Thursday last my father texted me. This was extraordinary as he has never me before. At first I thought it was some scam or a brother perhaps pulling me leg but it really was Father. After playing twenty questions with him via text I learned Brother #3 got him a new phone to replace the antiquated ‘flip’ phone which he never used anyway. Now that my parents are sort of dependent on a cellphone at their new place they might as well use one under the careful supervision of Brother #3. I asked Father if he wanted to join the text group consisting of his progeny.  To my surprise he declined. He explained he doesn’t plan on texting much and he likes the phone off more than on to keep away the outside world.*

I admit I am envious. My phone is also my pager so it stays on and nearby even as I sleep lest there is a work matter.  I am continually drawn to it whenever it chirps, buzzes, and rings and even when it is silent just to see what’s there.  As mentioned I am in a few ‘text groups’. These suddenly start and everyone joins in with little if any taking turns until it all drops off as quick as it had appeared. 

My godfather doesn’t have a cellphone; the only means to get hold of him is to call his house and hope he’s home. Someone knows a woman who  doesn’t have a cellphone or email either and she’s proud of such. I can never determine if these types are blessed or downright inconsiderate.  Both are old people so these types are not likely to last.

The worse case scenario justifying my 24/7 phone is not likely to happen. The pager system seldom calls and when it does it is usually ‘no emergency’ certainly nothing that couldn’t wait awhile for me to respond to it. People seem to demand the immediate return of their calls and texts but this doesn’t mean it has to be done. 

I think I will practice putting away the phone this week; I will check in on it less often. Anything less than ‘continually’ is a good first step.  I wonder if I will feel better for it. 




*Last month when they were living alone it was important to have a phone. Now they live at the assisted center: help is a mere push of a button away.