Monday, May 24, 2010

Am I becoming one of those....?

I almost became one of those. Well I kinda am one of those. The folks I may have criticized in a past blog: the ones that are constantly on their cell phones, either chatting or texting.

You see, I had to get a new cell phone after we returned from our trip to Italy. My phone had died over a month before, but Verizon wouldn’t let me get a phone a month early without me giving up a $50.00 cash back gift and charging me $20 or so as a penalty. Thierry met me at the store, and we decided to switch to a family plan and reduce my minutes (which initially made me quite nervous but has proven not to be a problem so far). Given that I had to make a 2-year commitment, I was concerned about buying a phone that didn’t have internet access and would be immediately outdated. This meant I needed a smart phone.

Prior to going to the Verizon store, we researched phones on-line, and checked the user reviews. Blackberries got high marks and I was pretty convinced of the make and style of phone I wanted. Naturally, when I got to the store I chose something different. I did select a Blackberry, but picked out one that has a touch screen and required that I purchase a $29.99 a month plan to access the Internet. This was not a shock as I had already figured that by reducing my minutes, I could add the extra cost without incurring additional expense (well, it is costing $10 more but that didn’t seem onerous). I have unlimited internet and texting ability with this plan.

The phone was remarkably easy to use. I didn’t have to look at the “how to” manual for several days (actually didn’t have the time). My son-in-law (Mike) helped me out with a few features. He has an older version of the same phone. What I wasn’t ready for was how addicting it would become. My email is delivered to my cell phone! OMG! Instant access to email AND web browsing! And, when someone sends me an email with an attachment, I can actually open it and read it!

When I first got the phone, whenever I saw the little light flashing in the corner I had to pick it up and read the emails or texts. Regardless of where I was, I was always looking at my phone; in a restaurant, walking out of the Met, walking down the street, sitting at a table sipping a drink. Worst of all, I found myself looking at it while driving! Yes, just as bad as driving drunk, so I immediately told myself this was not good. Lauren is reading this and she is probably thinking, “yeah mom, after constantly nagging me about looking at my emails and using my phone while driving…..”

I heard something on NPR the other day about teenagers using cell phones and texting while driving. One of the speakers talked about how parent’s behavior influences their children’s behavior and actions, and how parents are just as bad as kids in using cell phones at inappropriate times. I felt like they were talking about me (ha, maybe I learned it from Lauren). Now I deliberately try to leave the phone in my bag, at home when not necessary to carry, or I try very hard to just ignore it. I really am afraid of having an accident because of a cell phone – once I actually swerved while trying to look up a contact. How dumb was that?! Dumb, yes, but it also scared the heck out of me.

I have to admit that I love texting. I find that I really don’t like speaking on the phone for long stretches. A lot of cleaning or computing or reading can be accomplished during time spent on the phone. It also is impolite to not “listen” to the person you are on the phone with. When you are with a person, albeit face-to-face or on the phone, you should be present in the conversation. I tend to get impatient after a while and begin to fiddle about. When you text you say what you need to say in one line and then can sit back and wait for a reply. A lot gets accomplished with few words.

I like my new phone. I feel like I have made it to the next level in technology. Now all I have to do is learn how to control myself and use it smartly.

I am including pictures taken during our recent weekend in New York. We had perfect weather and a great time. We arrived on Friday and rented a rowboat in Central Park, then had drinks at what used to be Tavern on the Green. Thierry really enjoyed the opera on Saturday, I really loved the Met. My friend Ann joined us Saturday evening, we had a good dinner and on Sunday we all went to the Whitney Museum. I am ready to go back.

I got through the dreaded scans okay, but my vein hurt until yesterday (from Tuesday). They have to inject a substance which provides a contrast between images while I am being scanned.  I’ll find out the results on Thursday – yes I am nervous as hell! Keep your fingers crossed!

It has been another busy and wonderful week.

PS:  The pictures were taken with my new cell phone!


Anonymous said...

Hey - am I the only one who thinks that you should pursue photography? I am serious. Your outdoor shots especially are wonderful. They narrate, they are aesthetically crafted, they are fun to see again and again. Just back from Smith reunion - New England was lovely and we laughed outselves silly (is that possible?). I adore your postings, even if I don't always comment. Still see that often I must be "anon." Judy S

Mary B said...

Thanks for the compliments! Send me an email and let me know what you and Roland are up to.