I know that my iPhone is easier to use than my previous cell phone was, and I appreciate that. But I don't use it fully, or even close to fully. Most of its fancy functions go untouched. And I don't use it when I'm driving. Ever. Nor do I use it when I am walking. Ever. Nor do I text on it. I hate texting. It's an abomination. I don't want to learn the shortcuts, the abbreviations, the pidgin English.
I refuse to answer my ringing cell phone when I am in the middle of a conversation with a friend. I turn it off, while cursing and apologizing for not having remembered to turn it off before we began our visit.
At my all-day workshop last Saturday, we took a 10-minute break at one point, so that people could go to the bathroom, refresh their coffee or tea or snack, and have the chance to socialize a bit (which is supposed to be a signficant part of any WS class - the chance to meet and connect with other writer folks). When I looked over to the kitchen area, a couple of people were standing there texting or checking their messages or emails, oblivious to anything or anyone else around them. When I looked at people who hadn't risen from their chairs, too many pairs of eyes were staring at cell phones—gone gone gone. Away away away.
At the same time that I stand firm in my resistance, I know that the march of technology is unstoppable. And I have certainly benefitted from it in many many ways. But our culture has now embraced it to the point of being consumed by it. That "consumed" part is the part that horrifies me. I could accept the pervasiveness of these "devices" if they were not so OVERWHELMINGLY ubiquitous. If only people, especially the young ones who have never known anything else, could incorporte the technology without being eaten alive by it.
What is the word for a person whose cell phone has become another indispensable body appendage?
What is the word for "ubiquitous" in "texting speak." I don't know, and I don't want to know.
Call me curmudgeonly. Call me antiquated. Call me an old fogey. Call me a rebel, a luddite, a crazy person who still enjoys silence, someone who believes it's possible to live a good life offline, for at least some part of every day. Just a PART. I am willing to compromise.
But I am not willing to be gobbled up whole.