I don’t want to miss a thing

Izabella's Eatery, Bennington Vermont. A wonderful place to eat! Thank you Sally, Nancy and Chris for the recommendation! (photo taken from my iphone!)

Several months ago, I wrote about getting a cell phone and having our home phone number “ported over” to the cell so we were also giving up our land-line. My concerns (the genteel word for fear) were many. I thought I’d never get used to talking into a flat, rectangular piece of glass (which is what the iphone basically is), that I would miss having our home phone, and that I would now feel always like I was plugged into technology. I came very close to not getting one at all.

None of these fears came true. If anything, our home has become quieter. It must be the telemarketing screening, but our phone rings much less now and the ringtone is set to “Bell Tower” so when it does ring, it sounds like church bells. I can also turn it off which is a great feature. There are many more things that I like about this phone but that really isn’t the point.

I will be 56 this year and this is the first cell phone that I have owned. Oddly, and I can only see this, or admit it, in retrospect, I took a sort of pride in not having a cell phone. I had an attitude about them and saw myself as someone who didn’t “need” one….feeling even a little superior to those who did. I did the same thing with computers, was adamant that I did not want or need one. I was sure that I wouldn’t like them until my son Tom bought me one for Christmas 8 years ago, and it was love at “first search”!

I was with a friend recently, showing her the GPS feature on my iphone, and she said, “I just don’t know why you think that you need all of these gadgets! I can find my way around perfectly well without relying on some piece of equipment. That’s whats wrong with the kids today, they aren’t living in the real world. They are always………”  We left the restaurant and she turned left (instead of right) and headed off in the wrong direction.

It is not a matter of whether cell phones, or computers, or GPSs are good or bad, whether we “need” them or not.  It is my attitude about them, about life, about the choices that I am making that is important.  If I am afraid to try something new but am masking my fears by criticising the thing that I am afraid of, before I even try it, then I am missing out on life.

16 thoughts on “I don’t want to miss a thing”

  1. I was the same way, I would panic if I sat at a computer, even getting an answering machine was an ordeal all those years ago. Overall,
    I’ve found technology to be freeing and opening for me. I am grateful for it.

  2. Mary…..you continually amaze me with your insight and ability to put those thoughts on paper…oops, using keystrokes…couldn’t have said it better!!!

    Hope you have a great day!!

  3. Fabulous! My ninety-plus grandpa was a computer whiz, *loved* his email- it was a hoot to see him in action! Technology can be a lot of fun.

  4. Recently I was reminiscing about our childhood with my sister, and she said, “Remember that record Mom and Dad always played for us before we went to bed?” – and I knew she was talking about “Stringtime”, a beautiful lush and super melodic ‘put you right to sleep’ recording. I could even see the cover in my mind’s eye – it was green with a lady in a huge full length ballgown like you’d see the ladies wear on Lawrence Welk. She was sitting beneath a tree and violins and cellos were hanging from the tree. I wondered if I could ever find that recording again – I could hear the songs in my head. Well, thanks to “technology”, I googled and within ten minutes! I found the record on Amazon, but alas, ‘not available’, so I googled a little more and found a company, World Records that specializes in old records and lo and behold! There was the lady in the gown surrounded by violins hanging from trees (yes, corny I know, but after all this was the fifties!) – For a mere ten dollars, and $4 more for shipping, I had a CD version of Stringtime in less than a week. Those songs! I knew I would just burst into tears when I heard it. The power of music, what feelings are evoked, – what memories! I learned it was recorded in 1957 by the Pittsburgh Strings. And though my parents have passed on, I feel once again their gift of music to me, and thank technology for bringing a piece of my childhood back again to savor.

  5. Oh, boy, Mary, you hit the nail on the head even better than usual this time! The first time I touched a computer I was sure the thing would blow up. It didn’t, of course, and we’ve had any number of computers since.

    We’ve kept our landline phone and have every intention of doing so at least for the foreseeable future. I’m 78 and have a very basic cell phone to carry with me when I’m out in the world, in case of emergency, but I don’t want (or don’t think I do) one that takes pictures and gets all complicated.

    I watch my son with his iPhone and marvel. My mother had a saying about such gadgets: “It does everything else; does it lay eggs?”

