Newfangled Techno Gizmos



By Tami Blake, copyright September 2015


I have been cell-phone-free since 2008. I had just left a job that made me crazy (quite literally), and I didn’t want anyone to ever be able to reach me again. So I called up Verizon, cancelled my plan, and donated the phone to the Rescue Mission. Ever since then I’ve been patting myself on the back for the money I’m saving by not paying a cell phone bill.

I have never regretted my decision to ditch the cell phone, even though I know few other people over the age of 12 who don’t have one. Even my almost-90-year-old grandmother has one. But I guess I’ve never been one to follow the crowd.

My husband and my mother DO regret my decision to live sans-cell phone, especially when I’m traveling alone with the children. We don’t even have cell service here at our house, but often when I’m on the road, Beau or Mom will insist I carry one of their phones.  And I have to admit, cell phones are handy for emergencies and for coordinating meet-ups.

But I remember so well a time when we all got along just fine without cell phones. When it was okay to not be constantly in touch and immediately available.

Speaking of available, I find that most people don’t even answer their cell phones anyway. Which is fine I guess — I have to admit I like to screen my calls on the good ol’ home phone and get back to folks when I feel ready to communicate.

If you do call our home phone and I don’t answer, it might be because I’m busy contemplating all the technological advances I’m missing out on, limping through life without a cell phone. Texting? Nah — because as long as I don’t text, I can claim to be one of the last warriors fighting to preserve proper written English. And the internet? I get enough time on the internet just sitting at my computer.

I guess the only thing I really think I’m missing out on is the selfie. I gather that people are taking selfies with cell phones. I take all my photos on an old-fashioned digital camera, so I’m not sure I’m selfie-eligible.  Also, I’m curious about how people take selfies of themselves driving a vehicle. Is it sort of trendy to take a selfie, using your cell phone, while sitting in the driver’s seat?  Or does the rear-view mirror somehow take your picture?

I had a bit of spare time the other day and took the photo shown of myself. The kids and I were with my husband, checking water lines in the side-by-side ATV, when the 2-year-old fell asleep with her head on my lap. When Beau stopped to let the 4-year-old run around and took the baby with him, it was just me and a sleeping girl in the vehicle. With nothing but time on my hands, I experimented with the camera.

I took a photo of my own face, but with a camera instead of a cell phone. Does it qualify as a selfie? AND I was sitting in a vehicle when I did it.  Do I get bonus points?

I think I need to make friends with a 12-year-old.  I’ve got questions that need answers.

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