The grandmothers in my yoga class yesterday morning were talking about their adult children refusing to text. "She says, 'Oh, I don't text, Mom,'" one woman said with an eye roll.
"What!?" her neighbor practically gasped. "Get with the times!"
"I know!" the first woman said, shaking her head. "Text is the only way I talk to my kids!"
I said nothing. I pretended the choice between a round bolster and a rectangular one was a serious dilemma to keep from laughing.
I don't have a cell phone. I barely have a home phone; without caller ID, picking up the telephone is still a great mystery. It could be Rob, my mother, the Queen, or, as is often the case lately, a horrible hissing noise that suggests someone thinks my house is a fax machine.
But back to the cell phone thing—I just don't see the need.
I don't need to be part of the communication machine all the time.
To be fair, I'm a bit of a neo-Luddite. While I enjoy that the Internet is sitting in my lap right now, I don't really want it in my pocket. I purchased my first digital album just a few months ago, and it felt sort of weird and sad. Rob's mom raves about her Kindle, and I just...I can't even imagine. And though I try, I really don't understand the appeal of Twitter. (It's kind of like trying to have an intimate conversation in a crowded nightclub, isn't it?)
Sometimes I feel like I'm missing out—like if I had a smartphone all of the techno-joy would make sense and I too would be texting while walking down the street and wondering "How did I live without this thing?" But I doubt it.
I enjoy staring out the window on bus rides, writing in my journal in waiting rooms, making silly faces at Westley while standing in line. I like that when I leave the house, my gadgets stay behind. For a little while, I'm unreachable.
* * *
When I say I don't see the need for a cell phone, I'm referring just to myself and my life, as it is now. I'm glad people are keeping in touch through text and Twitter and what have you. My closest friends in high school didn't actually go to my high school—they lived in other parts of the country! We met online back in the early days of AOL, and e-mailed each other on an almost daily basis. I don't begrudge anyone her technology. And I certainly acknowledge that cell phone technology has saved lives on numerous occasions.
For my life as of right now, however, I don't feel I need this particular technology. I don't really want it. Just like I don't need or want other groundbreaking inventions like canned food and antibacterial soap and birth control pills. I also find it more than a little hilarious that my baby boomer classmates treat cell phones and texting as indispensable and I find them unaesthetic and unnecessary.
Now you kids get off my lawn!