VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Officials in a rural valley in British Columbia hope that keeping out cellphones will help attract residents and tourists who want to escape to the quiet of nature. "The fact that we're without cellphone service means that we're able to enjoy life without the incessant sound of ringtones, immediately followed by someone's shouted conversation," Bill Roberts of the Slocan Valley Economic Development Commission said on Friday.
It sounds like I may have found my eventual retirement community, and it sounds like Bill Roberts has his finger squarely on the pulse.
I keep waiting for the backlash, but instead we embrace new technology and even go so far as to stand in line for hours so that we can buy things that eventually make our lives more costly and complicated. The ones I really don't understand are those damned Nextel Walkie-Talkies. If I hear one more of those chirps, I may not be responsible for my actions. Who was the genius that figured out that people want to hear conversations played like a radio? A few months ago, I was on the treadmill at the gym next to a guy whose phone rang six times in a half hour, and each time it was some stupid conversation about work - chirp - chirp - chirp. I finally had to move to another treadmill, but I could hear it from twenty feet away. You know how your senses pick up annoying things even though you try not to pay attention ...?
And don't even ask me why people need to speak so loudly when they are on the cell phone. Or why they need to take them to the gym. There must be a name for the psychological condition where people require noise and disturbance every waking second. I cherish the solitude of the bike or quiet lunches without disturbance, but we can't control the neighbor's ringtones.
My supervisor leaves his cell phone on his desk, and it loudly plays the world's most ridiculous song, which is followed by another noise notifying him that he missed a call. Here's an idea: Turn the ringer down. If you aren't at your desk, you won't hear it no matter how loud it is, and if you are, then it doesn't need to be loud to begin with. I'm thisclose to writing a memo to Human Resources asking them to issue a company policy about the vibrate mode on cell phones.
A group of residents in the valley in south-eastern British Columbia have asked telephone company Telus Corp. not to build a planned cellphone tower in New Denver, a one-time mining boomtown that is now home to about 600 people.
601 - real soon.