Strange Confessions: My Sad Lacking Of The Newest Technology

Strange Confessions: I don’t own a cellphone.

It’s crazy, I guess. Isn’t it? How in the world can someone be walking around in this day and age, and not own a cellphone? This weekend I asked a group what time it was, and some kid says, “Why don’t you look at your phone?”

“I don’t have one,” I reply. A look of shock comes over this youth’s face, and his eyes glaze over as he stares past me into the distance. He couldn’t really see me, because I was like some figment of his small imagination. Someone who doesn’t own a phone? How can this be? He was probably thinking. This has happened twice to me. The first time was probably like ten years ago. I think it was a little less rare then to find someone who didn’t own one, but the shock and unbelief were still just as great.

I’m sure there are lots of other people who don’t own a cellphone, I just am not aware of any. They are probably all old, and feel no need for such nonsense. I suppose there might be some younger ones too. Those who still live with their parents and their household’s values are still as such that they don’t want to risk their kids safety just because they want to belong. Maybe there are even some who don’t have one for personal reasons that have to do with being unconnected with the social avalanche that is boiling down upon us, and their not owning one is stemming the tide. For whatever reason, I’m sure they are out there.

My wife has one. She texts a bit to a few people once in a while, and has free calls with some friends and family. I’m not necessarily against my oldest daughter having one, she’s 15, but she would be restricted in the hours, and I am not willing to pay for another one right now. Maybe when she has her own job and/or car, or when she goes off to college.

I, myself, am not against them. In fact, I had one for two years. Yes, for just one contractual period, I had one. I rarely called people or texted. It was kind of a nuisance to carry around and keep track of. I liked having it for the camera. I took a picture then sent it to my email, and later downloaded it and attached it to that one site, maybe. I didn’t have one of them smart phones, so I couldn’t do stuff directly to that one site as I used it. Again, if you’ve read some of my other stuff, you know my feelings of posting every little picture of food or streets or sunsets or babies puking, so I wouldn’t have done so much of that anyway. I just don’t need it.

Sometimes I feel out of place, like when I’m at a gathering and everyone is looking down at their phones at the most current baby puke photos, and I wouldn’t mind taking a glance, but I don’t make a fuss about it. It won’t kill me if I miss it, right? My oldest goes to the youth things and she says the same thing. “Everyone was looking at the deer Brock had slaughtered. I wanted to see the slaughter, but I didn’t want to make a fuss, so I just decided to cry in my room later.” No, I’m just kidding about that. She didn’t cry later, she’s a tough kid. But it would have been cool to see that deer’s tongue lolling about as blood is spattered on everyone’s faces, right? Yeah, we do miss things, our family does.

When I was a kid, I had a Merlin when everyone else had a the kickin’ Classic Football 2, by Mattel (now you could run backwards). Sure, kids didn’t come over to play with my Merlin, but me and him had some great fun, pushing buttons, lighting up the bulbs, playing four different games. And the sounds: kazowie! They were so cherry! Nah, just kidding. I didn’t say “Cherry” back then, that was my Uncle who told me that was the way to say cool back then.

We had pong, when everyone else had the Atari game system. I had to go over to friends homes to play Kaboom! or Adventure or the greatest release of all time: Pac-Man. I mean check out those graphics there, and in your own home too! It didn’t really matter. When kids came over to our house we got to jump off the big wall of vertical logs! We could make the long trek to one of two 7-eleven’s, both of which were about the same distance, both with huge hills either way.

Hey, I’m not complaining really. I don’t ever remember wanting these things so badly, I’d cry for them. I was fine visiting friends homes to enjoy this stuff. I was also fine with my home and the way I knew every street, and the fastest way to the mountains to hike, and that people changed once in a while.

When CD players came out I was behind in that as well. I had my own personal walk-man, (no it wasn’t a real Sony Walk-Man), I had my boombox, that had tape to tape recording capabilities. There was even a time when I sat in front of our huge stereo recording music directly from the speakers onto a small tape recorder. Sure the songs were interrupted with me shouting “Shut-Up!” to my sister when she burst into the room, talking, singing, just generally making a mockery of my music, man! My first CD player was actually my wife’s. We were married in 1994 and CDs were available since around 1982. I was always behind the times.

Our first computer was rebuilt and given to us by a tech savvy cousin of my wife’s. We could only play solitaire on it and use cheap word processing software. I am right now typing on a laptop we just bought about a month ago, and coincidently, the computer, (this one purchased new), we had for about 12 years went kaput!

I don’t take a huge amount of pride for my lack of technology, but I live with it.

You know, this reminds me of something I thought about last night. First though, let me tell you something about technology. I jokingly say that I’m waiting for technology to go all the way, you know, where we can just plug stuff into our heads, download it all and be done. Once that came out, I’d be all in. Last night there was a missions report given, 6 men telling about their experiences in Zambia. I loved hearing the stories, but in a lot of ways it made me sad. I know part of it was that I wanted to go on a trip like that, but I could never afford it: but that wasn’t it, not completely anyway. I started to think about what I would do, where I would go. One thing struck me is what one of them said. It was to the effect that you trust God more when you are out of your comfort zone. I started thinking that if I did end up going on a mission trip, I want it to be all in. Go there for good. Well, at least for more than just a few weeks or even a few months. I’d want to go there for years. Think of that. The trust you would have to give God to be able to do that. There is a couple that lived a few years in Albania that I really admire. As I sometimes am, I am a little intimidated to talk to them, about how they did it, how did it happen, how can I do it. Maybe I should get off my shy guy hole stand and ask them over. I really would like to do something like that, but I don’t know if I’m ready. I confessed a few months ago that I really want to be a teacher… Hey. Here’s a thought. Maybe there is some tie here, between teaching and missionary work. Who knows? Like I said in the previous posts, God can do anything. Maybe I should start getting ready for the rain, huh? You know, it’s a good thing I see absolutely no possible way for me to be a teacher, or a missionary, or a teaching missionary. I mean, no way! Because it is mostly through those type of people who God works.

~Stranger

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Posted on September 16, 2013, in Strange Confessions and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. OK, so you don’t have a cell phone. You’re the only one . . . you and my almost-teenage daughter — the Only Ones, I tell you. Well, almost as bad as that (so I am given to understand) is if you do have a phone, but it’s not a SMART phone. Oh, the shame. Someday, perhaps, when I feel like plunking down $500+ on the phone and $50+/month for data. . . hah. Do I need Target/HobbyLobby/Michaels mobile coupons THAT much? If somehow it could be a money-saving device or a tool — not a toy — then maybe?

    And on the missions thing, check out this organization called Finishers: http://finishers.org/. Their purpose is to connect individuals with mission opportunities.

  2. Whoa! I’m sensing some bitterness there.

  3. No bitterness . . . just my rationalization (largely to myself and my kid) on WHY I don’t need a smart phone.

  4. Oh, I was wondering if you ever saw my responses. Do you see ads too? And… it was a little bitter.

  5. Ha, NOT bitter. Just realizing that it’s kind of ridiculous when I think “I need a smart phone so I can get special Target coupons” or whatever, and think that I’m saving way more money per month by not having one! And I’m not seeing any ads.

  6. Yeah, I didn’t even know that. I really think that part of not having that stuff, is because I’m a bit scared, getting them all to work together and not getting ripped cause who really cares and will I even use it.

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