In Which I Enter the 21st Century. Or So I Think.

I’ve said before that for someone who blogs and Tweets, I’m pretty much a Luddite. I also hate making phone calls. Have I said that before? Once my Mom tasked me with calling the pizza parlor to place an order and I was crying with, I don’t know, anxiety or something. So perhaps it’s no huge surprise that I’ve only had pay-ahead, flip-open phones. I resisted cell phones for years, actually, and then spent years keeping a phone in case of emergencies without ever really using it. Sure, the service was not too great. And I’d receive voice mails about 3 days after people left them. Also, occasionally I’d get a text from someone, and I’d have no idea who was texting me because I had no contacts. And that was okay, because I could barely text, anyway. I managed to answer one person because we carpool together, so I’d labor over replies like, “Okay, I can drive.”  But I just stuck with it, since I fear technology and phones, anyway.

Except that I started using my cell phone as my business phone for people contacting me for KidsOutAndAbout. And then, a couple of weeks ago, the service started getting worse. I’d be on a phone call and I’d get cut off while I was standing still in my house. It was getting embarrassing. Someone I’d been trying to contact called me, and I couldn’t answer my phone. And then the phone showed a voice mail right away, and when I tried to check it, I got cut off. I ended up just driving over and walking into the people’s office to apologize, since I was nearby.

So I took the leap and got a “real,” Droid-ish phone. Is that what it is? I don’t even know the terminology! But now I am so unbelievably connected that it feels life-changing. Now I know why people are hunched over their phones all the time! And am I so excited that I’ll be able to plow through my Google Reader while waiting on lines and such? Yes, I am!


Of course, I’m still adjusting. I have to think very hard about how to work everything. And every time I’m standing there, squinting at the screen and prodding uselessly, M huffs and says, “Mom, I’ll do it!” But it’s not like she knows, either.  She sure as heck doesn’t have a phone, but she assumes that since she’s a young person, she’ll intuitively be able to do it all. Occasionally I’ll say fine and hand the phone over, and then she squints and prods uselessly before handing it back to me.

In fact, with all the phone talk around the house, M has informed me that all of her friends have phones. Except one, who has a laptop. Need I mention that M has neither a phone nor a laptop? When I hear this news, I’m baffled. It’s the Vera Bradley Lunchbag Incident all over again.

“Wait a minute,” I stop her. “They all have phones?!?”

“Yes,” she insists.

Who has phones again?” I ask. I’m still processing this information.

“Flopsy*, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Petra,” she says.

“Wait, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Petra?!? Seriously?”


“But none of their mothers will allow them to be alone. Like, ever.”  I’m baffled. And it goes without saying that the only possible reason I can fathom for a 10-year-old to own a cell phone is to contact an adult when they are without an adult. None of these girls is ever alone. You know who is, right? My kid. My poor, neglected child. It is best not to point this out. Unfortunately, my daughter is smart, and the wheels in my brain are turning so slowly that even a child can see it. I’d better say something.

“I don’t understand. All of those girls are constantly with an adult. Who could they possibly need to call?”

“MO–om! They text. Nobody calls anyone with a phone.” M can’t believe my ignorance.

I thought that I was catching up to the 21st century, but apparently I’m still hopelessly behind.

*Some names have been changed to protect the identity of children whose mothers are both nicer and more up-to-date than me.


  1. Colleen

    Seems you and I entered the world of smartphones on the same day! My mind is blown with this thing! lol. It is pretty fun. Too big though. Won’t fit in my pocket. So now I always need to carry a bag. Remember when the trend was to get smaller and smaller? The Will Ferrell skit? And now they are bigger and bigger!

  2. Cheri

    My trick when Z says that “everyone” has a ________ is to say, “I’ll be sure to check in with so and so’s mom next time I see her to ask”. Usually, it makes him admit that maybe one person in the whole 5th grade has that _______. That said, Z just said, “If M gets a phone, I’m totally getting one!” So, don’t give in, sister!

  3. @Colleen, congratulations! @Cheri, yeah, I’ve been meaning to ask all these parents about it. But do you give Zach updates via the blog? For M, the less I mention the blog, the better. I’ve offered to let her read and approve posts, but she doesn’t want to bother, so it’s easier for her to forget I ever write anything. . . for both of us.

  4. @Nichole–Nooooo! But I’ll be okay. It wasn’t about community for me, just convenience. I have a tough enough time keeping up with my in-person friends!

  5. Aliza

    Lilbo, Connor, and Sam are without phones too. I didn’t get my older kids phones until way after their friends had them. I told them since all their friends had phones they could call me from their friend’s phone!

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