An interesting and frightening thing happened this weekend. My brother lost his cell phone. Or rather, my brother lost his cell phone, failed to show up at two or three places he said he was going to be, and no one heard from him for nearly three days.
As it turns out, it had fallen out of his pocket in someone else’s car and then had the battery die, so the other person was driving it around for a couple of days all unsuspecting. And he didn’t show up at his previously scheduled events because the Clinton campaign* called the restaurant where he works at the last minute to schedule a huge dinner, which he then got roped into working even though he was supposed to be off that day, and he couldn’t tell anyone because he didn’t have his phone.
But the whole thing was kind of scary, because it made me realize I have no other way to reach him. I sort of kind of have an email address for him, but I’m never sure if it’s the address he’s still using any more, because he’s not much of an emailer. (At least, not to his geeky sister.) Since he works at a restaurant, he doesn’t really have a “work phone,” (though my parents did go to the restaurant and leave him a physical note-style message when they got a call from the person who did have the phone.) I don’t know the phone numbers of any of his friends. Conversely, I suspect he doesn’t know my phone number without looking it up in his own phone. Hence, the loss of his cell phone pretty much meant that my brother fell off the face of the earth.
Mark and I recently had a short discussion about whether we want to have a landline phone in our new house once we move in, and since we both already pay to have cell phones, we decided a regular phone wasn’t necessary. Now, I kind of wonder. How many people do you know who would be completely unable to contact you if you either lost your phone or changed your email address without their knowledge? Technology of this type is making some interesting changes in our lives, I think. It makes us feel far more connected because so much of our communication is so nearly instantaneous now. But its loss also seems to cut us off all the more dramatically.
*My brother has to work a double shift today, so I’m somehow doubting that he’s going to remember to vote, but if he did remember, I suspect this incident would not make him inclined to vote for Hillary. I’ve heard uncomplimentary things about her campaign from staff at other restaurants, too, notably from her time in Iowa for the caucuses, so perhaps they should practice their new populism by showing more respect for the restaurant workers they frequently inconvenience.
-posted by Dana