That sent me off on a thought flight of my own, but I was thinking about that now old-hat, old- school communication device--the cell phone. Like Weiner, I prize my moments of disconnectivity. You see, I have a confession to make: I don't own a cell phone.
There. I said it. Please clear the aisles so all four of my loyal readers can stampede toward the exits.
I've tried to want to have a cell phone. I've tried to want to be able to multitask and talk about private issues in public places. I know that I should have one for safety's sake, but then I think about the fact that, in my town, every place is only about fifteen minutes away from any other place and if worse came to worse, I could walk home if the car broke down. Besides, we are surrounded by kind, church-attending Good Samaritan-wannabes who would no doubt stop to help me if they saw me stranded.
I actually owned a cell phone for a year. My son called me on my land line and asked about it.
Son: So, Mom, what's your cell phone number?
Me: I'm afraid I don't know.
Son: How can you not know?
Me: I never use it.
Son: How can you never use it?
Me: I don't turn it on. I just have it for emergencies.
Son: Then how can I call you??????
I was awfully glad to have that emergency cell phone with me when my car slid off an icy rural New Hampshire road and went over a stone wall. The only problem was that, once I had managed to stop shaking, open the car door in the deep snow, and open up the cell phone---I had absolutely no idea how to use it. The nice man who stopped to help me kindly called the police, AAA, and my husband for me. After that, I gave up my cell phone.
I know they are convenient, but don't you sometimes find them a little intrusive? I don't need to know every little detail and every little move that my friends and family are making. I have a relative who, during the course of a journey to visit me from a nearby state, kept me apprised of his/her every move--"I'm leaving right now." Next call: "I'm at the intersection of 12th and Atlantic." Next call: "I'm coming up to the toll gates." Yikes! In between calls, I was trying to get the house ready for company, and I wasn't making much progress because of all of our "communication."
So here's my question to you. I'm sure I'm practically the only one left in America without a cell phone, but on the off chance that you are also in that rapidly shrinking group, please let me know in the comments. Or, if you "carry," do you love your cell phone? Could you or couldn't you live without it? I'd like to know.
I'd like to think that I am a reasonable person, not an anti-technology one (the very definition of Luddite, as I've come to understand). I'm a librarian, for heaven's sake, and if there is any group of people in America who has been thrust into the new technology with more gusto than librarians, I'd like to hear about that, too.