Sometimes I wonder where we crossed the constant connection line.
I remember when my mother had a tan-colored phone that hung on the kitchen wall. It was a rotary dial. There was no answering machine. If people called while you were out, nobody got mad, and nobody got worried. The caller attempted to call at appropriate times. I remember my mother’s sister asking if she could call on Sunday’s after 5:00. When she called, my mother was usually relaxing and this became family connection time.
I also remember party lines. Folks had phones in their homes that did not have a dial. They called the operator to place a call. They also listened for a set number of rings before they picked up a call. I think I nearly gave my Great Aunt a stroke when I picked up her phone after it rang once. Her assigned number of rings was five. After the phone rang five times in a row it was a guaranteed call for that household, not for the next household down the dusty gravel road.
I miss those days to a degree. Life was more difficult because we had less conveniences, yet it was easier because we didn’t have electronics. The closest thing to an electronic was the big wood stereo that sat in our living room. Mom cleaned house to “long hair” music, which I now refer to as soft orchestra or band music.
We didn’t walk around with a phone stuck to our ear. We went out and did whatever we wanted and needed without staying connected, but then, we weren’t able to share our experiences instantly with our friends around the world.
Families actually enjoyed each other’s company. Have you seen couples or families sitting at a restaurant table together with each individual staring at their own phone? What about moms that walk and scroll on their phones, while dads tend to the kids, or vice versa?
I have visited homes where people were texting each other across the room. Talk about an uncomfortable situation. I do not worry over what people think about me, but the visitor would be dead to not wonder.
What do you think? Would you like to break away, or do you take a vacation from your cell phone deliberately? Do you feel safer with a phone within your reach? Do you go to bed reading on your phone, and do you wake and catch up on updates on your phone before you rise out of bed? I admit. I have a difficult time not reading the news (I know…bad times for that) before I read my favorite fiction books that I call my sleeping pills.
6 thoughts on “The Good and the Bad of Constant Connections”
I used to get away to the Oregon Coast just to get out of cell range…and then they got cell service everywhere. I love having my people around me and no need to stay connected to my phone because we are all together in person!
I appreciated hearing that somebody else has been pondering the same things. We are sadly “over in touch” these days, with many areas in life suffering from the disconnect. As for myself, my phone doesn’t direct my life. Seldom is there anything that cannot wait.
I sometimes wonder about how we raise our kids too. Instead of trust, or responsibility, they (and we) check in. I love what you said, “my phone doesn’t direct my life.”
It’s hard to imagine life without our cell phones. I love having it in the car for directions- even though I still get lost. I do get breaks because our farm on a remote Maine island has very bad reception so I just turn my phone off unless I really need it.
I had not thought of that, in the car for directions. That is definitely a con to carrying a cell phone.