At fifteen years old, I coaxed my parents into buying me a cell phone. “It’s really more for you than it is for me,” I pitched as my selling point. I was a skilled orator, and in that moment, my life would never be the same.
My first cell phone was the Nokia brick. I loved that phone, and celebrated it’s existence by breaking “Snake” records and cringing at the possibility of being charged five cents per additional text beyond the 250 contracted expectation.
To today’s fifteen year old (or four year old, which is iconically how old my friend’s kid was when she got a phone), the terms, “Nokia,” “Snake,” and, “250 minimum,” are all a foreign concept. Hell, “roaming,” is basically a foreign concept. Long before Google was in our pocket at any given time, I counted texts and attempted to call a friend and finish a voicemail all before the 1:00 minute mark passed. You see, once you hit 1:01, you’re charged for a new minute and :59 seconds was virtually wasted.
We now tend to take advantage of that :59 seconds, and more times than not, fail to honor it’s very existence. The fact that I can remember a life before cell phones is baffling to me, and also has me wondering if the life prior to cell phones has become the new multi-mile walk to school in the snow.
“Well in my day, we had to walk two miles to school in the snow, and uphill on the way back…Get your ass to soccer practice.”
For some reason, the response always worked (or works, for those who still utilize this tactic). I image as the years progress, a parenting response will eventually become, “Well in my day, we had to count minutes, leave our phones off while in another state, and had no way to send sexts…I mean, photos.”
This is our updated reality. And as much as I would like to long for the olden days (yep, pre-cell phones are basically my generation’s, “olden day”), I’m left constantly appreciative of all the things I can do with Google in my pocket. This past month, I have elected to be without a cell phone, and have enjoyed leaving a wifi zone without having any obligation to check, respond, and react. And even though I created this previous obligation for myself, I must admit, I’m ultra conscious of how wifi has enabled an opportunity to reconnect to the world without a contracted plan. And the unique part of this is that I can opt in and opt out whenever and however I please.
This is quite refeshing. And a wave I’m riding quite nicely. In the meantime, here’s to all things refreshing, and all anticipated/future/next set of waves headed my way.