The Cell Refuseniks, An Ever-Shrinking Club

Publication: The New York Times

Author: Claire Cain Miller


10/23/2009 - Not so long ago, we all lived in a world in which we decided where to meet friends before leaving the house and we hiked to the nearest payphone if we got a flat tire. Then we got cellphones.

Well, not everyone. For a hardy few that choose to ignore cellphones, life is a pocketful of quarters, missed connections and a smug satisfaction of marching to a different ring tone.

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For many people, cellphones have become indispensable appendages that make calls, deliver e-mail messages, locate restaurants and identify the song on the radio. After 20 years, 85 percent of adult Americans have cellphones, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. According to the Federal Communications Commission, cellphones caught on faster than cable TV and personal computers although, by some accounts, broadband Internet service was adopted faster.

Those who still do not have them, according to Pew, tend to be older or less educated Americans or those unable to afford phones. “These are people who have a bunch of other struggles in their lives and the expense of maintaining technology and mastering it is also pretty significant for them,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew project.

Read the full article The Cell Refuseniks, An Ever-Shrinking Club on the New York Times' Web site.

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