An Advanced Dilemma

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An Advanced Dilemma
Happy fall, y’all! Cooler temperatures are on the way!

The other day I experienced a terrible ordeal. I left home for an appointment and was about 15 minutes away, when I realized I had left my phone at home. After the momentary panic, I had to make a decision. I could turn around and go back to get it, but 15 minutes home and back would make me 30 minutes late to where I was going–not really an option for “just a phone.”

That got me to thinking…”just” a phone? Not really. It is a phone, a camera, a texting device, a way to access my electronic files, my social media connection, the way my family reaches me, the way my clients can reach out, it holds my membership cards, my photo album (I am a grandmother now), and well, you get the idea. This is a mini-computer – this is my LIFE! When did that happen?

It happened gradually at first; then, as technology advanced, the changes came much more rapidly. I remember my first cell phone. It was the old “brick” phone with a foot long antenna that stuck out of my purse. All it would do was make phone calls, but that was enough, and it was awesome! I was traveling all over the United States at that time, and it made me (and my mother) much more comfortable to have the ability to call someone if I were to break down on the side of the road. Before long, texting came along, to be followed by “everything else” soon enough.

Recently, Wes and I were in the car and talking about something we were curious about. Years ago, we would have just wondered and researched it when we had the opportunity. Now, I can grab my phone, google while he drives, and have the answer in minutes…thanks to my phone.

But, also thanks to my phone, I am rarely unreachable. Thanks to my phone, I have become accessible 24/7 with hardly any downtime or lack of screen time. Even if not working, I may be scrolling through social media to see what my friends are up to, or playing a game. I thought I was relaxing.

What that terrible ordeal the other day reminded me of is just how connected I am. And it gave me a few hours where I was “unreachable.” Was I truly unreachable? Not really. My car has OnStar so if there had been a roadside emergency, the push of a button would have connected me with help. My family can look on their phones to see my location. Anyone who called could leave a voicemail, and I could call back later – like the old days. When did we reach a point where we have to be instantly reachable?

Except for the multiple times I reached for my phone the first half hour, what I found during those few hours away from being constantly connected was a sense of peace….and a realization that leaving my phone at home really wasn’t so terrible after all. Try giving yourself a break. You might be amazed.

Until next time,

Karen Altom

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