I lost my cell phone. Rather, I accidentally left it behind at my friend’s house in Indiana. I was halfway home on Sunday when I discovered it wasn’t in my purse. It got me to thinking about how completely crippled I felt without my phone and how sad it is to be so dependent on a thing that measures 1.5”x3” that is made out of metal and plastic.
Now I am about to go off like the “Grumpy Old Man” on a Saturday Night Live sketch but stick with me for a second. Back in my day when you wanted to talk to someone on the phone you used the phone in your house. Perhaps there were only one or two and they were mounted on a wall or found on an end table in the family room. You’d pick up the receiver and stick your finger in a small hole in a plastic circle that represented each number you wished to dial. You memorized the phone numbers of at least a dozen people and knew them by heart. Today, when you lose your cell phone you can’t remember or don’t even know the phone numbers of the people you need to contact because it’s listed on your phone as simply Cheryl or Dave or whomever. No one memorizes phone numbers anymore. Only speed dial numbers.
Back in my day when you were in your car and you got lost you pulled off to the nearest gas station to ask a real person how to get to where you need to go. You exchanged pleasantries, thanked them for their help and went on your way. Today you can simply ask your cell phone for directions, but not if it’s lost. How angry would you be if you got lost without your cell phone to help you find your way? How annoyed would you get if you actually had to find a gas station, get out of your car and talk to someone?
Back in my day we didn’t have a constant stream of email barraging us telling us we need to be here and go there and do this or that. No. If someone needed to tell us something we waited until we got home to retrieve messages. That way we didn’t have to sit and fret all day because Aunt Bertha was coming for a surprise visit. If we didn’t know it certainly saved us a lot of worry and aggravation.
Worried and aggravated. That’s exactly how I felt when I found my cell phone was missing. Don’t get me wrong. I am thankful and appreciative for all the advanced technology we have to be in constant contact with each other. It is a wonderful luxury to have a device that lets us connect with dozens of people all at the same time. But when suddenly that device is gone, should we feel worried and aggravated? Perhaps, but instead I think it should teach us all a lesson in how to be patient, reflect on the fact that we should all have a back-up plan with actual written phone numbers of emergency contacts and to learn how to have a face to face, one on one conversation with another person again.
I’m glad I forgot my cell phone. I’ll get it back in a few days. I am going to take this time to reconnect how I used to “back in my day”……and LIKE IT!