I’m thankful for…
…my cell phone.
I finally got a cell phone in 2004. My father and I were in our fourth year of riding around together on weekends. He had Alzheimer’s and had begun to fail. I didn’t want to be stranded or have an emergency with him and not be able to connect with civilization, so on one of our outings I brought him to Radio Shack to get a cell phone. He died 3 weeks later.
The phone was minimally useful to me for years after he died. But now, I wonder how I would live without it. I have had patients who can’t talk or are deaf and rely on texting to schedule visits and communicate with me. I’m calling Doctors and colleagues all day long, and I feel unprotected if I leave home for any reason without my phone.
Oh…times and attitudes have changed. Gone are the days of communicating by smoke signal or whistle. We’ve entered the age of the Jetson’s, only it doesn’t feel unusual any more. What’s unusual is to see someone who doesn’t have a cell phone, both young and old.
Having the ability to be constantly connected can be draining, though. I’m so glad for the off button…maybe the most important function of this “new” invention.