Lately more people have been leaving moderately important messages for me on my cell phone – sometimes voice, sometimes text. They aren’t emergency notifications, but the senders are in need of some sort of timely response. Which they don’t get from me. Because they left the message on my cell phone. Which was in my handbag. For two days before I checked it.
My fault? Hard to say.
When it comes to technology, I am standing with my generation in a rather strange place. We are not digital natives like our children. Nor are we tech-averse like some of our parents. We are straddling two completely different eras – the one in which we were raised as kids, and the one in which we are raising our kids. Where we choose to plant our feet varies widely, and for many is unpredictable.
Take me, for example. It makes sense that people think I am attached to my cell phone and that I will respond immediately to messages left there. After all, I am on Twitter. I have a blog. I know how to post videos on YouTube and I occasionally take Instagram pictures of my food or my family. Given my social media prowess, it is reasonable to assume that I made the leap into the world of mobile ubiquity. Right?
I actually would prefer to NOT be contacted on my cell phone. I loathe to give out my number. Ninety-five percent of the time someone calls me on cell, I am engaged in some sort of activity that should not be interrupted. And yes, I mean grocery shopping. I still enjoy the luxury of “not being reachable.” Once people know that you answer it, they will always call you on it. And suddenly, the entire world is tagging along in your pocket, everywhere you go.
That said, I do enjoy making calls on my cell phone to use my time more efficiently when I am out and about. But you will notice, I won’t call you on YOUR cell phone unless you ask me to do so. I will always call your land line first. Yes – I am …..A Land Line Lover. I know this admission puts a big ol’ pair of granny pants underneath my leather mini skirt, but I can’t help it. I’m half pregnant with the technology available to me.
I rely on the Internet to get my work done. I have five email addresses, two Twitter handles, and a Facebook page that I post on often. I Skype regularly; I host Google Hang Outs, and buy most of my stuff off the Internet. But….
I won’t pay bills online. I like the feel of books in my hand, not on a screen. Having my boarding pass on my cell phone makes me more anxious than a high strung poodle. I’m still not exactly sure what TiVo is. And I hate Siri more than that girl who stole that guy from me that time and….. well, let’s just say that I don’t know what ANYONE sees in her. She’s not that smart.
I’m not particularly unhappy in this digital limbo. I can relate AND feel superior to people on both sides of this fence. I am able to keep electronic tabs on the brothers when they are out of my sight, but insist they turn their phones off while we are eating dinner. I can empathize with my Dad who still emails me documents to print off my computer five miles from his house, but continue to implore my Mom to please just join Facebook already. (Really, Mom – I’ll totally set you up. You will like it. I promise its not scary and you don’t have to respond to people from high school.)
But admittedly, straddling the fence gets uncomfortable if you stay there too long. And people look at you funny, wondering why you don’t just pick a side. Just like people who don’t understand how someone who communicates so often online won’t look at her cell phone for 48 hours. I am an enigma. But I think most people my age are.
I know it won’t be long before I feel compelled to carry my phone on my body 24/7 like the rest of the cool kids. But for the time being, I think I’m going to sit here on the fence for a little while longer.
If anyone needs me, call my land line.