Friday, July 3, 2009

Thank You for Not Calling Me -- "Just To Chat"

As of this Monday, I finally and for the first time became the proud owner and user of a cell phone.

Before Monday, we have had a cell phone that we used in emergencies: it's call a "Trac" phone; you buy minutes and add them when you need them. The trouble was, sometimes the "Trac" phone would not work at the times when we most needed a phone. Like when we visit my sister in Phoenix, for example. It never works there. There must be something about the wild wild west. When we travelled to New York two years ago, the phone worked fine on Thursday evening and all day Friday until 4:30. Then it was done. "No Service."

Finally, at the end of May, I was going out of town just overnight, and I knew a parish member was very ill and in the hospital. I left our "Trac" phone number with the church. But the phone did not work in the small Minnesota town where we were spending the night. "No Service."

I realize that I have come somewhat late to this cell phone business. My husband and I are simple people; we have a pretty frugal lifestyle. But we do have basic cable television. That has been our one luxury. Until Monday.

I did not get a fancy phone with lots of accessories. Truth be told, a friend gave us a perfectly good phone which I took to the store when I had decided which plan was best for me. I'm using that one for now. Who knows, maybe in a year or so, I'll decide I can handle a Blackberry with all kinds of bells and whistles. For right now, I'm just glad that people can get in touch with me when they really need to, and that I can get in touch with others as well.

So far, I've just given my number to a few people, including, for example, my sister, my mom, my step-sons. I haven't gotten a lot of phone calls, which is just fine with me. In fact, I've missed a couple of calls so far, because I'm not used to fishing the phone out of Where-ever It Is That I've Stashed It.

I do think it's going to come in handy. But I noticed that, even though my mom now has my cell phone number, she hasn't started calling me all the time, "just to chat."

So, I want to go on record: "Thanks, Mom (and whoever else) for not calling me on my cell phone -- "just to chat."

Thanks for not calling me to find out how I felt about Al Franken being our new Senator.
(Frankly, I'm just relieved to have two senators right now.)

Thanks for not calling me to ask about Sarah Palin, either. (I have no idea.)

Thanks for not calling me to ask whether I think it will rain, what I'm doing right now, or who's preaching this Sunday, or whether I'll ever twitter again (I have no idea).

But, if you are going to be in New York City next week, and want to get together: shoot me an email! I'll send you my new cell phone number!

Or, if you have some advice for me in navigating these uncharted cell-phone waters, I'd love to hear from you!


Lindy said...

How long are you going to be there? I'm coming on the 16th.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

The problem with cell phones in the US is that the companies don't cooperate. My AT&T phone has been fine in Mn and at all the places my daughter has traveled to, but it doesn't work at any of my relatives' homes, scattered across Wis. We have tens of thousands of tourists in our area, but if they have Verizon or Sprint, well, NADA. Nothing. Cell phones, coverage, and technical uses are actually more advanced in many other countries, even some third world countries, according to a report I heard on NPR. But the US model has been competition rather than development.

Rev SS said...

There's nothing more frustrating than being out of range of one's particular provider's towers ... especially when you need to be in reach in case of emergency! (How did pastor's do it before cell phones?)

Diane said...

One of my wise colleagues in SD said she did not have a cell phone because "there should be some times when your people can't get ahold of you." In the past, people maybe had a more realistic attitude about what their pastor could do and not do, and where their pastor could be and not be.

She also said she wanted to make sure people understood that she was their pastor, not God.

so, even with the convenience of cell phones, we need to have good boundaries. maybe even more so.

Barbara B. said...

I think you should post your cell number on your blog, so all of your faithful readers can call you to chat.



Diane said...

Barbara -- :)

I would make an exception for you.

FranIAm said...

I have had and actively used a cell phone since 1998. A lot of this has to do with the life I once lived and also the life I live now.

That said, I have some good boundaries around the phone. This basically means I do not answer it and it does not bother me to ignore it if I am not up to talking with someone.

And I turn it off. A lot.

It is a blackberry and yes I can facebook from there too and often do so.

But only when I feel like it!

I support the use of cellphones such as you propose. I won't call you just to chat. Feel free however to call me if you wish to do that.

Diane said...

Fran -- thanks for your hospitality! I'm still negotiating on this whole cell phone thing. for instance, I haven't figured out how to set up my voice mail. I have to read the manual.

Jan said...

Good for you, Diane. Have fun in NY!

Border Explorer said...

Have fun in NY. (And don't call me just to chat either. I'm right with you on this topic.)