Playing off Shakespeare’s famous lines ‘To be or not to be?’ I often ponder if I’m missing out on not being connected to the internet 24/7 (24/6 because I am Sabbath observant). I have what is called a ‘Kosher phone’ which means my phone does not have internet connection. I do not have instant access to everyone and everything at all times. Because of this, I have limited availability of when I can check e-mail and be on social media. I must be home in front of an “old-fashioned” computer to do so. I commute almost three hours a day so I have three beautiful hours to be unplugged. Sometimes I wish I had the connectivity, and other times I am glad I don’t.
Wherever I go, I see people staring at screens and touch tapping their tiny handheld gadgets. From the point of view of a massage therapist, I wonder if everyone is suffering from wrist and shoulder pain. As a teacher, I wonder if this is the reason it is difficult to engage students in learning.
This iPhone technology provides for some interesting stories to tell. The other day, I had an interesting experience in my classroom. A student was unprepared with class materials, you know, the basics-book, workbook, notebook, and pen. However the student had their phone (G-d forbid they should forget THAT at home). So, instead of writing out the answers to the classwork, they used the phone as a camera and took a photo of the board. The student then assured me that the work would be finished at home. What is this world coming to? Education ain’t what I used to be. (Yes, that was incorrect grammar).
A second story: A student was absent from school and needed to make up a test. I decided to enter the new millennium, so instead of making a note to myself in my planner, I said ‘message me a reminder’. The student then sent me a text message–which is one thing I my otherwise ‘boring’ phone can do. Welcome to student communication in 2015.
So back to my original pondering. Is it so wrong to have a phone just as a phone?
I’m getting a bit miffed at people who actually have the chutzpa get angry or annoyed I can’t instant message them. Come on, people. Give me a break! Upon meeting me, do I need to give a disclaimer: “Hi I’m Karen. I don’t have an iPhone. I can’t What’s Up? you nor post a photo of the item on a buy/sell/swap group. I don’t have Wayz, so please give me directions if I ask. Thanks for your understanding.”
While part of me wants to have that instant connectivity, on the other hand I’m glad I’m not a slave to my phone. (Hence the name ‘cell phone’, as in “like a prison cell”.) I think I am a dinosaur..or a rare breed that sits on the bus or train and read a book. Yes, a real hold-in-your-hand turn the pages book.
So, ‘to connect or not to connect’, I think I’m happier to not connect. But in the event someone wants to instantly send a photo across the world to my family, you are welcome to use YOUR phone and do me this kindness.
Thanks for reading. If you read this on something other than a hand-held device, thumbs up to you.
Karen, The Klutter Koach