second try

Friday, September 16, 2011

Life Without A Phone

Technology. I have a distinct love/hate relationship with it. I am appreciating it as I type on this computer, happy to be writing a quick blog. I loathe it when life feels like a jail cell because everywhere I go, I am attached. I can be found. I am expected to answer my phone, among other things. As my friend once said when a friend of hers was upset she didn't get that cell call, "My phone is here for my convenience, not yours." I love that. My husband might like the convenience of getting in touch with me almost 24/7, and such possibilities do come in handy. But before I lost my phone in Colorado last spring, and hundreds of numbers in it, would I seriously need to be on call for hundreds of people who might one day happen to call me? Um, no. Do I have time to talk to all those people, even once a year? Um, no. Not at all.

Traveling quickly is to be loved. Experiencing giving, receiving and pouring out in other cultures, on other continents, is amazing. Not having to say goodbye to friends and family for the rest of my life to board a ship that may not make it and travel treacherous paths possibly without roads to do so is honestly nice. Very different than boarding a plane for an 18 hour plus flight. The crazy weapons our government keeps rolling out  and inventing for purposes like crowd control and such, like the Active Denial System and the Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio... not so much. Can they please just go away? That does not make me feel safer, it makes me feel threatened. It is just plain creepy. Perhaps that paints the picture of my dilemma. There are things to love, things to hate.

A week and a half ago we were going to show a screening of the new documentary Nefarious, about the plague of human trafficking, and hope for an end. To me, a project like that is an excellent use of technology. Then the power went out  in parts of Arizona, all over San Diego county,and into Mexico and it wasn't shown in San Diego. Many people no longer had clean water, or any at all to drink. We were fine, but the long running power outage just illustrated the woes of our dependence on technology. All of the sudden, millions of people were at risk of losing water, clean water and emergency responders could not perform to normal capacity. Early on there were over 50 traffic accidents that had to be ignored if no one was dying or seriously injured, essentially. Sewage leaked into rivers. Few of the general public even bother to have generators, not to mention food on hand for emergency situations. A lot of people did not have dinner in their homes, not to mention meals going beyond a few hours. Our dependency on technology handicaps us for when it is not available or is used against us. And, it can make us more effective at what we do. And on and on it goes, the pros and cons.

But enough of that, the real deal is, I lost my phone Wednesday morning. Maybe one of the kids ate it. I don't know. It was around the house, but it wouldn't work all day Tuesday so I didn't even bother to bring it with me when I went out Wednesday morning. And I have not seen it since. It bums me out when I want to call a friend, or my husband, but honestly, I don't really care. I'm free! I have gone about my business the last few days with less stress, anxiety or care about the time. I had A LOT of messages on my phone I think and I don't know if I will ever hear them. But if  they are from someone who really knows me I think they will know how to reach me aside from that. My good friends know where I live and have dinner with us sometimes. They know my email and most of them are on FaceBook.

I feel free from feeling stressed from not answering an unknown number. Free to hang out with my kids at the library and wherever else we want to go without feeling on call, and oh no, what if I miss a call that was important? What if it was at the bottom of my diaper bag and I should have heard it and didn't? I am just being. Just here, living life. A small bit more simply for a few days, and it is inconvenient at times but also really nice. So here is to not having to go with the full technological flow, even if just for a few days. It's almost like a vacation. Not complaining!

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