OK, brace yourself...are you sitting down? I have only one portable, technological device, it's a phone, and I only use it to make emergency calls. And I mean emergency like, "I wonder, while I'm sitting here in the New Seasons parking lot, if the library has that book in yet that I put on hold?" and "Does Home Depot close in one hour or two?" I suppose I could punch in 9, 1, and 1 if the occasion called for it but I tend to be at the top of a mountain or next to a 140-foot waterfall in the deep, dark forest at the time and, frankly the situation has never really called for it. I have Ace Bandages and Neosporin in my backpack, I figure I could fend off a bear or a group of teen-aged hikers with that.
Whenever my phone contract comes up and they ask me in that over eager, chirpy voice, "Can I show you the latest model that can--?" I pleasantly intervene with my predictable and succinct: No, thanks. I have a phone. It's not broken yet. If it breaks, I'll get another phone. No, I don't need internet access, GPS capability, or "apps." No, I don't need extra minutes, extended hours, or a special rate that allows me to gab ad infinitum with a select cyber coven of family and friends. No, I have never, nor will I ever, text. (I usually pause here to watch the young Sprint sales representative's eyes widen and his skin tone blanch a bit in shock. It's fun.) My three requirements are 1. It's cheap; 2. It has clear sound and has a wide range; and 3. I can hit all the buttons with my fingers without squinting and cursing.
I'm not against technology, far from it. My entire living room is an over-sized desk built to worship at the alter of the internet. But to me, Facebook is when you gently drape a novel over your eyes so you can lay back in the soft June grass and catch a nap in the sun. Bluetooth is what you get when you eat summer-sweetened blackberries right off the vine. Blu-ray is when the late afternoon light shines through my cobalt colored bowls and turns the carpet into a tidepool in Maui. Delicious life experiences, all of them, and batteries not included. When I play the If I Had a Million Dollars Game, I never pick electronic devices. I pick private weekend cabin packages in the Canadian Rockies, kiteboarding lessons, and giant piles of exotic vegan foods that I've heard about but never possessed the financial liquidity to try.
I've read somewhere that a good measure of mental and emotional health is what a person does when they find themselves standing in line, waiting for something. Faced with a sudden wealth of unscheduled time like this, the brain immediately goes to it's default setting. What's yours? Do you look around, seeking outside stimulation? Do you get angry because you are more invested in your thwarted plans than this moment? Do you engage people around you for a hit of conversation to pass the time? Or do you return to a pleasant daydream like a child eagerly returns to the adventures in a favorite storybook? Not including sleep or work, how many hours a day do you spend at an activity that requires no electricity?
It's spring and it's gorgeous outside. Just sayin'.