Friday, January 22, 2010

Remember when..

I got my first cell phone in 1999 through Quest and they immediately lost all of my information and every couple of weeks or so, I would call asking for a bill and to be moved to a higher minute plan and they would say my number wasn’t on their system and they couldn’t help me. This went on for almost a year till eventually I got a monstrous bill for a couple thousand dollars. I had been keeping track of my calls, people who I had talked to and dates and told them that this was their screw up and worked my way up the chain of Quest till eventually I got satisfaction and a bill that was much reduced.

Since then, there has always been a cell phone in my pocket. Going to school, many long commutes, moving from place to place, having a constant contact with the world for a single guy was the way to go. My first clamshell phone in 2002, I was excited when I got a cell phone that would hold play MP3’s in 2003 (it did a lousy job), 2005 my first camera phone, first QUARTY keyboard in 2007 (I actually have a blog post from that phone someplace here, it’s the Rumor post). Now I’m on my second Blackberry much to the dismay to many of my IPhone using coworkers and my son who thinks how cool it would be if I could get him an IPhone. Face it, I’m a mobile electronics geek, connected, will travel.

Right now, I’m driving up with the bride to San Jose for the weekend and reached into my pocket to call my dad and it was empty. Oh man, I left the phone in my uniform pocket. I keep looking around and patting my pockets (for the fifth time). So, this weekend, I’m unconnected well other then this blog post and maybe a status update on Facebook.

When I discovered the phone missing, my brain seized, for a second, have you noticed how attached we have become to our electronic appliances? I remember the day when I used to keep all of my phone numbers on a single piece of folded paper that fit in my wallet that went through 4 separate generations over a decade and a half. I still have all of those pieces of paper but they’re now living in a photo album. I also used my brain, I had dozens of phone numbers floating up there waiting to be called up, patterns I could use to pull them up, now? I don’t even remember my dad’s number, over the years I’ve picked up so many numbers, just dropping them willy nilly into my cell phone with address when I was able and now, I can’t remember anything. My phone, like many of yours, has become part of how we recall information.

A decade ago, I couldn’t imagine how much stuff I use my phone for, I track all of my appointments, I keep numbers and notes about what I did that day, email responded to instantly, want to share a scene? Click. Need to find someplace? Press. A different ring for every event in my life, it’s not big brother who controls what I do, it’s a little slab of plastic and transistors which I keep in my pocket.


I'm hitting 6 years of cyber babbling here next weekend