Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cell Phones

I've been thinking a lot lately about cell phones and how we have come to depend on them. More so since Sunday when my $200 iPhone decided to take a swim (we won't go into details where it decided to take a swim at, just know it was clean water). By the grace of God, and with the help of my friend Jub, aka the electronic/technical GURU, my iPhone is working again. FYI, if you have an iPhone, Apple warranty DOES NOT cover water damage. If you come across iPhone water damage, turn it off and put it in a bag of rice. Yay, it sounds weird, but the rice absorbs the moisture. Hopefully you will luck out (like me), and your phone will keep working.

Granted, I go days without my phone ringing (or even receiving a text message), but not having it almost drove me crazy. No texts, no phone calls, no updating Facebook to let my peeps know what I was doing at that exact moment. My family likes to joke that my cell phone is surgically attached to my hand. They might be right. Since my phone is also my watch, I couldn't even tell what time it was (I was at the State Fair of Texas).

I can remember back in junior high/high school when only the "rich" kids had cell phones, and those actually belonged to their parents (they just wanted to look "cool", so they brought them to school). And even then, those phones were huge, like a cordless phone. I remember Zack Morris, played by the still gorgeous Mark-Paul Gosselaar, on Saved By The Bell having the big cell phone he would always be talking on.

Hard to believe that cell phones really looked like that. Now they can fit in the palm of your hand. You can check email, get weather and sports score updates, even watch TV from phones now.

I can remember growing up always having a quarter in case I needed to use a pay phone (those aren't even a quarter anymore, whatever few are left). My dad would drop me and a friend off at a mall in Austin and give strict instructions to be back at the entrance at whatever time he was picking us up at. No leaving. No going outside. If the mall caught fire we had to wait by a security guard until the fire department got there (oh yes, these were his exact words). We also had to wait inside the mall until we saw his car pull up at the front entrance. There was no "call when you are ready to be picked up" or "I'll call you when I'm outside." And if he was running late, we had no way of knowing. We just knew we had to wait there until he arrived.

I think about how many times I make plans with friends now and it's always "I'll call you when I get there" or "call when you are on your way." Hard to believe it was just 10 years ago (before I got my first cell phone), when people had to actually make plans in advance. You had to have a location and time you were meeting. And if you were running late, you prayed your friends would wait on you.

Although I'll admit a cell phone is usually just a convenience for me, it has also come in handy during emergencies. Driving home about 11pm one night a few months ago my timing belt broke about five blocks from my apartment. I was able to call a friend who drove out to help me tow my truck home. Before cell phones I either would have had to wait for a safe looking stranger to offer me a ride or walked to a nearby gas station (and in my neighborhood, neither one of those are really an option). Also, if I get lost (which is not uncommon), I can either call a friend, or now, pull up a map on my phone to find out where I need to go. Sometime I'm still amazed how far technology has come, even in my lifetime.

1 comment:

  1. I have to remind myself, on the rare occasion that I forget my phone at home, that there was a time, not so long ago, that I didn't have a phone to carry around with me. And that it isn't the end of the world to not have mine while I run to the store.

    Also, my mom had a bag phone back in the day. She used to let me take it to the mall. I actually thought it was cool.... *sigh*