Lately I've noticed how truly attached people are to their phones. At the risk of sounding like an old-timer, I will say this: I remember when no one had a cell phone! Way back then (in the good ol' days), you had a phone in your house and before that (which IS before my time), you might've even shared that line with another family or two. This was called a party line I believe. Coming up, at least I didn't have to suffer through conversations wondering if the neighbor was listening in, but I did have to compete with my siblings for air time, and my little brother was probably listening in on the other extension more times than he'll admit! When I finally did get my chance to talk, it was sometimes for the first time of the day to that person (usually a boyfriend) and I was anxious to hear what the caller had to say because I hadn't already talked to them 24 times in the 24 hours prior. If you were well off enough to have a "mobile" phone in your car in the sixties and seventies, it was about a foot long, extremely bulky, and had no semblance of the thin, sleek specimens we employ today. Now, when I say "employ," that's exactly what I mean.
Our cell phones work really hard for us every day. They are our secretaries because they can take dictation and send that correspondence to anyone anywhere in the world, and they can record appointments and remind us of those appointments a day or even a week or two in advance. They are our calendars as well. Any number of birthdays and anniversaries and special events you ever wanted to remember can be recorded for the year and the years to come and your phone will be most happy to remind you of those special dates as well. They are our cameras and photo albums capturing, editing, and organizing all those hundreds (or thousands) of photos we take. I have just tipped the iceberg on what my iphone can do for me and, thank you very much, but I'm not sure if I wanna know everything it is capable of. I am a technology misfit and simply prefer to use it for what I choose and nothing more. I still enjoy a little mystery in life and don't care to know what you are doing at every given moment of the day. And of course we can actually use them to talk (imagine that!) to family, friends, and acquaintances as well but, even better, we can see the other person if we have FaceTime or a similar app and so desire. I haven't used that app as much maybe as some folks because I personally am glad people can't see me when we're talking. Unless it's my grandchildren. It's better for them to see Nana looking like the walking dead than not see Nana at all. And, in spite of a pale face with no makeup, hair with major bedhead and roots that are long past the touch-up date, I have never had a grandchild wince at my appearance on FaceTime. Sweet little grandchildren, they're so forgiving. And thank God that our phones don't have smellavision. We would all be mortified if our essences (as in bad breath, lack of appropriate hygiene, and unsightly gases) were passed through the phone. Some things are just not meant to be shared.
But in recent weeks I've actually been taking note as to when people are on their cell phones and what they are doing at the time. The conclusion I've reached? They are on their phones ALL THE TIME as they do EVERYTHING. They might be surfing the web engaging in a little shopping while they wait for a prescription to be filled. They might be playing a game as their kids practice soccer. It's quite possible they may even be watching a movie. My hubby has said I'm never bored now that I have a smart phone, which is probably true. You guys know that patience is NOT one of my virtues, so having a cell phone to keep me company is definitely a way to be entertained while I'm waiting (which is usually on my husband!). But I've found even for me that it's really hard to put my phone down. If I have a minute or even a second, there I am checking my messages or emails or Instagram. I am truly as bad as the next person. There is power when you have a smart phone in your hand -- power to learn, power to get things done, power to be involved, power to be "in the know!" If I do put it in lock mode and slip it into my purse, I can hear it gently calling my name: You know you want me. You know you need me. You know you've got to have me! Isn't that an old song? I surely cannot criticize anyone because of my own addiction. I see people on their phones shopping in stores, working in stores (shame on you!), in cars driving, sitting on benches, climbing ladders, jogging, working out in the gym, and walking down the road. When I fly and the pilot gives the go-ahead to use cell phones after landing, people scramble to be the first to let loved ones know they've landed safely. Whatever happened to the mystery of "not knowing" and just seeing that loved one come around the bend safe and sound? There is no longer any mystery about anything because we know it all from our cell phones!
Have we ever -- even for once -- thought of the things we might be missing when we're on our phones? Like the fragrant and brilliantly-colored flowers we just passed on our walk or the precious little granny on her porch waving at us? Like the person trying to get our attention because they need to pull over in our lane? Like what happened at school that's burning in our child's heart to tell us? Like meeting a new friend or helping a stranger out? Like all the conversations we surely miss, big and small, important and not so important, simply because we are nursing our phones? That's right, you heard me. It's like tending a little baby at the breast...it cries for our attention and we willingly oblige. And that's exactly how we get so attached to them We equip them with all the necessary apps they need to totally addict us and we keep them at our side every single minute of every single day because it'd be hard, if not impossible, to live without them now.
Our cell phones...they complete us.
Recently I was at the eye doc with the hubs and I watched as nearly every single person in the front waiting room had a cell phone they were attending. Then as we moved to the back waiting room, ditto. But what really got me (and made me chuckle on the inside) was a lady who was in the dilating room. This is the room where, after they have given you drops to dilate your eyes, you wait for the meds to do their magic. If you've ever had your eyes dilated, you know it's hard to focus afterwards and certainly difficult to read. Well, it didn't stop this woman from using her cell phone -- in the dilating room probably blind as a bat, rocking the cell phone two inches from her face. No worries, I probably would've been doing the same thing because, well, it's really boring in the dilating room. And we all know that our cell phones from time to time embarrass us like a naughty child. Like the time I forgot to turn it off in Sunday worship and it rang playing Brown-Eyed Girl.
Oops, that blankety-blank cell phone. If it is so smart, doesn't it have the good sense to know not to talk in church?
Posted by CC
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