When I moved to Pine Mountain Club, 11 years ago, I knew that there would be no wireless coverage in the mountain communities and that I would probably not see any cellular providers offering coverage in the decade to come.  That suited me just fine; I live with technology all day, so the absence of it allowed my mountain retreat to remain a place of quiet reflection, far away from the hustle of the city life I had left behind.

Lately, there has been talk of a new wireless tower being built in Pine Mountain Club. While many people are excited at the prospect of mobile phone service in the mountains, I am less enthusiastic. I'm not against technology or mobile phones and I would certainly enjoy the peace of mind of having reliable phone coverage to deal with roadside emergency issues. What concerns me, is how mobile phone service will change our way of life in the mountain communities.

As I think about my most recent local restaurant experience, Not one patron was talking on their cell phone. No, they were conversing with ... one another. They were even conversing with people at the tables next to them. Imagine that!  Whenever I go to the town post office I know I will find a bunch of people, talking with one another as they wait in line to be served by our cheerful postmistress. I hope that this won't change.

Without the escape of a mobile phone with which to call someone, far away, people resort to ... conversation with their neighbors.

I do look forward to having local cell phone coverage in our community, (I even hope that SprintPCS will be the provider so that I can use my Treo 650). I just hope that residents of our community will not adopt cell phones in the way residents of big cities have; where it seems like many people have become self absorbed in their compulsive cell phone conversations at the expense of politeness, courtesy, and even public safety; where it is nearly impossible to attend a meeting or movie or eat diner without a someone's cell phone going off to some annoying musical madness.

While many will cite the public safety benefits of having a cell phone to call for roadside assistance, I wonder about something else: what will travel be like on the mountain roads and S-curves once drivers find out that they can talk on their cell phones while passing in a no-passing lane at the same time?

I don't want to escape to the mountains only to have to listen to other people's private conversations as they sit at the table next to me or stand in line in front of me. I would prefer not to have another reason to be fearful of distracted drivers on the mountain roads.

Again, the issue is not about technology; it is about courtesy.

Please, friends, as you enjoy the mobile phone service that will eventually come to our community, let's not forget the tranquility of mountain living; a way of life that we are truly blessed to enjoy.

Eric Mack

Discussion/Comments (9):

And Cell Phone Virii?

I wholeheartedly agree that cell phone use has gotten out of hand. To prove my point, I need only drive a short while on the 405. And now ... cell phone viruses, spreading via bluetooth, stealing contact information and draining batteries. The virus within the virus, perhaps?

Posted at 02/24/2005 12:59:04 by Robert

re: And Cell Phone Virii?

Ditto, Robert. I'm not advocating Ludditism, though sometimes it's an appealing thought. :-) Of course, then I would be out of a job and stress free.


Posted at 02/24/2005 14:33:03 by Eric Mack

Not a problem

You must be someone who's used to living in an urban area and then moved to the country, right?

People in rural areas aren't as removed from each other as people in urban areas. They aren't as disconnected from one another - hell, even if they don't like each other there is a mutual respect - mostly due to the fact that when the weather hits the fan they're going to have to rely on each other to get through it okay.

Maybe you can tell us on whether or not new technology brings the frantic nature of urban life with it. My experience is that it does not.

Jon J.

Posted at 03/17/2005 11:26:53 by Jon Johnston

How will the arrival of cell phones affect our community?

Hey Eric,

It only took me 8 months to find your posting regarding cell service. Oh, well. I agree with you. When my son and I moved to PMC over five years ago, I was so thrilled at the thought that I could sit and eat a meal out without having to listen to others yacking on their cell phones or even the ring of their phones. I, like you, am not in any hurry for the tower to go up.

By the way, I'm sorry to tell you, if you hadn't already heard, I have left the post office to start a new career in real estate with Jennings Realty. Thanks for your post, your website and all those wonderful girls at your house!

My best,

Carol Lee

Posted at 10/17/2005 20:48:36 by Carol Lee Weber

How does cell phones help during crime?

What does the community benefit from cell phones?And how does cell phones help us during crime?What invluence does the cell phone has on the community?

Posted at 07/27/2007 3:09:14 by rocpunkchic

How will the arrival of cell phones affect our community?

why does the cell phone help or destroy the people's lfe

Posted at 01/10/2008 15:27:12 by jennifer astudillo

Discussion for this entry is now closed.