To Connect or Not to Connect?

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

 

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