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A Stone's Throw: Non-progressive progress

 

Betty Stone

 

 

Not all change is progress. In fact, not all progress is progress. People might throw rocks at me for saying this, but here goes: All cell phones are not progress. 

 

Oh, I have my cell phone, too; and for the most part I am glad to have it. It is a good safety feature, especially if you travel, alone or otherwise. I really feel a lot more secure knowing I am not cut off from help I might need. In fact, my first cell phone was for that purpose alone. 

 

Conveniences morph, however, and not always in the way you might expect. Cell phones make one readily reachable, but surprisingly that is not the problem. 

 

That accessibility is a true convenience if you can make that convenience work for you. But, as we know, "if" is a mighty big word. 

 

My own trouble with cell phones lies in the fact that they are so convenient, many people just cancel their landlines completely. 

 

No problem, you think. You can just give your cell number to whomever you want to reach you. But what about strangers? Oh, well, you reason, you don't really want to talk to all those telemarketers, anyway, even if they are just trying to earn a living. But wait a minute. Are they the only unknown calls you miss? 

 

Just recently, I have received several calls from friends whom I enjoyed thoroughly. They could not have found me if I had no landline. I would not be in the directory. If there is a directory for cell phones, I have not heard of it. Those cell numbers that I am privy to I have to carry around with me either on said phone or in the little address book I refer to as my brain (and it is very small!) written the old-fashioned way on tangible paper. True, I might lose said brain -- and have -- but a kind steward from a cruise line found it and sent it to me. People are good. Although I have an outdated backup, the loss was still scary. I am at least not likely to erase the whole thing with a type error. 

 

Maybe I will not erase my entire phone list either, but maybe I could. I have inadvertently erased whole articles on my computer. Rarely they will pop up again in strange places. Usually not. 

 

Worse, however, is that to locate people who have let their landlines go, I have no directory. Some folks might consider that a blessing, but, really, folks, every "cold" call is not a solicitation. Sometimes old friends might be trying to locate you. At my age that happens rather often. There are still plenty of reasons I might want to be found. Yet, no directory, no talkee. Why, what if Publishers Clearing House wanted to locate me? 

 

As far as I know, my cell phone is in no directory. I'll keep my landline, thank you. Sometimes one wants to be found. 

 

Betty Boyls Stone is a freelance writer, who grew up in and lives in Columbus.

 

Betty Boyls Stone is a freelance writer, who grew up in Columbus.

 

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