Daily Post: My relationship with my cell phone

Today’s prompt was: Describe your relationship with your phone. Is it your lifeline, a buzzing nuisance, or something in between?

My cell phone is not my lifeline, and sometimes it is a “buzzing nuisance”, but for the most part it is somewhere in between. Each time there is a major shift in our means of communication due to a new invention, we get hooked and say, “What did we do before there were —-?”

I try not to think like that about my cell phone, but it has really become a necessity in our modern world. I first got a cell phone in 2001 when my car died under a bridge and I panicked because I didn’t know how to find a phone. So my first cell phone – one of those big clunky ones! – was a convenience for emergencies only. This is particularly important for women if they find themselves stranded somewhere and need to call someone right away.

I am currently a substitute teacher, and schools requesting me call me to see if I’m available. They need an immediate reply so they can inform sub center. It’s also a convenient way to communicate with the parents of the kids I tutor, set up job interviews, etc. My phone also is useful as a reminder of appointments that I have entered on my electronic calendar.

I admit that I really love texting. It allows me to send someone a quick message without being intrusive. I can be sitting in a public place and instead of annoying someone nearby who has to listen to my end of a phone conversation, I can quietly text a message and wait for a subtle ringtone to inform me of a reply. It also saves me from awkward phone conversations – I admit, I have a bit of “phone phobia”! I no longer have to go through the pleasantries of a phone call to send a quick request to a friend to go exercise with me, for example.

When I find myself alone without anything to read, I can read email or go to Facebook on my phone. So yes, it’s a source of portable entertainment. It does solve the irritating problem of being somewhere with no reading material to pass the time, one of my pet peeves! It gives me a chance to read and delete email so I don’t have to do that later on my computer. It also is a quick

My cell phone camera took this pretty shot of bushes during a snowfall next to a parking lot.
My cell phone camera took this pretty shot of bushes during a snowfall next to a parking lot.

portable camera in situations when I haven’t planned to take pictures so I don’t have my regular camera with me. And it is fun to take pictures of restaurant meals or someone I’m with and post them immediately on Facebook!

At The Vine in Minocqua, Wisconsin: Baked brie with peach jam & pecans, served with buttered French bread
At The Vine in Minocqua, Wisconsin: Baked brie with peach jam & pecans, served with buttered French bread

I don’t, however, like for it to be a substitute for communication or relating to someone I’m with at the time. I find it offensive when I am taking a walk with a friend and she gets a call and feels compelled to answer it immediately and then carry on a conversation with her son or whoever. This also happens to me sometimes when I am at a therapy appointment, with whoever is calling my therapist taking up some of the 45 minutes of my session.

If my phone rings while I’m at work, I don’t answer it. The students in the class sometimes will react or make a comment, but I tell them to just ignore it. I could put it on silent during work hours but the problem with that is that I have a notoriously bad memory and will probably forget to un-silence it after school, and then possibly miss an important call later. I do, however, turn my phone off when I’m at the movies, the theatre, or the opera. I do not believe in becoming so dependent on instant communication that I feel the need to immediately turn it on during intermission. When I’m at a theatre, it’s my time to relax and enjoy myself, not answer phone calls!

I hope I can always maintain a balance between a totally dependent relationship and one that is merely a convenience. My cell phone has important functions in my life, especially keeping me on track with appointments and getting calls related to my job. The rest is not strictly necessary, yet I enjoy catching up with people via email, text, or Facebook, and being able to take an occasional picture instead of having to miss that moment.

Yet I have to say that I get really angry with myself if I forget to charge it overnight, because then I have to go to work without a convenient way of communicating with my family or with employers or clients. I recently found myself with a “dead” phone on my way to an appointment and no phone charger in the car, so I actually stopped at a T Mobile store I came across and went in and bought a charger!

So, just as the computer has become a necessity of my life, so has my cell phone. I just hope it doesn’t encourage me to avoid face-to-face interaction with my family and friends. That would be very sad!

Taken with my Blackberry Bold: In the bay on south side of Upper Kaubashine Lake, Hazelhurst, WI
Taken with my Blackberry Bold: In the bay on south side of Upper Kaubashine Lake, Hazelhurst, WI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s