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Opinion: Stop looking at the phone all the time

Cell phones certainly have a place, but don't use them too much.
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A person holding a cell phone in their hands.

With the recent glitches with cell phones and earlier with the Rogers network, is modern technology really that great?

We are in the day and age of the cell phone. Everyone has one and if you don’t, well why not?

The common issue with cell phones is texting. Yes, I feel it is an issue.

Do not get me wrong. Cell phones are fabulous for emergencies and also to make a person feel safer, which is also great.

Everyone has a phone attached to the hip and if one receives a text, they feel the need to answer it, without delay, even if they are in a conversation with someone else.

Before the cell phone, we had the landline. That landline at one time was a party line. A party line was shared with the neighbours, and could have two and up to six neighbours on one line. A special ring told each household for whom the call was.

Yes, there was time when one would pick up the phone and hear the neighbours chatting away. You simply hung up the phone and waited your turn. Unless it was important, you let them know and they would hang up.

There were times when you would pick up the phone and one would join in on the conversation.

We respected our neighbours, and they respected us. Nothing was ever missed, and they knew when to call, right after supper.

Nothing was ever so important that we needed to call our friends 15 times in one day.

Texting has taken over talking. When talking to someone, you can hear in the tone of their voice whether or not they are having a good day or bad. Texting does not.

A simple word such as “sure” can come across in two completely diverse ways through texting. The word “sure” can mean, sure I’ll help but I really don’t want to, or the word “sure” can mean, sure I would love to help, but if we were talking in person, we would know what they meant.

Another issue with texting is timing. We assume if you have a cell phone, they can answer the text right away. My daughter is terrible for this, and will text me three times in a row, waiting impatiently for an answer. Most texts are not a life-or-death situation, but texts have caused deaths.

The law prohibiting texting and driving is a great one. Most vehicles have hands-free capabilities, so why are we texting? I’m fairly sure your response can wait till you reach your destination.

Hearing someone’s voice is so much better than a text. I feel this is especially important when it comes to grandparents and parents.

I lost my mom just before Christmas last year. Although I could have texted my sister and asked how mom was doing before that, I chose to call home.

My mom could not hear me on the phone as she was deaf and had dementia, but I could hear her. The nurse would tell her it was me, and then mom would tell the nurse stories about me. On how I loved horses.

Oh, what a memory this is. I would not have this memory if I just texted my sister.

So, pick up the phone, make the call. Tomorrow is not promised, and I am sure they would love to hear your voice.

But this is just my opinion.

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