Boy. Everyone seems to be attached to their phones these days, huh. (guess what! Rhetorical question.)
It's pretty rare to meet someone who doesn't own a cellphone. It's almost equally as rare now to meet someone who doesn't have their cellphone within reach or hearing distance.
More often than not, phones are just out, notifying folks that someone has played a word, said something about one of their photos, or wants to go out tonight because it's been too long.
Can I hear an "Amen"?
My phone has not become my master. I won't allow it.
I treat my cellphone like a landline. Over half the time, it's sitting on my kitchen table, whether I'm home or not. Or it's on silent in my purse. Or I've forgotten it in the women's bathroom and a really nice lady returns it to me (could she tell I was both thankful and completely unaware of its absence?).
Usually when a friend calls me, they get my voicemail. I'm not around my phone, so I can't answer it. I see that they've called and I call them back. We still talk. It's not like I didn't get to talk to them because I left it behind while I went to buy groceries.
Sometimes I'm actually near my phone and I see/hear that someone's calling me. I'll pick it up 3 times out of 10. The other 7 times I'm in the middle of something, and it would actually be disrespectful to the other person's time to answer it. Why would they want to talk to me when my attention is elsewhere?
I don't have the Internet on my phone. Facebook doesn't chirp out to me; Words With Friends isn't notifying me that someone has inevitably played an awesome word and crushed my score. Trust me, the Internet being trapped in my computer is enough. I already dabble too much for my taste.
I use the Internet as a tool. When I need it, I approach my computer. That's what it's for (for me).
My cellphone is a tool that tells me when people are reaching out.
And then I can reach back. Whenever.
Unique idea, isn't it. (to me, another rhetorical question.)
Back in the day, ladies used to "pay a call" to other ladies in their community or city. They'd show up, sit in the parlor, and wait for the lady of the house to descend from her (what I presume to be) luxurious Victorian surroundings. Sometimes the lady of the house would come down and they'd chat over tea. Other times, she sent someone in her employ to relay the message that "she wasn't available."
What did "not available" mean back then? Was she dyeing her roots? Writing correspondence to a cousin in the East? Maybe.
She could have just had a "case of the nerves." Or something equally as awful, like too little leeches and not enough bloodletting.
Whatever the case, when the visitor found out she wouldn't be socializing with Mrs. Lady today, she left a card, signifying her "stopping by."
The lady of the house could come downstairs at her leisure, when the house was quiet and only bustling with the activity of those who lived in it. She could walk over to the lace-draped table in her parlor and look at the calling cards left behind.
"Ah! The Widow Johnson."
"Huh. Liza Perkins came by. Haven't seen her since that awful night at the theater."
She was still able to chart her course through social waters, return visits and letters, and go about her business, without the anxiety and preoccupation of maintaining her presence in a network of manners.
Culture, society, art, beauty, wonder: everything still thrived and continued even though she didn't drop everything to socialize at her guest's arrival.
She lived life on her own terms.
I wouldn't mind it being more like that. Like, now (2012, for the win!).
So, I treat my phone like my parlor table.
(It frees up so much time for eating chocolate and reading books.)
Is there anything that you "forego" or "sacrifice" because you know it isn't necessary? (Don't say chocolate. I wouldn't believe you. No one has that power.)