[VIEWPOINT]A post-modern woman is just fineI want to return to nature. This is not because of some sophisticated theory denying the benefits of civilization. I want to do without some of those “benefits” purely for my convenience.
I got rid of my cell phone after having to repeatedly talk to people that I didn’t really need to meet, at any time or any place, all because I was unwillingly brought into contact with them through telecommunications. I don’t have a busy job and I don’t have that many friends that I constantly keep in touch with. The unbearable bother of receiving a call only to find that it is an advertisement for a service that I have no interest in made me make up my mind to get rid of my mobile phone.
I know this is the age of information, but that does not mean that I don’t have the right to refuse information that I do not seek or communications from those whom I do not want to communicate with.
After hearing several times how the electromagnetic waves emitted from mobile phones are bad for your health, I decided that I wouldn’t regret throwing away this one-sided communication device that I had only been using to hear recorded messages in any case. I decided that I would be happier dining out or going to concerts with the money that I spent to pay my monthly cell phone bill.
Unlike the mobile phone, which I willingly threw away, the Internet connection for the computer I use at home was disconnected ― not that I wanted to do so, but the computer malfunctioned.
Taking pity on my index finger, which kept on clicking at the Internet icon by habit even when my brain knew it wasn’t working, I finally erased the icon and pulled out the connecting line from the back of my computer. If I really needed to use the Internet I could always go to a nearby PC room where they had faster, safer and cheaper Internet connections.
The PC rooms are usually dark and stuffy inside, but they are still very convenient for people like me who only need to check their e-mail once or twice a week. Fortunately, I found a nice place after going from place to place, fleeing from teenagers who insisted on smoking despite the “No Smoking” signs. The place is dark, but it is spacious and the air is relatively fresh. The only colors alive are the colors on the monitor. All else is dark, even the faces of the people sitting near me, although it is bright and sunny outside.
“Why do you keep it so dark here?” I asked. The manager gave me a deeply philosophical answer. “The modern human prefers closed and dark spaces so that he can concentrate on his computer games.”
There are times when I miss my cell phone. Gone are the days when being 30 minutes late to an appointment was nothing unusual. These days, it has become a custom to call the person waiting to tell him or her that you’ll be late even if you’re only 10 minutes late. Not wanting to mystify the person waiting for me, I look around before hesitantly asking a subway rider nearby, “I’m awfully sorry, but could I make a call on your cell phone? I’ll give you the fee.”
This brazen-faced request has never been refused so far. Not only that, every one of the people who willingly handed their mobile phones for me to use tried to refuse money in return for letting me make the call. Of course, I would always carefully choose the person I’d ask. I always went for young, good natured-looking women who didn’t look like they’d refuse. Not feeling completely at ease with this begging and feeling queasy at having to put a machine permeated with the body odor of a stranger to my ear, I try not to make any unnecessary appointments at all.
I have salvaged the time wasted on cell phones and the Internet, but how have I used that regained time? I can’t say I made the best use of it, but I have spent the year without a major accident and with only a few minor inconveniences. The Lord has kept me safe so far ― thank you.
* The writer is a poet. Translation by the JoongAng Daily staff.
by Choi Young-mi