• Jeanette Ulmer

Where Would You Be?

Sometimes I think back to my childhood... a.k.a. the "good ole' days"... when phones were not in our pockets, but on the wall inside our parent's home. They were literally attached to the wall, not to be removed and carried to your room or outside or car or to work. My childhood phone was rectangular in shape and mustard yellow in color. It had a spiraled cord that seemed to be twenty feet long, I swear. Long enough to reach down the hall and into the bathroom, where, from behind a closed (and locked?!) door, you could talk in "private" about those things that middle and high school kids do.

I miss those days. When the phone stayed at home, attached to the wall, and we went about our lives, working outside or playing, or off on some grand adventure at a tractor pull. If someone needed to find us, they could call and leave a voice message, otherwise they just had to live with the fact that we were unattainable at that moment and they'd have to (*gasp!) wait until we called them back.

I miss the privacy. Now days I have a cell phone in my pocket or purse at all times. I miss the guiltless trips to the restroom without a means by which other people can find me. I miss a peaceful nights rest with no dings and chimes indicating someone has texted, emailed, Facebooked, Instagramed or Snapchatted me. I have anxiety about dropping my (expensive) phone and having to replace it or making sure my photos and videos are backed up so I don't lose them and the memories they represent.

It goes without saying that we truly are not living in the present moment. Not fully, anyhow. A lot of us are thinking about "Oh, I should get a picture of that." "I should be videotaping this to put on Facebook." "I need to Snapchat this so everyone knows what I'm doing." Yes it's nice to share those moments and/or preserve them for future reference, but at what cost? Are we aiming but yet missing the depth our relationships could be at because we're too distracted by our phones and social media?

I challenge you to not just think about what you're probably missing, but take steps to remedy the situation as it pertains to you. Perhaps it's limiting the time on your phone to one hour a day, or "disconnecting" after 7 p.m. or every other weekend, or just on Sundays.

If you find yourself questioning what you would do without your phone, well, I would wager a guess that you'd be enjoying your life more fully. That's where you'd be.


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