Russ Kent: I have a love/hate relationship with my phone

What’s your favorite invention?

For me, it’s easy.

My favorite invention will one day — I hope — replace a favorite invention from the past.

Here’s a clue.

If I never again hear a telephone ring, I’ll be a happy, jovial, smiling fool.

I hate my telephone. I hate all telephones.

I hate talking on them. I hate checking messages. I hate carrying one around with me.

It’s a necessity, but one I detest.

So what’s the greatest invention? There are two actually: email and text messaging.

They are the best inventions of the past 20 years.

In a world that thrives on social media — where ironically, more and more folks are moving away from actual human-to-human contact — who needs an annoying telephone.

I don’t, well, except I have to text and email on my phone. But I detest having to talk on it.

Truly, I hate it!

Landlines are almost a thing of the past. I won’t miss them.

I used to think the noise they made was annoying. But those ring tones are nothing compared to some of the garbage I hear daily on cellphones.

Which need to go away, too.

No one needs to actually talk on a phone.

Instead, send a text, wait for an answer, text again … and repeat.

It’s easy.

Email works the same way.

Send an email, wait for a response, respond to the response … and repeat.

Here’s why I love texting and emailing .. and hate talking on the phone.

I can work at home or in the office, on my computer, and at the same time have a conversation via text with four or five other people. Sometimes the answers and replies don’t come right away, but that’s OK. I realize the person on the other end of my conversation is multi-tasking, too.


Same argument.

Multi-tasking is my word of the day. I love it. I live by it.

But each time that phone rings, I have to stop what I’m doing, figure out who is calling (caller ID is another great invention) and then decide whether to answer.

Here’s a hint.

If you call me on my cellphone, and I don’t answer. Leave a message. If I don’t recognize the number, or it is a blocked number and there is no message, I’m not going to answer or reply or return. Period. End of story.

So leave a message.

There is only one thing worse that having a phone. And that’s having two phones.

Yes, my cell phone is only half the problem. I have a landline in the not-far-enough-away corner of my desk at work.

It sits there, behind my bag of trail mix and the bucket of popcorn some Colonel Crawford Cub Scouts sold me.

I know it is waiting until someone calls me on my Android. And then it is going to ring.

It taunts me like that.

One part of my job I’m not good at — and I’m trying to get better — is returning phone messages.

I’m terrible at it. Maybe the worst ever.

I’ve admitted my problem. But I can’t cure myself.

I’ve yet to find a support group for people like me.

I’m polite, I’m fairly intelligent and I’m pleasant to be around (although I’m told weekly that I don’t smile enough). But that red blinking light on my landline is something I really detest. Just thinking about it makes my blood pressure rise.

If you agree with me, send me an email or a text message.

If you disagree, call me and leave a message, I’ll get to it … eventually … maybe … or not.

I was ready to move on, to put this column to bed.

But something else popped into my head.

I voted this week.

That unpleasant task is behind me.

I went to Bucyrus on Wednesday and touched the screen to cast my ballot.

On a side note, the poll workers Wednesday were fantastic. They were positive, funny, helpful and made the voting experience a lot more enjoyable than I expected.

But now that I’ve voted, I don’t see the need to watch anymore campaign commercials or news segments about this or any other campaign.

Although I’ve enjoyed this circus, it’s time to move on.

I need help inventing something.

We need to come up with a hand-held device that can automatically remove all campaign content from a television, a radio and from an internet feed.

We will make millions, no billions!

But more importantly, that invention will make me smile a little more.

It sounds simple.

But this simpleton hasn’t figured out a way to do it just yet.

Russ Kent


Russ Kent is editor of of the Galion Inquirer, Morrow County Sentinel and Bellville Star. If you have a comment, question or story idea, send an email to