Is it irresponsible for me to keep my cell phone on 'silent' at night?
December 2, 2013 7:11 PM Subscribe
Here's the thing: I don't have a land-line.
Over Thanksgiving, my mother got upset at the thought that she couldn't reach me late at night if there were some kind of emergency - the dreaded "3 am phone call." I understand her worry, but I'm feeling very resistant to the idea of keeping the phone on at night. In part, this because I know that most of the calls I'll get will just be annoying and unwanted (I have a fairly severe telemarketing issue) but I think there is also a kind of psychological resistance. I'm a slave to my phone already for all these hours of the day, and it feels good to know it won't be bothering me while I'm sleeping. I'm reluctant to give that up. Can you help me sort through these issues?
posted by pretentious illiterate to Society & Culture (78 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My partner and I both keep our phones by our beds, since we use them as our alarms. As grad students, we also keep a late-shifted schedule (1 am - 9 am). For both those reasons, we turn our phones to "silent" when we go to bed - and in fact, my phone is on silent 99% of the time, but when I'm awake, I check it anywhere from every couple of minutes to every couple of hours.
I guess I have a few questions:
1. Am I an outlier? For those of you who are cell-phone only, are you reachable at night? I think a general consensus that I'm way out of line might help me push past this. It's partly the fact that both my partner and I ended up in this situation without even discussing it that made it seem like the 'natural' way of doing things.
2. Am I being irresponsible? I don't want to invite horror stories, exactly, but maybe part of the issue is that I've never been the recipient of this kind of phone call. Certainly, if a parent or a sibling went into the hospital late at night, I'd want to know immediately - but there are other times of day when I sacrifice immediate availability in exchange for other benefits. How long would you say someone could be unreachable via phone before they are being irresponsible? Are there other reasons to keep the phone on at night that I'm not thinking of, or other issues I'm not considering?
3. Is there an obvious compromise or solution?