“Welcome to Wiloughby” – A Twilight Zone Episode that is Still Relevant and Why I Hate Cell Phones


I never really appreciated this episode of the original Twilight Zone. It’s about a man who is tired by the pace of modern life (in the late 1950s). His boss is a jerk, he’s overworked and his wife is a rather cold, uncaring wife who cares more about money than her husband. He repeatedly dreams of a town called Willoughby, where he learns that you can move at a “peaceful, restful pace, where a man can slow down to a walk and live a life full measure.”

After a breakdown at work and when his wife leaves him, he finds himself on a train and eventually arrives at a town named Wiloughby, which is exactly like the one he dreamed about. It’s a 19th-century town where time was slower, people were nicer, women wore corsets (not feeling that part) and he feels at peace here. SPOILER: It turns out he died in his sleep and Willoughby is the name of his funeral home.

I have friends who outright refuse to talk on the phone. Only through text or facebook. A family member (gen x) doesn’t call me. He only emails or uses facebook. I have to be set on fire for another family member (gen x) to call and one of my friends returns most voice messages with a text.

Why won’t anyone talk to me? I know it’s not me. I’m super fun to talk to. It’s this new technology that has people completely disconnected. I’m writing right now to people I’ll never meet in real life. Why does the price of technology that saves lives and creates jobs come at the cost of social isolation, emojis and social media interaction only? No wonder we are depressed, socially stunted and lonely.

I almost ran over a man last week because he was looking at his phone and not at oncoming cars. I’m disgusted by all of it.

I’m also reminded of a quote by Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television, who said that he thought his invention would “wipe out misunderstanding.”

I wouldn’t mind living in a place like Willoughby sans the corsets and the dying part. Where cell phones didn’t exist. Where I can sit at a restaurant and look at someone and have a conversation without them checking their phones every 25 seconds.

I’m not an old lady saying this. I’m 33, a millennial, and even my mother, a babyboomer, is addicted to her phone. She’s so addicted that you have to yell at her to get her attention off of it. And no, it’s not a hearing problem.

Am I the only one seeing this? Am I the only millennial who literally hates the cell phone?