Photo credit, Wiki Commons


I’m a grandparent who sometimes  feels like today’s children—ignored in favor of smartphones—at least until they have their own.
“Mom. We don’t have time for phone calls or e-mails. We live on our smart phones. Please text” say my kids..

We did get a cell phone with a minuscule keyboard but it’s hard on our failing eyesight. besides, we’d rather talk to our kids.Hear their voices. Their pauses. An  NPR Morning Edition story said,, “Face to face interactions are the primary way children learn.”

In rural Maine, when I was a child, we had a party line. We heard our neighbor breathe as she listened to our conversations. News spread fast. What we lost in privacy, we gained in a sense of community.

My college dorm had one phone on each floor. We always hoped it would be a man calling for a date. Long distance calls were expensive, so I wrote a weekly letter home.  As for me, finding a letter in my cubby gave me a lift I never feel from a text or a tweet.

After I married, my mother-in-law gave us 12 phone calls for Christmas. One for each month of the year. So this current compulsion to document each daily activity on the cell phone is beyond my ken. I like to notice what’s going on around me.


4 responses

  1. Dear Paula,
    I agree with you, and of course, had the same experiences with party lines and one-phone per dorm floor. Harve called me on the phone down the hall in my dorm, I had to run the length of the hall to speak to him (and any other suitor who might call)
    As I recall it was a pay I right about that?
    When we lived in Chicago, and went to meet people at O’Hare, John used to check all the pay phones for nickels and dimes that people left behind. He’d come home with a few dollars’ worth of change.
    Now, no more pay phones.
    I have an iPhone now, and I understand the fascination…I can check my email, the weather, the time, phone calls, texts, and myriad other functions. It’s like magic.
    But I still like writing letters, and i love receiving them. Some of our superannuated friends don’t use computers or cell phones, so I have to communicate by mail, and I don’t mind.

    Love, Sue

    • You are right! The iPhone is next, especially since my kids tell me it’s easier to use than the cell phone or computer—no more need for GPS. My grandkids can teach me how to use it.
      Thanks, Pauls

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