Sunday, December 2, 2012

Not Being Connected

I am sure that this blog post will offend people I know.  Well, that is life.  Win some friends, lose some friends.

The inspiration for this posting today comes from an article in this morning's Detroit Free Press by travel writer Ellen Creager.  The article is about folks who go on vacation, but can't separate themselves from their phones or Internet devices that keep them connected. 

I know these people.  I know the ones that not only stay glued to their phone while traveling, but also cannot do simple chores without having the phone glued to their nose while texting or busy talking away.  And my friends are not young people, but older folks who surely remember the luxury of growing up with a phone in the home and having to wait for the person on the party line to hang up so they can dial.

Right now my phone is in my purse and is not even turned on.  Granted that I do have a land line and very few people have my cell phone number.  I have it for emergencies and when I am away from home for any length of time.  I rarely send a text message, unless it is to my sons who answer faster than if I leave a voice mail or email.

I have told many people that if I was so important that I needed to be glued to my cell phone 24/7, then I would probably have a red phone on my desk and one next to my bed.  I don't.

There is one woman I see several times a week in my travels around town.  She is always staring at her phone or talking on it.  It baffles me what it is that is so important she can't let go.  She doesn't work, so it's not her job.  What possible can't wait an hour or so?  Every time I see her!

I know these people are also old enough to remember going into a phone booth (that place where
Superman changed clothes actually had a real phone in it) and closing the door so that no one could hear their conversation.  Now people share the most intimate details of their life while walking down the aisles of the grocery store.  Actually, I have noticed that older people are seemingly worse than teenagers when it comes to talking everywhere - or I am just around older people more, whatever.

I know this obsession with our gadgets is not just an American phenomenon.  While enjoying the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower in 1999, I heard this strange ringing noise.  Turning around I saw a woman grab her cell phone and start babbling away in French. 

OK.  So we stay connected when we are at home, but really, Ellen is right.  Vacations should be simple that - vacations; vacations from everything that is not essential in the moment.  Really, if it was so important, why would we have gone away?

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