Did you ever wonder how we not only managed to survive, but even managed to be happy in the previous century, let’s say 10-15 years ago?
Maybe you still remember how it was, maybe you don’t. Depending on your age, probably. My kids definitely don’t understand how we did it back then, how we managed to meet up with people or arrange things without cell phone. Now we send 5 to 10 messages back and forth before we actually see each other in the street or in a bar. How else can you meet up?
In those days you still had to ask people if they had a cell phone, if they had an email address. It was more an exception then a rule. A cell phone was used to make calls or to send text messages. Things have definitely changed a lot over the last few years. Now a cell phone can not only be used to call and send text messages, you can also Viber, Skype, Whatsapp, iMessage and a lot more, over the 3G network. It has certainly expanded our vocabulary, that’s for sure: ‘Shall we Viber today?’, ‘Send me a whatsapp!’, ‘Let’s Skype now!’.
Sometimes I wish I was more the conservative kind of person, sticking to the simple phones, but mostly I am just annoyed or stressed when a family member or a friend from overseas complains not being able to contact me, and then I wonder how they can live on their (non-communication) island with their non-iPhone. I know, it is ridiculous, but one can get addicted to the constant ringing, buzzing, singing phone, addicted to the constant being in contact with friends at the other side of the world. Wether this be business or pleasure, exchanging interesting information or just goofing. It’s just contact. And I love it.
But what happens when you, accidentally of course, knock over a glass of water on your phone? I have been through this before once, and after about 24 hours of apparent dead, it started working again, so this time I stayed really calm and decided to enjoy the day of silence. One thing I learned in Argentina is to have patience. Never panic. It was only my daughter who was upset, shouting “Mom! This must be the 6th time you do this!!!” and I wonder, isn’t it usually the moms who reproach their kids doing something wrong, exaggerating the facts, and not the other way around?
But then one day becomes two, two becomes three and I realise that, communication-wise, I am back into the previous century for an indefinite period. My phone is broken, dead, kaput. And they don’t sell iPhones in Argentina. I am back to a call-me-only phone, and read-emails-on-my-computer. I will (have to) get used to it. My friends will get used to it.
But then I woke up and we are out of internet. It’s not just us, it’s the whole street, so we should not be feeling bad about this. We are not alone. If ever this can even console us. Patience will make us strong. Again. Fortunately there’s free wifi everywhere here in town, so I guess we will be going out a lot.
I am definitely a child of my time…