Plugged In

For a long time I have been living in a relatively ‘unplugged’ manner. I stopped blogging for one thing, which didn’t last very long, but it sure reduced the amount of time I was spending online. Also, I don’t facebook or twitter or really participate in social networks.

And, I didn’t have a cell phone. I did for a long time. But then we were really struggling financially a few years ago and my husband suggested we ditch our cell phones, since the bill was high and we didn’t really need them. It took me a good six months for him to talk me into giving it up, I felt like it was my lifeline to the world. But then I did, and everything was fine. In fact, I found that my world became a lot more peaceful, not being ‘reachable’ at any moment. I found myself resisting getting another phone even when it became more reasonable for our budget.

So I’ve been living in the dark ages. E-mail. Home phone. And kind of loving it, to tell you the truth.

But this year it was becoming more and more inconvenient to not have a cell, since I’m hardly ever home, and especially now that my kids are all over the city for play-dates and activities and such.

And I’ve noticed that my social life has been slowly dying. For the first little while I loved that people phoned me to talk to me (a real human voice!) instead of just checking my name in a box of invitees from a list for events, or sending out information to everybody all at once. But I guess as people have become more and more connected to one another via social media, I have actually become really disconnected. I never know what is going on anymore. And my friends have all been strengthening friendships with other friends because of the constant connection, while all of my relationships have been growing thinner. That was surprising to me. I had been running under the assumption that online connections are shallower and therefore a waste of time compared to the ‘real’ thing. But no. I guess I must do as the natives do if I want to be one of them.

I started blogging again. Because I just can’t not, if you know what I mean. And this week I finally got a phone! Actually, it’s been in discussions for most of the year that it is time for me to get one again, but I was sort of procrastinating, and I was also holding out until I could afford an iPhone. I knew if I got something that wasn’t an iPhone I would just be pining for one all the while being committed to something that wasn’t an iPhone. I know what I want.

The first day I had it I got to figure out texting (texting was new and a somewhat uncommon thing when I gave up my phone.) I quickly learned all about auto-correct. I never knew how helpful and annoying it could be at the same time. I texted all night long with three friends, and it took me five times as long to get the dishes done because I had to keep stopping to dry my hands.

I signed up for instagram right away because it was the one app that I knew most of my friends used. And I found a great game – Letris! A addictive combination of spelling and Tetris. And then my kids got me hooked on Whale Trail, which they play on their iPod. And last night, my husband introduced me to Angry Birds. I am now understanding all the Angry Bird hype that I didn’t previously get. Now I get it.

I can see that I am going to have a lot less time on my hands for doing other things. I can’t stop touching the darn phone! But I’m having a lot of fun with it. And I feel a little more connected to the wide world. It is happy. I am happy.

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4 thoughts on “Plugged In

  1. It’s amazing, the way online communication has taken the place of other kinds of communication. And you really have no choice but to go along with it all, for the reasons you have mentioned above. You really do miss important news if you’re away from email or Facebook for a week! I missed a friend’s pregnancy announcement, and then she didn’t really post about her pregnancy after that, so I didn’t know until the baby was born!

    I’d love to get an iPhone. I can probably afford the actual phone, if I save up, but it’s the cost of the plans that would cripple me. Our rates are really sucky. I’m sure you guys have much better plans. Until ours become reasonably priced, I won’t be getting one. But I know you will enjoy yours. As you should! 🙂

    • Well, I wouldn’t call it reasonable. There was a small work contract I was hoping to give up in the new year, but the monthly bill for my phone is a little more than the job pays each month. So. I will have to keep doing it, for a while longer anyway.

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