  6. I agree, sometimes you have to go with the flow. I love my computer — an amazing resource. I’m like Jean though, my cell phone only knows how to call and receive — doesn’t do any tricks. I do tend to wonder what folks have to talk about that walk around with a cell phone glued to their ear all day. AND I must confess to resenting it a bit when friends put me on hold for another call or spend a visit glued to their laptop or talk on their cell more than they talk to me. There have been so many changes in the last 20 years alone. Life involves a lot more choices than it ever used to. A true challenge! We can choose to enjoy it or fear it.

  7. So very true, your thoughts today on technology and the love it or hate it dilema. I’ve had similar feelings about it all from when CD’s were the next new thing till now with CD’s becoming obselete with I Pod/ I Tunes changing the way we purchase and listen to music, books,ect. Not to mention computers and cell phones. It makes my head swim! I do have a healthy respect for what tech. has offered us in the modern world and know that I wouldn’t be commenting here if not for the advances. That being said, I still wish I could meet you someday Mary, sit across from you, lay my hand on yours and smile at something you might say. Computers and cell phones still can’t do that! Love to all, Terri

  8. I too resisted technology. My son has always been a computer geek.
    When my old computer just wouldn’t compute anymore & I was in the market for a new one, Rob said, “Wait a couple of months & get the new iPad”. With his help, that’s what I did. This little iPad on my little kitchen table in my cozy country cottage is my window to the world. My other old-fashioned 1950’s vintage windows look out on the green hills of Cambridge. The old & the new,
    I am grateful for both.

  9. Ah technology! What an amazing time we live in – unprecedented! Information at our fingertips – and where will it take us? For the most part it is what most of us have come to depend on – and I find it nothing short of miraculous – The question I have is can we catch up with it – and – with all that is possible?

    In my work, we travel extensively – and use the GPS often. I am continually amazed when we arrive at some of these out-of-the-way places! I must say that I have made it a habit to watch for landmarks, etc. and remember how we got there, and also have made it a point to remember phone numbers – I think it is important to ultimately rely on my own personal computer in my head.

  10. A year ago I was trying to decide whether to replace my cell phone with an iPhone. After debating for a couple of weeks I finally decided it was too extravagant and really a toy, and my cell phone would do just fine. That was a Saturday. On Sunday my dear husband was in a motorcycle crash and needed surgery on a badly broken leg. Monday morning found me lugging two heavy tote bags into the hospital, one with his laptop and charger, and one with my laptop and charger. Getting onto the hospital’s wifi system was almost impossible because no one really knew how it worked or what the passwords were. So here I am, stressed out, trying to keep friends and family informed of what’s happening, and I thought, screw it, I want to be connected 24/7. And within a week I had an iPhone. And it has been a love affair ever since.

    Also, I have decided that it is OKAY to love new technology, and it is OKAY to enjoy how much fun they can bring into my life, in addition to the connectivity and convenience.

    1. Thank you for this Betsy! Someone said to me recently, “You love your iphone don’t you?”….I am not sure that it is the “real” love or not but it is pretty darn close!

  11. @Betsy and Mary, I too have found that altho I resisted the “iPhone craze” at first (and on the West Coast, it seems like every other person has one), in the long run I have found it makes my life much simpler. For example, I no longer have a purse, wallet and desk full of Post-it’s with my lists on them. And since I can check in with e-mail off and on all day, I have more time in the evenings to go for walks and to the park with my dogs. I manage my Dad’s affairs, health care, etc. and the iPhone calendar is the first one I’ve found usable (after 2 different PDA’s which became outdated very quickly anyway); the alarms alone are worth the extra cost as they keep me from forgetting or being late for appts. Oh yeah, and I no longer have to pack a travel alarm or 3-4 AAA maps on trips. And that’s just with the basic functions; I won’t even get into how much I love MyFitnessPal as a food and exercise diary tool — again, no more 3-5 little notebooks stuffed into my purse to document all my various “projects.”

    Another fun story is about my 79-yr-old aunt; my cousin was trying to teach her to use the PC and “mousing” was just not working; she’s had one glass eye since her youth, and her depth perception is just not that precise. I myself don’t have an iPad (yet . . . ), but I suggested one for her since it’s so much more intuitive to use your hands to find what you want, and it’s been FABULOUS for her; she’s even opened a Facebook profile!!!! (that’s how our extended family keeps in touch). So it keeps her more connected to the people in her life, and that’s the most important thing for all of us, right?

    Anyway thanks for your blog, I appreciate it as a reminder of many things I too am trying to practice in my life to keep the “quality” factor high as the “quantity” tries to overwhelm me . . . glad Jon Katz sent the word out!

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