Lifeline or tether?

Cell phones.  We love ’em.  Play games on them.  Take photos with them.  Keep our friends’ and family’s phone numbers in them.  And now we can even bank with them.  There are a dizzying number of apps for cell phones.  Blackberry, iPhone, or smart phone, practically everyone has one, but not everyone needs one.  KWIM?

Walk down the street and see how many people, especially those under 30, have one attached to their ear.  What about when you’re in a line or a crowd, and someone speaks.  You start to answer or perhaps say, “Excuse me?”, and then realize that the talker has an ear thingie attached to his/her ear and is really talking on the phone.   Makes the homeless on the street who talk to themselves appear quite sane.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have a cell phone, but it’s more of a necessity than a luxury.   I live out in a rural area, and participate in activities (like attending plays or working with the local community theatre or teaching an evening class at a community college) that require that I drive home after dark.  My phone is my lifeline to help if there is a problem with my car, or other emergency.

A friend of mine recently related an incident when he and his wife were relaxing at lakeside.  From across the lake came a very loud voice on a cell phone–a business call at 3:00 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon.   Unless you’re a doctor or someone who must stay tethered to his or her work, conducting a business call on a weekend when everyone around you is trying to enjoy a relaxing, stress-free day is simply déclassé.

The trick is deciding if you’re using it or it’s using you.    Lifeline or tether?   Your decision to make.

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