Tuesday, June 20, 2017


We didn't have a phone in the house until I was 8.  My grandparents had a phone around the corner, my parents didn't see the need for a phone, until a blizzard one winter - while my father was off on an adventure and mom was home alone with four kids.  Then the phone was rotary dial, and on a party line.  My family was never big on talking on the phone.  

In a major way, I am glad I grew up before cell phones.  We were out at the Udvar-Hazy on fathers day.  We stopped for lunch and I was struck by the young fathers, out for the day with their child, glued to their phones.  I grew up before that distraction.  My parents were not helicopter parents, but when they spent time with me, they spent time with me, not dividing time between me and their phone.  I wanted to say something like, "pay attention to your kid, they will only be young once, someday you will not be there for them, wouldn't it be wonderful for them to remember you being attentive, when you spent time together."  

I came home and called my father.  I listened to what is happening in his life and I told him about what is happening in my life.  Some day too soon, I won't be able to do that.  Quality time, one on one attention while we can.  

When do you turn your phone off? 


  1. mine is always OFF because I don't have a cell phone!

    and it's not only dads, it's couples, groups, etc. NO ONE looks up any more. idiots will miss great things that way.

    1. I, too, was eight when we got a phone and it was a party line. We had no one around the corner with a phone. Idiots will miss the small things, too. I turn it off when I go to sleep, naps or night time. Sometimes, I just don't turn it on when I get up in the morning. I just forget.

    2. Me either, a.m.!



  2. I don't turn my phone off, but I do turn it to vibrate when I'm out with friends, at dinner, etc. Those times the only reason I check it is if I'm expecting to hear from someone we're meeting. I grew up with a phone in every room. We even had our own when we were teens. My father was with AT&T. It was all free.. including long distance. What a does of reality when I moved out on my own!

  3. Like you, we didn't have a telephone when I was growing up. To use a phone we had a ten minute walk to the village post office to use the pay phone. I remember the frustration of arriving at the red phone box to find someone already using it, or worse still, that I had forgotten my change! Also the disgust of finding that a previous user had smoked at least two Woodbines while in there.

    We use our mobile phones on a functional rather than social basis and feel sad for those who lead constant virtual lives, permanently connected to one device or another. As you say, it's such a shame that children are being ignored while parents focus all their attention on the phone. Also dogs. I see dogs walking themselves along busy roads while the owner is at the other end of a long lead and on the phone, paying no attention to the dog at all. A serious accident waiting to happen if the dog decides to lurch into the road because it saw a cat across the other side. A friend of mine was hurt when he had to do an emergency stop on his motorcycle to avoid a dog on a lead which stepped into the road. He missed the dog but the car behind didn't stop quickly enough and knocked him off his bike.

  4. The question for me is when do I turn it on, and the answer is right before I need to make a call.
    I have a cell phone, but I am not addicted to it.

  5. I turn it off whenever I can. During work hours it has to be on but doesn't have to control me. Yesterday it felt as if it was controlling me, today I choose to not let it. Everyone can wait their turn "leave a message and I'll call you back when I am able."

  6. We always had a phone when I was a kid because my dad was sick so my mum insisted. But lots of neighbours used to come and borrow it, always leaving their coppers in the tin beside it without being asked.

    Nowadays my phone is more off than on. In fact I don't know why we bothered getting it - some kind of deal was involved I think, where two were practically the same price as one.

  7. never for it is my pager too after hours.
    I do not know what that would feel like really; turning off the phone for a flight - that I have done, but that doesn't feel the same as turning it off because I make it so.