“Can you hear me now?” has become part of my daily repertoire. Cell phones are the bane of our existence. You can’t live with them; you can’t live without them. What was once thought of as a luxury item can be extremely useful or a real pain in the —… If a vote were taken, how many people would like to go back to the good old days before everyone could “hear me now?”
Have you ever been in someone’s company while they spent the time answering cell phone calls? We all have one of those friends. While having lunch in a restaurant the other day, I was watching while two friends at a local pub enjoyed their lunch (I use that term loosely). Brrrrring, brrring. One friend sat staring straight ahead waiting for their pal to get off the phone any minute. Three phone calls later I couldn’t help myself. “There’s nothing like lunch with an old friend, huh?” I whispered to this lonely companero. After turning a bright shade of crimson red, our “talker” disconnected immediately. He gave me the old, “Hey, it isn’t my fault I had to take that call” look. I’m sure it’s not, it’s not everyday we are fielding calls from the President, right?
Then there is always the memorable cell phone situation when you turn to answer a question from the person behind you and they look at you like you’re nuts? You soon realize that you are talking to yourself. They, on the other hand, are electrically connected with a wire running straight up and into their ear. It’s hard to tell if people are talking to themselves, to you, or to some unseen person on the other end of a tether, or maybe under their coat. Now that would be interesting.
Let’s talk cost. What did you ever manage to do with the extra $60 a month ($60 if you are lucky, one minute over costs you an extra $150)? You know it has really gotten scary when you realize you are using your phone so much that you are considering disconnecting your home phone and replacing it with your cell phone!
Technology has changed the way we live, for the good and the bad. Connection is in; privacy is out, never mind the hazards that are caused while driving. Remember when you could avoid a call? Forget it. Now I get the call from one of my bosses (or worse: my Mother). Sorry Mom can’t talk I am in the process of taking out the Mianus River Bridge. Ok, she replies, call me right back when you are done. The good old days of saying, “Sorry, I couldn’t take over the car pool, I didn’t get the message,” are over. I do have to admit that cell phones serve a purpose. After all, bringing up little kids, how else would you get a conversation in?
My Life With Wendy tip for managing your cell phone use is to use it to be efficient with your time. Once you figure out how many minutes per month you really need, shop for a good plan, so the bill doesn’t kill you. Verizon allows you unlimited calls to other Verizon users and free nights and weekends.
The most important thing to remember in keeping this item a luxury is to be considerate of others. If you are in a relaxing situation where people are trying to get away from the hustle and bustle of life, shut it off. When you are having lunch with your friends, shut it off. When you haven’t seen your kids all day and they are looking forward to seeing you, shut it off. Spend some time alone as well, no-calls. It isn’t forever and you can retrieve messages.
Let others know that you aren’t being rude but rather considerate. After all, who needs to be available 24 hours a day, unless, of course, you really are expecting that call from the President. Can you hear me now?