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When Keeping Up Gets You Down

March 9, 2019

My cell phone history in brief from l to r: Current Samsung Galaxy 8, 2 months old; Motorla X, 2015-2019; LG, 2008-2015; first flip phone, LG, circa 2003-2008. And yes, that’s me snapping the picture reflected in my new phone.

Another Way for week of March 8, 2019

When Keeping Up Gets You Down

My husband bought me a new smart phone this past Christmas. It was beautiful but it took me until the end of January before I could finish activating it. I won’t go into details but I’ve got the shiny new one working now—mostly. There are things I need to change and settings to adjust, but I’m mostly rolling. The old one’s battery—my very first “smart” phone—was slowly becoming unable to maintain a charge.

But this morning I accidentally slipped my old phone in the pocket of my bathrobe as I went about getting ready for the day. The old one still works—not for phone or internet use but I can use the calculator, flashlight, and clock. When I took the phone out of my pocket to check something, I realized I had grabbed the old one. I ran my fingers tenderly over its used and worn case. It was almost like part of my body for these last 4+ years. It went everywhere I did and on occasions when I forgot and left it at home, it was panic and then, “Ok, yes, I can make it through the day … I’ll just email my daughters from my office computer, so they know,” etc.

Indeed, the several times I lost that phone were days of desperation. You may recall me writing about the time my husband was going having surgery and I had to run an errand and left my phone (stupidly) outside a door at my church. A friend found it and someone figured out how to get in touch with me.

The most recent time I lost it was traveling to Indiana. We made a rest stop at a roadside park. I took the phone in with me, as usual. After our break, we resumed driving and maybe 6-7 miles down the road I began to look for my phone. My heart sank. Could I have left it back at the rest stop? I started calling it with my husband’s phone. Nothing. Again. Nope. If it was there and someone was hearing it, they weren’t answering. We had to drive to the next exit to turn around to go back. So it was probably at least a half hour until we got back to the rest stop. My heart was thudding dully. I was so mad at myself. My husband, bless him, was not really angry at me for misplacing it yet again. Just worried and hoping against hope and praying like me.

I walked into the stall I had used. It was gone. Then I heard it ringing! Where?? My one deaf ear makes it very difficult for me to catch directional sound. I called out in the nearly empty restroom: “Anyone know where that phone is?” Someone called out, “Check the bench in the entry.” I hurried there, and laying on the arm of the bench, was my beautiful old blue-green case and phone. I don’t remember when I’ve been so grateful, so overwhelmed with joy. I went running to the car to tell my husband. He had been ringing for it. We couldn’t believe it was still there. Someone had taken it from the stall and put it in a more obvious place—but a place where someone could easily have walked off with a free phone—a phone I never locked.

Whew. I suppose someone could write a book of lost phone rescues. I could also write a complete book using past columns dealing with technology changes. Learning to use a computer. The office getting a fax machine and we stood around marveling. Going online at home with dear old America Old Line and listening to the buzzy sound as the phone line made the connection. When we were first “allowed” to use the Internet as part of our ordinary work day. If you remember some of these things you are probably as old as I am.

A reader wrote recently saying she wished she had a laptop; she’s only 55, has a disability, and can’t afford the technology. She said “Not being able to use technology makes me feel more isolated than my disability.” I’m sure that is true for so many, especially as we get older and “age out” of even hoping to keep up. So for as long as I continue this column, I plan to continue sharing a postal address where you can reach me in addition to email. I try to be mindful of others who simply can’t afford or choose not to use the latest technology.

***

Do you love to have the latest technology, or are you a slower adopter?

Or perhaps you’ve opted not to do the smart phone thing at all, which may be very smart! Tell us here!

I’d love to hear your stories or comments. Send to anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

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Speaking of technology, here’s a thoughtful and informative book from a Christian viewpoint on what’s coming in technology, published by Herald Press, where I serve as a managing editor, including for this book. Great grist for small group and S.S. class discussions. Find it here.

 

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5 Comments
  1. Yes, those misplaced phones can institute an immediate panic mode!
    I remember when my job first had internet service. Oh my! What a change. And even better, when they updated computers I got to take the old one home. My first! Yes – with AOL dial up. I laugh as I think about how things have changed – then I remember about the phone we had growing up. Attached to the wall. A party line. (Not that we kids EVER got on the phone and listened in to other conversations hehehe) When I was in high school, I had a volunteer position a few hours a week working the switchboard. Yes, a real live switchboard, even though at home technology had already rapidly changed.

    • Interesting that you remember a party line–I do too but I’m a bit older than you. Are you saying you worked a switchboard — at your school or elsewhere? Wow, I am very impressed. You’ve got me beat on that. Thanks for your memories and experiences, love it! Let’s all have a good week with our phones: I find that if I’m distracted, that’s when it goes missing. Focus, Melodie. 🙂

      • Yes, it was a switchboard at the high school. Probably my freshman or sophomore year, so 1973-1974ish. By the time I graduated they’d ‘advanced’ to a new phone system & the switchboard volunteers weren’t needed anymore. Sigh! Replaced by technology before I even had a real job.

  2. Marian Beaman permalink

    Most of us have lost phone stories and jubilance when the “treasure” is recovered. I usually misplace my phone when I’m distracted, overcommitted, or in a strange place. It helps if someone I know can ring my number. 🙂

    Sometimes the world is too much with us. With me, at least. That’s why I’m taking some time off and walking in a forest with my friend Colleen.

    • I agree 100% that it happens most when distracted and overcommitted. My daughter lost her phone in the Smithsonian. It was very new. She had found a quiet place to nurse her little one and then boom, it was gone when she tried to use it later. There are devices now that help you find phones even when ringing it doesn’t work. I think I was even more jubilant when she found her found that day than when I was able to find my old one. Thanks for sharing your comments: sounds like a great day for a walk. At least it was here.

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