Peggy Barnhardt: Love letter to the cell phone
I generally don’t ascribe love to inanimate objects because they cannot respond in kind. But in the case of the cell phone we seem to impose our life on it, giving it attributes and qualities of its owner, and it exhibits them thusly:
Mine for example, is given to mood swings and senior moments. This is when it loses itself in some obscure place and has me searching in every nook and cranny for it. Stubbornly, it refuses to ring and reveal its abyssal crevice, forcing me to develop new convolutions of brain matter in my quest.
Sometimes it forgets to tag along, causing irritation and certain insecurity, like a child left behind in a grocery store alone, scared and disconnected.
On up days its bells and whistles work. It takes messages and is present in the assigned pocket; other times its sound is muffled by purse leather, entangled in a mish mash, making its retrieval labored, trying to extricate it within the time constraints of three to four rings, max.
It falls onto the back seat or floor of the car when my purse is jostled aside to accommodate passengers, and goes unnoticed until needed, posing a new phone search challenge.
I think this is a trick it plays on me purposefully, to make me look like an unorganized, disgruntled lump, who carries a grip of clutter like a hoarder.
Unlike the younger generation I have not become disabled by my phone, only having one available hand for usage. My phone is not an appendage to my body, nor do I have to attend and nurture it, feeding it text message Pablum while peering into its eyes regularly and answering its beeps and peeps.
I do not have to divorce it like a defunct lover and marry a new and improved version with more features that can expose my most private thoughts to the face book world.
I don’t have to scroll a screen of icons that move at my most whimsical touch in every direction but the one I want, and take pictures of the back of my hand unexpectedly.
I don’t have to ransom my children monthly to pay the bill because of apps, music clubs, texting, ringtone sales and thing-a-ma-bobs connected.
I don’t have to be rude, by ignoring present company in preference to reading e-mails and texting others.
In view of my sentiments concerning the celly, the only love I have is of the function it provides of connecting me with the ones I really do love, and the speed in which it does it.
It allows me to handle business verbally, giving me the ability to correct the errors made by those whose attention is captivated so completely by their phone that they cannot walk down the street or drive a car without being connected to the World WIDE Web or be enmeshed in the tendrils of the phone system.
So my communing with it is not a conjugal visit. Turning it off between 1:30 and 2:45 p.m. presents no problem for me while I am visiting friends in the hospital with pacemakers I’m sure whoever calls will hit me back and our simpatico relationship will continue on.
Sincerely, Think about it!
Peggy Ann Barnhardt lives in Salisbury.