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Then: Spacing Out

Now: Cyberspace

Years ago, I went on a road trip with my best friend.  After saying goodbye to our parents, we got in her car and off we went, promising to call when we arrived at our destination.  Well, that meant waiting until we checked into our motel room.  And if there wasn't a phone in the room we had to find one of those old fashioned structures called a Phone Booth.   Remember those?  Now the only time I see one is when I'm watching Clark Kent change into Superman.  

Down the open highway we went, toward the unknown, secure in knowing that wherever we ended up, we were destined for a great adventure.  Our parents knew we were safe and we knew that whatever was happening back home would be waiting for us when we returned.  For those few weeks, we left our routines behind.   The open space was ours for the taking, and take it we did.  Spacing out on its beauty.  Sometimes(well, more often than not) with the help of our favorite herb.  Although, actually being with each other was the best part of the trip.

Last week, I went on a trip with my husband.  The first thing the flight attendant said, before giving us the safety tips, was that all electronic devices should be turned off.  From first class to the last seat in the plane, cell phones could be heard beeping, singing,  twirping, and zinging as they were turned off.  Immediately upon landing, I could hear them all being turned back on and everyone started making phone calls.  Myself included.

And right then and there it dawned on me, how small the world has become.  Cell phones keep us connected to everyone, all the time, no matter where we are.  That's usually the fist thing I ask someone when I call them.  Where are you?  I mean, we used to be at home when we answered the phone.  Now we can be in a Honky Tonk bar on the south side of the moon!  

I tried not to use my phone while we were on our vacation.  Everyone knew we were gone and life was going on back home just fine. But some events just begged to be retold, immediately after they had happened.  Like how I was begging for a hot flash to warm me up while I walked in ten degree weather.  What was I thinking?  

So I made a few calls each day, attempted to send  emails from the hotel room, threw the keyboard down in frustration when it wouldn't respond, watched my husband mutter under his breath.  His muttering finally made me realize that I could live a few days without the Internet.  

And I realized if I told all my stories while I was on vacation, I'd have nothing to tell my friends and family when I got back home.  If I sent them all my photos through Cyberspace, I wouldn't be there to share in their reactions.   Some things are just better done in person.  So, I did turn off my phone (at least for a few hours), while we popped open the bubbly and spaced out on the beauty of being away "from it all."  If even for just a few days.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lindao wrote Feb 1, 2009
    • I mostly think that being constantly in touch is a good thing, Janie.  I remember well having to leave phone numbers of where we were staying with family as we traveled.  I also recall, at my first law job, the mention of this great new technology that was about to hit the market—cellular telephones.  And I just saw, on a show about old Super Bowl ads, a promo on some clunky old phones that people used to use in their cars.  Sometimes it’s still refreshing, though, to be out of touch! —LindaO



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Feb 1, 2009
    • Linda - I agree.  I like being in touch.  That’s why I had to sneak out and use my phone because my husband isn’t a big fan of them!  Like I said, I could only be out of touch for a few hours!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Justjer wrote Feb 1, 2009
    • Janie
      First of all, LOVE LOVE LOVE the graphics. Is it just me or do they seem a bit similar. The biggest difference seems to be that one is in full color...and in some ways, I guess, that’s how I feel about times gone by. Sure, its convenient to be able to stay in touch but it has its drawbacks as well. Sometimes, I don’t respond even when I can hear the phone or doorbell. And I do like to screen. So, I guess as with everything, change brings lots of other change, and if you never experienced the ways of the past, you probably really can’t miss it; these days its hard for some to even imagine it. I guess as time goes on I too will be better able to be as comfortable with cyberspace as with spacing out. Its all good,though,isn’t it? No complaints here. See you at your next blog.
      Love, Peace, Happiness
      Jer



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tinaf wrote Feb 1, 2009
    • I love the graphics, too!  

      And I’ve had similar thoughts about being disconnected, how it used to be that I’d go weeks and months in silence with people who were out of my immediate life, but now my annual Christmas card no longer includes a letter because I e-mail with almost everyone in my life, anyway.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sandyde wrote Feb 1, 2009
    • As usual, Janie, love the blog. Cell phones are mighty convenient...but man, I wouldn’t want to be a teenager today! There goes my all-time favorite excuse for not calling—-I couldn’t find a phone!

      Sandy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Chattycathie wrote Feb 2, 2009
    • Janie,

      My dad had one of the first cell phones.  This was in the 70’s, when everyone thought we were crazy when we said we were talking to my dad in his car.  But they were way different than our phones today.  You had to find an empty channel and then contact an operator to make the call for you.  What I loved about it was you could change the channels and listen to everyones conversations.  Some of them were great, because people forgot the fact that others could listen and said things they may of not wanted to share with the world.

      As teenagers we also has a CB radio in our car.  All our friends had one too.  We all had handles and found each other and talked through the CB radios.  I think they were much more fun than cell phones.  Once when we were on a trip to San Francisco without our parents, some truck drivers guided us out of the city over the CB radio so we could find the HWY.  It was our early form of a GPS System.

      I often turn off my phone or leave it on silent, just so I don’t get disturbed.  I figure anyone who really needs to talk to me can leave a message.  But I have to admit when I get to go on vacation or just go a way for a few days, I really miss the internet.

      Cathie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sylvia wrote Feb 3, 2009
    • happyohhhhworriedestatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Feb 5, 2009
    • Justjer - I love the graphic, too.  The kids of today can’t imagine a world without cell phones.

      Tina - It is nice to stay connected.

      Cathy - I remember those big old car phones!

      Sylvia - Love those happy faces!

      Thanks for your comments.

      Janie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sylvia wrote Feb 6, 2009
    • How well I remember phone booths.  There used to be one on
      every corner. Now, with cells you get calls all day long
      even when you don’t want them. Your cell rings during
      dinner and even when you are on the can. Then you have to
      answer the call right away. This did not happen when we had
      to use our phone at home or in a booth. Oh for the good
      old days. But, I guess cells have a place in our buys lives
      and they are here to stay. Love your blogs.
      Sylvia



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