Cell Phone; My Other Limb
This bizarre cartoon was sent to me from a good email buddy and after looking at the prisoner talking on his cell phone, I began to see the irony of the cartoon. I too am a prisoner of my cell phone! I can’t be without it. I’m “locked in” to a device I can’t live without! If I leave home and find my cell phone missing from my purse, I totally freak out! That small black object is an extension of ME and IT keeps ME connected to the outside world 24/7. WTF? How did this happen?
Prior to 1980 all of us relied on our land lines for communication. I had two phones with cords attached to the wall in my home. In order to talk on one of those phones, I had to sit right by the phone as the cord was never long enough to go more than a few feet from the device. I had an answering machine that enabled me to avoid calls from people I just didn’t want to talk to like my Mother-in-law, boss or gossipy neighbor. I could listen to the caller leave their message and decide if I really wanted to answer that call or not. If my decision was not to answer, a good strategic move once the caller finally confronted me in person was to acknowledge that my answering machine must have been on the blink because I never got the message….yeah right! Where did those hide-in-seek days go? When the first cordless land line phones came on the market, I had to have one. Oh, the total joy of being able to talk and walk at the same time! What freedom it gave me to move around the house while talking on the phone. Oh the technology! I still however, had the advantage of ignoring any calls of my choosing thanks to that wonderful invention the “answering machine.” Life was good!
Then the cell phone was born. I remember being in a grocery store mid 1980’s watching some jerk pushing his cart through the store while talking on this huge walkie-talkie sized cell phone. I thought to myself, what an arrogant creep showing off his new cell phone. By 1990, my husband had a cell phone in his car for business. I was terrified of it never used it and I thought it was a huge waste of money. I use to think, what laziness! If you have to make a call while on the road, pull the damned car over and use a pay phone for gripes sake! Every corner had a pay phone and depending on the era a dime or quarter would allow the caller to make that important call. But as time moved on, it became apparent that the cell phone was the new technology and if you didn’t have one, you were considered “out of touch” with the real world! So, I gave in and bought one.
Driving in my car, with my first cell phone was, I must admit, exhilarating. I felt special, different and more in tune to the new wave of technology. The monthly calling plan of that first cell phone was totally ridiculous because I was over-charged for each minute of talk time. So, my first cell phone was only used in cases of emergency! As more and more people became mesmerized by the new technology, the monthly cost to own and use the cell phone became slightly more affordable.
During the 1990’s I had a land line in my home and my cell phone. As the years moved forward the land line began collecting dust and it hardly ever rang. It became an unnecessary monthly burden to my budget so around 2008 I made the decision to disconnect it. My kids freaked out! My oldest child informed me that I should have notified her first before disconnecting the land line because after all that was the only phone number she had known since her birth. Funny, she seemed to forget, that her own life was totally connected to her cell phone. In fact, she didn’t even have a land line in her home and yet she was telling me what a huge mistake I had made by disconnecting my land line! Live and learn!
Anyways, my cell phone and I have become inseparable. Where I go, it goes. I still try to ignore calls from people I just don’t want to talk to but the new technology gives the caller several strategic advantages. The savvy caller leaves a voice message and a text message and just to make sure I return the call the impatient caller also sends me an email, notifies me via FB and tweets me. Each of these annoying “reminders” is sent to my beloved Android thus making it impossible for me to lie anymore! WTF!