There was a time, long, long ago, in an era that is now far, far away, it was impossible to lose your phone. Why, you say? Because the phone was large and heavy, and connected directly to the phone line in the wall. You could not take it with you (unless you unplugged it which was silly because it wouldn’t work that way). You could only walk as far as the length of the coil (what does that mean?) that connected the receiver to the base. You would be unconnected (gasp!) until you reached a location when there was another phone or went past a pay phone (a what?). There was even a possibility the phone would not have buttons and you would have to use your forefinger (no thumbs here, baby) to turn a circle with holes in it to dial a number. No pre-programmed numbers. No speed dial. You had to remember the number you wanted to call (Oh, no!).
So why all this nostalgia for antiquated phones? Because technology keeps tricking me into thinking I have my cell phone with me. Heaven forbid I become “disconnected” (a whole new meaning). Now, calls are “dropped” (perhaps we should be dropped on our heads instead).
Let me tell you my story. I have a smart phone, like most. I am forced to use it whether I like it or not because of job requirements, family, and friends. If I wanted to take calls while in the car I had to use a Bluetooth device or ear buds. Both of which I detested. I find it particularly disconcerting and rude when people call you while doing errands and you can’t tell whether they are speaking to you or a store clerk. Just wait to speak to me until you are finished. I also detest it when people call you while they are driving because they are bored and what something to do. Pointless. The worst are the potty talkers (and I don’t mean off color language). Just the thought makes me gag. But I digress.
Unhappy with a Bluetooth or whatever in my ear, I leased a car that connects (by Bluetooth outside of my ear) to my cell phone. When I turn on the car, it takes a few seconds to connect and then the dashboard screen shows me a phone icon. I pull out of my driveway, with the icon on the screen, confident I have my cell phone with me. I don’t look at the screen again until I have reached my destination. Many mornings, I get texts from work as I am driving there. These are read to me by a mechanical voice with terrible pronunciation. Recently, driving to work, I received no text messages and no calls. I thought to myself “This looks like a quiet day.” I get into my office, hang up my coat, and go to take my phone out. But, alas, it’s not there! Panic stricken, I search my coat, my briefcase, my pockets to no avail. How could this be? Let me tell you.
I had thought my cell phone would only connect when I got in the car. To my surprise, when my car is parked in the driveway, it will connect to the cell phone even if it is left in the house. When the icon appears on the screen of the dashboard, I am sure I have it. But, I don’t. I have been tricked into thinking I have it. Tricked by technology. Tricked into having a bad, not quiet day at work. If a phone were really smart, it would tell me it is still on my bedroom dresser.