I laughed when I first saw this picture. A bitter, cringing laugh that was followed by the thought I didn’t want Jo to see it because she’d enjoy it way too much. I don’t know about other people but I am an absolute slave to my cell phone. It started with my first Blackberry when I was introduced to the world of texting and constant connection. And then along came the iPhone. I resisted the iPhone for years as part of my sanctimonious rejection of all things Apple … oh, how the mighty have fallen. Today, I have an iPhone, an iPod, we have an iPad and I’m currently typing on a Mac. Coincidentally, I used to mock Starbuck’s as the quintessential yuppy habit and now it’s a place I embrace far too often. Perhaps, rather than my cell phone habits, I should be examining my obvious tendency to sell out. But, you know, so many flaws, so little time.
Anyway, my iPhone is not only with me everywhere I go, I’m on it constantly. Twitter, Facebook, the internet, text messages. My attachment has only increased since we moved as it is a quick and constant connection to old friends while I flounder here with new people who haven’t had the same years to decide it’s easier on everyone to simply find my awkwardness charming. I love the constant connection to my friends via texting, especially the group text number set up by one of the chosen tribe. It’s hard to beat the comfort offered from texting your best friend, who will instantly be indignant on your behalf, if you find yourself spending New Year’s Eve in the E.R. after your partner slices her hand trying to cook dinner and the nurse starts flirting with her as if you’re completely invisible … you know, if that just happened to occur. *ahem*
But my addiction stems beyond texting. I go to Twitter so I can click on news stories, scan Facebook, there are a few games I like to play, and a few bloggers I read religiously because I’m a sucker for good writing. In the end, I’m reaching for my phone the second I’m still and oftentimes, when I’m not. Even I’m beginning to notice I miss half of what’s going on around me.
I’m also beginning to notice my iPhone affair is gaining a bitter tinge to it. I glance at it sometimes and think “Ugh, would you just leave me alone?” followed by the thought of “Wow, you’re kind of losing it.” Recognizing irrationality is probably a good sign. Hopefully.
There is also another aspect. The Divine Miss M occasionally asks for a cell phone and though we do not think she is ready for one now, the time is coming. I’ve heard and read a lot about setting ground rules on cell phone usage for kids, including time periods it stays off or has to be put away. How am I going to enforce such rules if my own use is so completely undisciplined? Kids can sniff out the slightest amount of hypocrisy when it comes to adults. Miss M would have a field day with something that glaring.
Ironically, though I’m clearly addicted to most every aspect of the iPhone, I loathe talking on it. That’s not about the iPhone, I loathe talking on the phone in general. I’m not sure why. I think mostly because the only easy time to have an actual phone conversation is when you’re alone … as opposed to being able to ignore everyone around you while you text, tweet, search the web. I’m rarely alone, though, and I don’t like spending the precious few minutes I am talking to someone else. However, actual talking it’s going to be because for the next 40 days of Lent, the iPhone is being set aside outside of telephone calls and e-mails.
Yes, I may have just whimpered.
It’s 7:30 p.m. on the first day of Lent. It’s going to be a long 40 days.