It was 1997, mid-summer, late afternoon, clear skies, I traveled in the right hand lane of a four lane highway on my way home from work. A few minutes earlier a truck had dropped some debris on the road. One car drove over the debris and flipped it up into the air whereupon it smashed into the grill of a semi. The debris exploded into smaller pieces which bounced underneath the semi. As I was directly behind the semi, one of those pieces hit the underside of my car.
It wasn’t a loud thump, and to be honest, my first thought was to ignore it and keep going. But the semi immediately pulled over to the shoulder, and something told me I should follow it. I’m glad I did. I stopped the car, opened the door and heard the sound of gasoline gushing from my punctured gas tank. Scared the crap out of me. I grabbed my purse and got as far away from the car as possible. The semi driver had it worse though, the debris shredded the entire front of his grill and probably the radiator.
This particular stretch of highway ran through a reservation, there were no exits, no houses, and no pay phones for miles. The semi driver had a CB radio, of course, so either way we would have been fine, but he also had a cell phone which is what he used to call the police, and what I used to call AAA.
At that point, I only knew a few people who had cell phones. It hadn’t occurred to me to get one. I just didn’t want to be that reachable.
That event on that long, lonely highway changed my mind forever. The first thing I did, after getting my car back, was go out and buy a cell phone. It, and its subsequent replacements, has never left my side since.
Yes – I even bring it into the bathroom. You never know when the next emergency might strike!
Daily Prompt: Call Me, Maybe –
Describe your relationship with your phone. Is it your lifeline, a buzzing nuisance, or something in between?
8 thoughts on “I heart my phone”
I don’t even have a phone!
Can you imagine that?
No I can’t! You are impressively brave!
Is that a hitchhiker guide background?
I will admit that the smart phones we carry with us everywhere these days have certainly made aspects of traveling and staying safe more convenient. But, I would also argue that they just make it easier for us to stop learning and taking care of ourselves. If you hadn’t had a cell phone as an option after that accident, what would you have done instead? Kept a survival kit in your car? Learned where the likeliest roadside assistance phones are located or the nearest towns when planning a trek? Learned how to work on your car and kept tools in it so you could do a patchwork job on almost any problem to get you at least to the next service station?
What did people do in similar circumstances before cell phones? I certainly have no knowledge of the cars I drive and could fix much more than a flat tire if something happened while I was in the middle of nowhere. But, on the long trips I took before cell phones I always had plenty of maps in the car and plenty of other survival type gear that could have helped me get to a phone to call AAA.
I think about that all the time. My father taught me how change a tire, check the oil, and the basics of of how a combustion engine works at the same time he was teaching me to drive. I still to this day check a map before driving somewhere new. My first car was an old clunker that I occasionally could only get to start by manually holding open the air intake on the carburetor. I knew how to do these things because necessity is a great teacher. But in the same way, today I know how to find things on my smart phone. I know how to store and retrieve information there that I used to keep in my head, because it is necessary in today’s age of information overload to know how to do these things. Every age has it’s own required knowledge. It is just odd for those of us span two ages – having to unlearn the old ways and embrace the new.
That’s an interesting take on it… I’m not sure that we ever need to unlearn the old way though… perhaps we just forget do to lack of use, but we do need to be adaptable and constantly learning the new way of things. That is an excellent point – we just have a new set of planning/survival skills and knowledge.
Oh and yes – that is from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – sad that Douglas Adams didn’t live long enough to see his invention come to life.
Who says he didn’t? 😉 I always figured he just stuck out his electronic thumb, and hitched a ride, with a copy of the guide and a towel.
Comments are closed.