Lost: One Motorola Razr3 Cell Phone
Last Seen: Tuesday on my person at the Wheaton Public Library
Necessary Evil: Yes
Necessarily Missed: No
Yes, I misplaced my cell phone earlier this week. I even called my carrier to see if, perhaps, through the wonders of modern technology, their high tech equipment could talk to my high tech gadget and maybe pinpoint its general location. (I prefaced my question to the carrier by saying, "I'm about to ask stupid question number 542...." Fortunately, the folks at my carrier seem to be gracious, professional people, because my CSR said, "There are no stupid questions, blah, blah, blah...)
I didn't miss my cell phone, per se. My biggest concern was that it might be in the hands of someone to whom it did not belong. Still, I didn't miss it as a needed and dear item in my life.
I like not always being available and "in touch." I'm one of those people who tries really, really, really hard never to use my cell phone in stores, restaurants (fast food or full service), on the bus/train, or in public places in general. I also try even harder not to use my cell phone while I'm driving. (Please note that I said, I try. I didn't say I never. That would be lying. And anyone who tells you they don't use their cell phone in those places or while driving is a hypocrite. We all do it, people. Admit it.)
But even when I do use it in public, I'm aware that I'm in public and I'm hyper aware that there are others around me--total strangers--who can hear all of my side of the conversation. And while it's certainly hardly their business (except that I've made it their business by using my phone in public), they can't help overhearing, which means I've put them in a position where they're compelled to hear my every word, whether they want to or not. Knowing that, I feel like I'm being rude and I do my best to get off the phone as quickly as possible or to find a place with a bit more privacy.
And that's the thing I don't like about cell phones. We're forced to listen to or overhear the most inane conversations. Conversations that should have been had between couples before they parted ways in the morning. Conversations that might be sensitive in nature and shouldn't be in the public domain. Conversations between friends that make watching paint dry seem infinitely more intriguing. Conversations about absolutely nothing.
There's the other rub with cell phones. We're so connected and in touch that we expend all of our deeper, quieter thoughts and insights in moments of vomitous talking. Must. Talk. All. The. Time.
I miss the quiet that once was the cellular-less world. I miss seeing couples walking down the street hand-in-hand, talking to each other. Now, they both have a phone to their ear and they barely notice each other. I miss going to places that were traditionally sacrosanct, like restaurants and parks and the beach, and enjoying the quietness and intimacy that were characteristic of such get-aways.
I've enjoyed the tranquility of the last few days without my cell phone.
Unfortunately, I found the damn thing yesterday, when I started to do my laundry. There it was. Lying on the floor in the closet with the washer and dryer. Its battery exhausted. Its flashy screen dead. I plugged it into a charger and it came back to life. And last night, it rang again in all its robustness.
I promptly turned it off.