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Modern INconveniences…or are they?

June 6, 2011

Last week a top news story focused on health hazards associated with cell phones. (As if we don’t know that holding a hot battery next to our heads is dangerous.) So it was with a whole lot of annoyance and a little bit of “oh well” that I reacted with my (not so) smart phone going kaput. No texting, no emailing, no phone calling. Nadda. For someone to whom the nickname Phone Queen was bestowed upon them long before cell phones were the norm, not having a phone was like a fish not having water.

Walking down the street I was forced to – get this – actually pay attention to other walkers. I know, shocking. Not having a landline, I was able to make calls via Skype, but those went mostly like this: “Hi, just a head’s up, my cell phone’s not working.”

For 24 hours I had no way of contacting anyone once I left my apartment. This was a bit unnerving since I was getting picked up at a train Friday afternoon and wondered how we’d meet up without texting updates. But somehow we did. That night I started to relax a bit, losing the need to check my phone for updates, especially in the middle of the night when I woke to go to the bathroom.

Early the next morning another miracle: a cyclist I had hoped to ride with arrived at the path at the exact time as I did! How great since riding 40 miles without a cell phone can be a bit worrisome if you get a flat.

That afternoon I received the new phone via Fed Ex and bolted to Verizon. There they “fixed” it. I walked out feeling as recharged as my new phone. Right away I started texting, “I’m back!” I wrote. But then, as new texts popped up, I was overcome with a new feeling. Dare I say annoyance? Those tiny messages were interrupting my quiet time.

The next morning I woke to find my new cell phone dead. What the? It was too early to go back to Verizon and I was on my way to another 40-mile ride, this time alone. As I started my bike ride, my concern about not having a cell phone started to wane as I suddenly realized it’s okay to “unplug” every once in a while, our lives won’t get unhinged or disorganized. Besides, if I got a flat, I knew someone would eventually ride by who had a cell phone.

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