Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Ubiquity of the Cell Phone

When I got to my classroom this morning, I started through my regular procedure.  I reached into my bag to check my phone for messages one last time before I put it back into the bag and lock it in the closet for the rest of the day--and my phone wasn't in my bag.  I had forgotten it.

I felt that momentary pang of anxiety.  I'm not sure that it came from not having immediate contact with anyone and everyone; as I said, I keep my phone put away all through the school day anyway.  No, it came from not knowing exactly where the was.  I mean, I was 99% sure it was on my headboard, still connected to the charger, but that 1% gnawed at me.  But only momentarily.  I put the phone-less bag into the closet and carried on with my day as usual.

Yet, I did feel that pang of anxiety.  And I'm someone who spent the first 40+ years of his life without a cell phone.  I can understand a little more why my students, who have had a phone in their hands since they were toddlers, might have more anxiety than I do when trying to live without their phones for 60 minutes per class period.  I understand it, but I don't buckle to that understanding.  That anxiety might just as accurately be called an addiction and I see no reason to enable someone's addiction. 

Still, I got the slightest peek into that addiction today.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

When I was in college I drove from Dallas to Chicago, without a cell phone.
When I was a new graduate, I drove from Dallas to LA, without a cell phone.
I didn't have a cell phone until my own kids were in college.
I hate the feeling I have now of driving just around the corner to the store without a cellphone.
A cell phone doesn't make you safer.
A cell phone doesn't protect you.
In many ways a cell phone can make a simple trip to the store more dangerous.
I also don't like that my privacy is invaded many times by spammers that seem immune to threats of litigation via the National and Texas No Call Lists.
Sometimes I miss the feel of leaving work, problems, misery behind because it couldn't find me.
Now we carry it with us all the time.