, in the old days, I would have waited around for ages wondering what had happened; or she might have tried ringing the pub where we were to meet, which would have involved her in the extra bother of looking up the number. She was able to text me easily. When she was 5 minutes late, I switched on the phone and saw it.
I have been stuck on a train for some hours (it happens, outside London sometimes) and was able to text my friend to tell her to take someone else to the theatre, or offer the ticket back at the box office. Not life changing, but more convenient, and at least she wasn't worrying about me, and could enjoy the play
I have the In Case of Emergency numbers on my phone:
1. home
2. eldest AC
3. sister
I know from working alongside police and ambulance services, how much they value this.

So, at very small cost (£25 gets you a basic phone,and a lot of market stalls have them even cheaper + I use less than £10 of credit a year) you could give your friends a bit more peace of mind. I'm not saying you are being unreasonable, just giving another perspective.