The cell phone robots


Our lives have changed dramatically in the last 10 years.  The internet, cell phones, texting…all have made our lives easier in so many ways.  I bet our kids don’t even realize that it is possible to exist without the aid of these things. But they’ve made our lives equally more difficult at the same time.  I kind of miss the way things were before you had to carry around a phone with you everywhere you went, like a noose around your neck.  When you could go somewhere alone or with someone you wanted to spend time with, and you were not interrupted by someone else.  I miss the world that moved a little slower, and revolved around whatever it was you were doing at the moment.    

Remember when you could go to the grocery store, announce you were leaving, and then just go?  You could take all the time you wanted, without numerous phone calls wondering “Where are you?”  “How much longer are you going to be?” or “Haven’t you left YET?”

Remember when if we wanted to be checked out of school, we had to first convince our teacher that we were sick enough to go to the office, then we’d have to convince either the school nurse or the vice-principal that we were sick enough to use the phone to call our mom,  and then we’d have to convince her that we were sick enough to be picked up.  Now, we get a text message saying, “Hey, come get me, I’m sick.”

Remember that as teenagers when we left home, we had to make sure we had a quarter to call home in case anything went wrong?  Otherwise, our parents didn’t expect to hear from us until promptly at curfew.

I remember when you could have an actual conversation with someone, face to face.  Now, you can’t have a conversation with anyone anywhere without being interrupted by a ringing cell phone.  And apparently there’s some unwritten rule that when your phone rings, you have to answer it.  I have been in meetings with clients going over their case, and when their cell phone rings, they say, “Oh, excuse me…” and they answer their cell phone.  I mean, really? It’s not even about me thinking that my time is more valuable than yours…it’s about respecting the person who’s sitting there, in front of you. 

I can understand the urge to answer it, though.  I have also gotten repeat calls when I didn’t answer my phone for whatever reason, and then finally when they get me they say, “What’s wrong?  Why didn’t you answer your phone?”  Um, I was busy?  I was in a doctor’s office?  I was having a conversation with my boss?  I was in the bathroom?  I was sleeping?  Since when are we obligated to answer our cell phone every time it rings?  We are constantly at other people’s beck and call.  Literally.

On the rare occasion, when I leave home and forget my cell phone, I spend the first couple of hours reaching for it even after I realize it’s not there.  I worry that someone who only knows my cell phone number is trying to get me and can’t. I even feel a little isolated because I can’t check my email whenever I want, or my facebook newsfeed, or the weather forecast.  But, after a while, I get this overwhelming sense of peace.  I can do whatever I want.  Go wherever I want.  No one can interrupt me or change my plans at the last second.  I’ll find out what’s going on in the rest of the world when I get home, but for now, it’s only about what’s going on in MY world that matters.  Try it.  It’s like going back in time.  And count the people walking or driving by that are texting or talking on their phones, trying to drive, push a buggy, or make an order at a drive through.  That’s when you will see what I have, we all look like a bunch of robots.

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About zohrbak

Zohrbak is an old email username I had a while back...it's a made-up twist on two characters from Spaceghost. Zorak and Brak. I'm a geek. I am a married, working mother of 4 children, ages 4-15. I also have interests outside of my children, but I can never remember what they are.
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6 Responses to The cell phone robots

  1. Aimee says:

    My Dad used to tell me I was an “irresponsible cell phone owner”. lol. Well, that was until he got one himself. It really seems like EVERYONE expects you to answer your phone if they call you. Well, I DO NOT. LOL. Sometimes I dont want to. Sometimes I don’t want to talk. Sometimes I don’t want to talk to YOU (not really YOU in particular, just the caller). Since my Dad, who definitely isn’t a phone chatter, actually received a cell phone of his own about 2 years ago (Yes, he JUST got a phone about 2 years ago. He is 62) he never calls me irresponsible anymore. We agree now on this, as we do many things. My phone is there for MY convenience, not yours.

    However, I readily admit that I am addicted to my phone. It truly IS convenient. My house is 3 levels….I don’t yell at my children from the basement den to their rooms upstairs, I call or text them. I do sometimes yell at them via text….you know, use all caps and many exclamation points. They know what it means. And speaking of texting….I love it. Sure it is causing our youth to not have social skills, they don’t know how to carry on a charming conversation thats like the “keyhole” essays we wrote in school. Begins with fluff, has a few sentences of meaningful points and ends in pretty fluff. But so What???? Who has time for that. I like to text Cody and type “COME HOME NOW”. He responds “YES MAM” . Thats it. 20 minutes later he’s in my driveway. 5 words. Big time results. I like that. Besides, its good for me, bc if allowed, I will talk on and on. (I know all of you people are shocked).

    So, really, I guess am a robot too. Just know that the phone answering part of me is shorted out. I’ll work on it. Yeah.

    • zohrbak says:

      I used to think the same thing about old men (aka the bosses) who had a cell phone but never even turned it on unless they wanted to call YOU. Nevermind when YOU needed them! That’s one thing I love about texting. You know who it is, what they want, and all you have to do is respond to what they wanted, but in your own time, so to speak. You aren’t put on the spot like you are with a phone call. And I’m guilty of texting E when he’s in his room and I don’t want to get up and go there. But seriously, try going a whole day without your cell phone and see how (eventually) relaxed you will feel.

  2. Wendi says:

    Too true! When my cell phone was no longer under contract, I decided to cancel the account, same me some money and live free… that lasted about a week. I felt so lost with out it. I love face to face one on one conversation and due to all the ways we can communicate throughout the day, when you do finally sit down for a cup of coffee, there is nothing to say, b/c we’ve said it all already. We keep talking about the need for a time machine & I really think someone needs to get to work on that…..

    • zohrbak says:

      I know, coffee time has turned into, “Oh, did I tell you that my mama–” “Yeah, I saw it on Facebook.” Hmmm. Okay. What else?
      I’m looking forward to the “hope and serenity” workshop we have tomorrow. I’m not bringing my phone. Well, okay, I have to, because the kids will be home alone, but I’m not going to use it to check my mail or facebook! lol Baby steps.

  3. Aimee says:

    I left the house yesterday to go do some shopping, and left my phone at home, in your honor. 🙂

    I missed 8 calls. lol. I wouldve answered 2.

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