21st CENTURY ON LINE ONE….

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From “Of Old Men”:

“Oh,” Marie said, “speaking of new things…remind me to give you Evan’s cell number in case you ever need to get a hold of him.”

“What? Mister rotary-dial has a cell phone? I thought he hated them.”

“I got it for him. He’s always taking off on his walks or little road trips and was out of touch for hours at a time. I finally insisted that he have one.”

Jenn grinned and pulled her phone from her purse. “What’s his number?”

“It won’t do you any good…” Marie pointed to the kitchen counter. “It’s over there. You can lead a horse to water….”

“Then what’s the point of having one?”

“He’s accepted it, he’s just not used to packing it with him all the time but he is getting better. Plus watching him trying to figure out how to use it was worth it in entertainment value alone.”

This was one of the first scenes I put together for my sequel to White Wolf Moon months ago. Evan has always been the traditionalist and doesn’t welcome new technology easily so I thought the introduction of something as commonplace as a cell phone would add some new wrinkles to the character.

At the time I wrote this I didn’t have a cell. While I appreciated the convenience and value they might offer, I never wanted one. Now, as of two weeks ago, I have a cell and for the same reasons that Marie states in justifying her giving one to Evan. It seems the family decided that I should be able to be contacted in case I choose to wander off (which I tend to do) so my wife came home, dropped the cell on my lap and said, “Get used to it…here’s your new number.”

Uh-huh.

Okay…I’ve dipped my toe into the vast ocean that is the Twenty-First Century but that’s as far as it goes, at least for now.

I find it amazing how many people I’ve talked to that are already trying to get me to upgrade. They usually tell me it’s “because you can do this, and this, and this.”

I don’t want to do that, that, or that. It’s a phone. Yes I message and to me that’s a practical thing but I don’t want all those other apps. I’m only toe-dipping, remember?

I pressed one icon and find I’m on the internet. Recently I have managed to set limits on my internet usage. I check email, facebook, and blog in the morning then I shut the computer off by about 10:00 am. Occasionally I’ll turn it back on over lunch but usually it’s down until after dinner. I found the amount of time I was spending on-line could be put to more productive purposes so I certainly don’t need the temptation strapped to my hip. My next task was finding the tool icon and disconnecting WiFi.

Back to texting…this I find useful. My son in Alberta and I share the same collecting addiction. On a recent trip to Kelowna I found a few things I wanted to share with him so I texted (complete with photos). At one point I found myself wandering through a mall working that little keyboard like crazy and I realized that I had become one of those geeks I usually laugh at. You know those folks with their eyes focused directly on that small screen, bumping into pillars and people?

Then I stopped for lunch at A&W. I remember when going to A&W was a treat…an exception. It was a good time that happened rarely and thus it was special. My sister and I would sit across from our parents and talk about all kinds of things.

Last week as I sat and consumed a Grandpa cheese loaded my cell was tucked in the holster. It buzzed once but I was eating…whoever it was could wait. I glanced through the restaurant. In the booth across from me was a family of four. Dad was on his cell talking to someone and mom was, I assume, texting. A girl perhaps fourteen was also texting on her phone while the boy who appeared to be six or seven was playing on a tablet. The family unit…together but not really.

Welcome to the 21st century.

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