It’s happened. I’ve joined the world of the electronically living.
I finally got a cell phone. An iPhone, to be exact.
I’m still just figuring out all the stuff I can do with it. Right now I’m just so stoked I can place a call outside of the house. I spent a half hour on the bathroom floor last night during the boy’s bath exploring “The App Store.” Did you know some of these apps are FREE!? (What am I saying? Of course you knew…I’m like the last person to get a DVD player telling everybody, “Did you know you don’t have to rewind these nifty things?”)
I had a normal cell phone about a year ago, but I lost it on a trip, and we were feeling poor, so I decided to cancel the service and go off-grid. It was nice for a while. But after months and months of asking perfect strangers and drifters if I might borrow their phones…You can’t find a payphone anymore these days! But no matter. Those dark days are behind me.
Now the kids and I can play Mad Libs in waiting rooms. My first grader can swipe through her sight words, and my third grader has his times table flash cards ready to go, all with the touch and glide of a finger. I’ve downloaded matching games and toddler puzzles…oh, this is gonna be so great.
I can find movie times, see what’s at my Redbox down the hill, and pinpoint my exact whereabouts on the map. I’ll never get lost again!! And books! I can download book after book and read at night without the aid of a flashlight or lamp and without all that paper consumption. I’m so green now.
The one down side to all of this is…well, I’ve been a little, well, a little…self righteous (there, I said it) when it comes to cell phone etiquette. You see, I didn’t have a phone, so I could be as preachy as I wanted.
I would tease my husband, calling his state of the art, company-subsidized iPhone his “oracle.” (The same word the Lilliputians used for Gulliver’s pocket watch.) I’d get upset at the dinner table and refer to it as “his precious.” He would roll his eyes, give me a sideways glance and start stroking it like that pitiful Lord of the Rings character, Gollum. “My precioussssss,” he’d hiss. Oh, it was great fun.
But now I have a “precious” too. Now I have an oracle to consult before making my every move. Now I have to put my money where my mouth is and sign Oprah’s “No Phone Zone Pledge.” And all that judgment I passed on children transfixed by their Gameboys? What makes my new phone any different?
But I’m determined. I must only use this new power for good. With great power comes great…oh, you know the rest.
Just so long as no one tries to take you away from me,
Margaret Anderson is a BYU graduate, freelance writer, and mother of four small children. You can read more on her blog at www.jamsandpickles.wordpress.com