I’ve been known to utter things like this to the kids when I feel like sounding a hundred years old:
- I remember when I’d leave home for the day and that was that – I was out of reach. If I didn’t make plans to meet up with my friends the night before then I was SOL.
- Before we moved I always made sure I got my friends’ addresses. No, not their e-mail addresses, I didn’t have one of those until I was in college. I got their actual addresses so I could send them actual letters.
- There was no such thing as online shopping. Needed a new pair of shoes? I was out of luck until my mom had a free day to go to the shoe store, and there was a fifty-fifty chance that wouldn’t happen until one of my siblings needed shoes, too.
- Driving required dependance on the kindness of strangers. If you ran out of gas, there was no OnStar or calling AAA. You’d be hoofing it to the closest gas station (and hoping it was open). Being stranded on the side of the road meant hoping a helpful neighbor happened by. Getting in an accident dropped you off the map until you were towed somewhere; then you could ask to use the phone to call your parents.
- There was a time when it wasn’t a choice between a flip phone, a smart phone, or an Android. There was one phone, and it was plugged into the wall in your house.
Folks talk about the cell phone being both a blessing and a curse. That constantly being available to the world makes it difficult to back off and refresh.
As for me, I land on the blessing side of things. I handle roughly 90% of my scheduling and such while I’m out and about; I can’t imagine having to come home to a voicemail filled with messages to return. I love being able to reach out to my sister with a question or a silly thought, and knowing my kids can reach me in an emergency is priceless. (Granted, they think a headache and icky feeling at school constitutes an emergency, but the premise holds.)
Plus I know how to turn the phone off to go underground for a while.
My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.