Friday, April 22, 2016

Cutting the Wireless Wires

Yesterday morning I put on farm clothes, gathered my trowel and work gloves, and headed to the greenhouse to put tomatoes into the garden bed.

And I almost picked up my cell phone too. Half the time I have no pocket (especially now that we're past jacket weather), and I must carry the thing in my hand.

But yesterday I decided to leave the phone in the house and give myself a break from the constant, low-grade demand of that gadget.

I consciously decided to throw myself back 30 years ago, to a time in my life that I didn't feel the need to have a phone on my person 24/7. Do you recall that feeling? The freedom? The calmness? The absence of urgency?

A cell phone is a kind of addiction -- even when it's not dinging or ringing, folks feel a compulsion to "check it" to make sure it didn't forget to ding or ring them with some urgent message ... like, "Here's a photo of a silly dog lol" from a friend they haven't seen in twenty years. Or perhaps their cell phone company notifying them of how many minutes they have left. You know, really important things that we allow to invade our private peace every minute of every day.

With a cell phone, you're never alone, and perhaps that's the point. We've forgotten how to relish being alone.

I'm planning to do this more often -- leave my cell phone in the house. If somebody calls, I can find out later. I have a right to personal, private peace. Time with my own head. Time when nobody can reach me unless it's so urgent they drive to my home and physically find me.

Why did we think wireless technology would free us? We are attached to the petty world of constant communication by the invisible wires of compulsion, of obligation, of addiction to the next message. I'm snipping those wires deliberately. If you need me, leave a message. I'll get back to you when I'm done in the greenhouse.

7 comments:

  1. I have a cell phone that's rarely used; it has no data or text features, so all it can do is make and receive calls. I don't even turn it on. My husband wanted me to have it in case of emergencies. It bothers me to see folks hooked up and just plain addicted. You made a wise choice. Farm life does wonderful things for us, doesn't it?

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  2. Yes, I agree. That's one reason I still have a lowly flip phone instead of a "smart" one. I only want to make necessary phone calls and texts. I don't want to be "online" all day. I spend plenty of time on my laptop as it is! I do usually keep my cell phone nearby. With my kids 1,000 miles away I want them to be able to call me when they are able to according to their schedules. And, living alone, it makes me feel safer knowing I can call someone if I need to. But I do understand where you're coming from. Enjoy your leisurely greenhouse work! :)

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  3. It's a family joke that my mobile phone is immobile. I usually leave it at home. However, I find it useful for deleting spam emails as soon as they arrive. That has really cut down on the time I spend on my laptop ploughing through a long list of emails looking for the important ones.

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  4. I often think of the good old days of house phones. If it was busy, bummer. If nobody was home you figured out what to do next and the world didn't fall apart. If I forget my phone when I'm driving, I feel worried. It's crazy. The old ways seem to slip away quietly.

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  5. I still have a "house phone" because our cell phones don't work reliably out here in the country. I can still get texts via wi-fi but I rarely look at it much during the day and I sure don't carry it with me outdoors much unless I plan to take a photo. I am with you! I like the "personal space" i have without a cell phone attached to my hip or in my pocket.

    Your tomato planting day sounded perfect!

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  6. I recently got a smart phone, the end of last year. I don't get but one or two calls, which is fine with me as I am not a phone person. I don't even know how to answer the cell phone, :-)so the calls don't get answered. I talk to people on my land line.

    It mostly stays in the house. I use it for texting, but not while driving. It does travel in my purse when I'm out on the road, in case of emergency and it's nice to google directions, etc.

    I'm afraid the 'old days' are a thing of the past.

    Have a lovely weekend dear MK ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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  7. Good for you! I'm reading a book called 24/7 which is on this and related topics, how our devices do not free us, but rather enslave us....

    My cell phone often doesn't ring anyway - I don't know why! - so I might as well leave it in the house. :-)

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