Fast forward twenty-some years, Rusty was looking for a pay phone in Washington DC to call his sister. A friend handed him his gym bag and said “use my phone.” Farmer boy from the backwoods of Pennsylvania still tells this story with amused amazement, “you won’t believe what I am calling from, Marilyn.” That same awe is expressed by our boys regarding cell phones; they are accustomed to wired home phones.
The cell phone is as ubiquitous as tennis shoes. Not only has it reached developing countries as Rusty and Walker witnessed in the Jamaican mountains, but it has transcended all generations. Our octogenarian mothers love being equipped with cell phones. They find the security needed in an emergency plus the convenience of making a call to celebrate the New Year justify their technological dependence. The younger generation tends to use them constantly – texting or talking while tasking on additional responsibilities.
Let’s continue to teach all the beauty of eye contact, the thrill of face to face discussions, the reward of completing a single task without interruption, the intimacy of a family game night, and a hike outdoors toting only a water bottle. Such experiences could be as novel as letting E. T. phone home about earthlings enjoying simple pleasures.