Last week, my dilemma was how long to go without getting a cellphone activated after mine fell in the water and was ruined. As it worked out, my respite lasted a full 78 hours.
It was perhaps the longest experience I've had in 25 years without a cellphone.
Several responses came in answering my question of whether there was anyone left out there who did not have a cell phone by choice rather than experiment.
When I even forget my phone on the way to something, my response is often to tell people how naked I feel without it. There is a silly show on TV called Naked and Afraid where two people are literally placed in the wilderness naked, usually a man and a woman and expected to use their survival skills to work things out over a period of about 21 days.
Surviving the urban jungle with clothing on and plenty of food and water but no cell phone with which to order a pizza or call 911 make my analogy seem a bit trivial.
Here is what you had to say:
When my husband retired 12 years ago, he said "no more cellphones!" Neither one of us has one. We don't feel like we are missing a thing. We have an answering machine at home, people can leave us messages if they need us. Fortunately, our car has On Star, so if we ever get in trouble on the road, we can make a call for assistance.
We do not use it to chitchat. And it came in handy last year when we were hit by a drunk driver and rolled off the road. The first voice we heard was the OnStar operator checking on us, she called the ambulance and told us exactly how to proceed. We are perfectly happy without a cellphone, buzzing at us.
I do not have a cellphone and get along fine. Of course, I am 85, and my kids don't think I need one. .... I enjoy your column very much, but I am a competent critic — I taught journalism at TJC in the 1970s. There were Maryanne Odom, Dr. Blanche Prejean and myself. The students put out a terrific newspaper called simply THE TJC NEWS. Anyway, hang in there with isitjustme.
Judy and Pat L. give impressive responses although Onstar probably must be considered akin to having a cellphone, and what really scares me about Pat's response is letting her children decide what is best for her. I'm guessing they may be in their 60s but still, that could leave you in a scarier place than an episode of Naked and Afraid.
My friend Pat T. probably gets the prize. She sends me analog (handwritten) letters via snail mail (U.S. Postal service) with words of encouragement and favorite hymns. Pat is a longtime family friend, and it is always my delight to find one of her letters waiting on my desk.
She said the silence brought on by the loss of my cellphone was a good opportunity for me to sit still and listen to God's voice. Her letters indicate she is really good at that.
She did not say if she owns a cellphone, but if she does, it probably does not control her day or interrupt the quiet moments of her routine.
She also shared today is her 86th birthday. Happy birthday, Pat. You are a dear friend, pen pal and a source of continued encouragement. May your day be blessed and filled with the same joy I receive in your beautiful letters.