Call Me Maybe

The firstest of all first world problems has happened to me.

I'm out of cellular data. A full nine days before Verizon will graciously refill the bucket. I just don't know what to do with myself.

My phone has just reverted itself back to its most primitive form - a phone. I can use it to call people. And that's it.

No GPS - I guess I'll have to pay attention on the road now. I totally took a wrong turn on the way home from church the other day and had to wing it. I go East on 285, yes?

No email. No pulling up coupons on my phone when I go to checkout at Target. No Amazon price comparisons. No weather. No killing time on Facebook while waiting for my kids to finish up gymnastics camp. No posting to Instagram those artfully filtered photos. I'm barely even getting text messages. (You should hear the way my phone blows up when I pull into the driveway and cross the border into our wireless circle. Nine texts, 14 posts, three alerts...)

My phone is basically worthless at this point. I use it to actually call people, what... nine percent of the time? Who actually talks on the phone anymore?

Do you remember your very first cell phone? Mine was this very flashy Nokia brick. And I thought it was so amazing. I got it my sophomore year in college. Before that, the Athens dorms had a special deal where you could call five Atlanta numbers without paying long distance charges. Can you even imagine? Living in the dark ages, we were. The Nokia was a massive step up from the pager I possessed in high school, but would quickly be replaced with the much coveted flip phone. I remember obsessively checking the phone to make sure I was still within my 300 minutes of talking time. Texts weren't even a big thing yet, although the x-amount of texting package was not far behind. I remember carrying around this phone, but not really using it. No one was relying on cell phones yet. We were still arranging our plans in advance, waiting patiently for everyone to show up at predetermined locations.

Think about how rapidly things have changed. Now we have unlimited talk, unlimited text, free long distance, so much coverage that roaming is barely a thing anymore. Remember the fear of roaming and its massive overage charges? Remember when a new phone meant getting a new phone number and having to somehow update all your friends in the pre-social media days? Good grief, how did we live? How did we come to rely so heavily on our technology? What a transformation we've made, my fellow Xennial Generation, those of us with an analog childhood and digital adulthood.

I have two more days of cellular blackout before I can once again rejoin the mobile world. It's been educational, trying to explain to Violet how we survived in the pre-wireless age. "I had to call the store and ask for directions, then write them down on a piece of paper and take it in the car with me, possibly stopping along the way at a random gas station to verify I was actually on the right road..." She doesn't get it. Kids these days.

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