Tag Archives: cell phones

Thank You Lord, for the Death of My Phone

31 May
phone RIP

photo: Judit Kline on flickr

Wow, last week’s post was an emotional knapsack that was unpacked every time a new wave of friends and family read it. Which was kind of the point, I suppose– that’s a lot fewer people who will be upset when I go to the court house or Costa Rica or nowhere at all. It’s also exactly what I had the most anxiety about. (See how I feel when people I know read my blog).

That was a nice fast-track to figuring out how to have those conversations on the daily.

Just kidding; I was terrible at the conversations.

After the last post, my phone had at least three texts each and every day from brand new people with ideas for how they thought I could have a wedding in a way that was low key and palatable for my perpetually anxious and awkward self. I also had phone calls. Someone even took it upon themselves to start asking around about arrangements with the most excellent but terribly executed intentions (Iknowyou’rereadingthis, it’stotallyfindon’tworryaboutit, Iloveyoupleasedon’tcallmeandtalkaboutitmorexoxoxo). And the sweet whisper of elopement echoed ever louder in the chambers of my brain.

I was beginning to groan every time my phone received a new text because it was inevitably about the post – a post about how I wanted the attention surrounding the subject of the post to go away. I realize, now, my naivete and that there is humor somewhere in it all. Regardless, the joke never translated well for me. Or rather it did – but into more of a firey hell rage than schoolgirl laughter.

Admist all the personal backlash, following a particularly serious big-girl-pants day at work, I came home to realize I’m getting too lax about the definition of a week when I say I’ll post “weekly” and that it was time to throw up a post about whatever dried up bits were in the corners of my brain. Just as I was about to settle in to a nice evening celebrating my work wins and anticipating a high five by the end of the night for posting to the blog, I checked my phone for yet another wedding-related text and found instead a sleek, solid black bar where my phone used to be. Dead.

No warning, no reason, no sense. Just gave up the ghost.

I immediately thought of all the many ways this was going to cause me pain in the coming days. I couldn’t take a work call going from one place to another, I couldn’t use my phone to ignore the men hassling me downtown using various pastry references for my body parts, I can’t text my mom in the morning to make sure she doesn’t go postal and burn down the post office where she works. This could get serious.

I immediately made myself a plate of bacon for dinner to come up with a game plan.

Alas, I had none. But as I chewed on the skins of dead swine, it occurred to me that for as long as it takes me to figure out the phone situation, I wouldn’t have to endure the nagging from anyone about wedding-related hootenanny. I could just keep the thing shut down and avoid it all. Hell, I could double down and get off all social media, put whatever I want on my blog, and force people to have to interact with me virtually to tell me how they feel. Perhaps this is the answer I’ve been looking for since I first set out to find a blogland Jackie / real Jackie life balance.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a plan for the in-person conversations yet (which truly are the worst of them all) grey gardens 2except to perhaps fashion a disguise for myself. Some sort of Grey Gardens-esque getup that no one will venture a guess that I’m hiding beneath. Disguised by day, unapproachable at work, and absent on social media: it’s the way to revert to the life I wanted – to have an open space to regale internet-based strangers with the hyperbolic inner monologue of my brain, to sometimes push myself to do something terrifying with the safety net of sharing that humility with people I would never have to worry about meeting or talking to, and to have a healthy online social life in lieu of a real one so as to prevent myself from shriveling up like hermity little raisin.

If properly leveraged, my brick of a phone could open the door to the next big chapter in my life: complete absence from reality. Let us take a moment to thank the Good Lord above for this unexpected blessing – both for the phone’s sudden passing and for the ability to see the silver lining in what would, at first glance, simply be a modern-day mediocre tragedy:

An iPhone Prayer

Thank you, Dear Lord, for the death of my phone

Though at first I cursed this wretched life

For the people who speak to me

For those who recognize me at parties

For those who traversed the space between virtual and true realities

Verily, Thou hast opened mine eyes

To a bright, new world where I can be my truest, most absent self

To the lack of damns I can give to those opinions for which I once deeply felt

To finding the beauty in the hand I have herein been dealt

Thank you, Dearest Lord

For opening my eyes to this unexpected boon

For its coinciding with Season 5 of House of Cards

…And for Dave’s iPad being left at my home so I can binge-watch it all in my room



I Blame Old People

24 Jan

I’m convinced that the world would be a much safer place to live in if old people didn’t have cell phones.

Or maybe just less annoying.

Listen, I’m really sorry to have to be the one to say this because making fun of old people supposedly shortens your life expectancy, but I’m willing to take one for the team.

I constantly hear people complain about “these kids and their cell phones” on the road, in conversation,and at the dinner table.  And I certainly agree that unfortunately technology develops and improves faster than the rate of our etiquette.  Remember how long Facebook was out before we all collectively decided it just wasn’t okay to run around poking people or plastering personal information of an embarrassing or degrading nature on each other’s walls?  And we’re just finally getting to the point where we are pressuring people to stop posting personal, individual-related, emo status updates. 

So I understand.  I really do.  I don’t like a gum-chomping, oblivious teenage cell phone driver any more than the next guy.  But I have to admit that when I look around on the roads, I see a lot more old people doing it.

When I’m stuck behind a car that isn’t hitting the gas within 3 seconds of a green light, it’s not always a youngin in the front seat.  And when I’m out in social situations, it isn’t just the kiddos who are pulling out their cell phones in the middle of conversations. 

 I was attempting to cross the road to my house the other evening and spotted an older woman in a minivan full of children (presumably her own) approaching an intersection with her texting phone propped up on the steering wheel, eyes fully locked on the keyboard.

I’ve also heard far too many times that “these kids” constantly google things on their phones when in the middle of a conversation.  And that is definitely true.  I’m not really sure how it’s considered a flaw to want to end a debate quickly with the introduction of fact, but that’s another issue entirely.  The point is that we aren’t the only ones.

Dave and I had the pleasure of a few friends visiting us this weekend, one of whom was a baby boomer and came with his iEverything in tow.   Within the course of three hours, I witnessed him walk around my house scanning the barcodes off of random products in order to demonstrate an app’s ability to find the lowest price available in the local market for that item.  He also used his iPhone to google something and end a slightly charged debate about the date of Leslie Nielsen’s death.

And when we were at dinner, he couldn’t resist scanning the barcode on his beer bottle.  You know, just to see.

So stop blaming us.  Because as much as cell phones may be a product of our generation, we are not solely responsible for bearing the social and safety foibles that result from it.  We all are.  And for every kid who thinks they can eat fast food, drive stick shift, and text their buddy at the same time, there is an old fart attempting to read a text from her best friend while running through an intersection with a van full of kids.

And don’t get me started on the inappropriate things that old people post on their children’s walls.

So hey – I’m not solely blaming old people.  I’m just blaming them enough to balance out the blame that has been thrown onto young people’s shoulders all these years.    All of us are very excited about the cool things we can do with mind-bogglingly tiny gadgets.  And we are all very excited to explore their possibilities at all hours of the day regardless of whether it is a social faux pas or a safety hazard to those around us.

So let’s just stop pointing fingers and start spending our time updating our rules of etiquette.  Because I think we could all benefit from agreeing on a few things.  Let’s start with agreeing on how we’re all to blame.

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