Sunday, November 2, 2014

Leaving your phone at home

I took one of those silly "what's your age" quizzes the other day and apparently my "real" age, based on some questionable questions, is 27! I know. Go on - have a laugh. I've taken other quizzes where I was put at the other end of the spectrum - 83, to be precise. I don't put a lot of stock in them, as you'd imagine.

However, one of the questions (my response to which, probably snagged me the "27") was "Can you live without your phone". The three options were something like "Absolutely not", "Sometimes I deliberately leave it at home", and "I don't have a phone". (Don't you hate it when your real answer isn't available?)

I responded "Absolutely" which of course, I'd imagine, immediately put me into the phone-dependant Millenials group. The irony is, I have about two apps on it, both of which my 11 year old installed; I have a whopping three albums loaded and since I always forget to carry ear buds around, I never listen to them; I don't get daily updates of international news, stock market activity or weather forecasts either. Nobody ever calls me; half the time it's still on "silent" from during the night and I never even notice.

In short, my phone is the most under-utilized I-Phone on the planet, and yet, as the mother of three, I can't not have it with me, because if I do -

- the school nurse phones; usually it's "not an emergency Mrs. Expat" but it would be nice if I could come and pick him up when convenient. It's a complete mom fail if you turn up half an hour before dismissal and your poor child has been lying in the sick bay for hours when all he wanted to do was curl up on the sofa with a blanket and your sympathy.

- the college girl needs an important piece of information (which is only ever in my head),

- or someone from "back home" is trying to get in touch with me. Expats always pick the phone up, no matter what time of day or night it is.

- someone asks me if I can help at school next Tuesday, or whatever, and I say "yes" thinking that since I usually don't have anything going on, I'll be free. Get home to find out that I'm supposed to be waiting in for the carpet cleaners that day.

How about you? Are you glued to your phone?


  1. Absolutely. Is there any mother of teenage children who isn't phone dependent? I totally get this.

  2. Without a doubt. Even now at 6:00 am it is nestled in the pocket of my robe.

  3. Sadly, yes. Even more so now that we live in Seoul and ( like many people) have no landline anymore. My phone is with me all the time and I use it for everything. Of course,the fact that all of my co- workers are about 30 and communicate primarily via Kakao talk makes it more or less a requirement. IMessage is also a godsend since #1 is on US time in college and we're 12 hours ahead in Seoul. Have been using it to snapchat #2 who is on a school trip in Mongolia this week as well. I'll admit it- totally dependent.

  4. Me, too. It's used for texting far more than actual phone calls, and I worry that one of my beloveds is trying to contact me urgently if it's not with me. Also used for FaceTime with my granddaughter; all my contacts are on it (useful for sending stuff from florists' shops, etc.); my calendar is on it; photos and videos; music and audiobooks I listen to in the car; ebooks to actually READ; news apps; weather app. If I'm stuck waiting somewhere, I'm never bored!

    I'm no millennial, either. I'm 58. So there. ;)

  5. No. I'm the other way. I frequently forget it, and then am uncontactable, and irritated. And irritating to other people, no doubt.

    I'm just so 20th century.

  6. I miss Pond Parleys, by the way. I was thinking about them the other day.

  7. Absolutely glued to my phone!
    Now that we finally have a texting plan, it's probably used more for texts than phone calls. I use it to track my family (using Find My Friends.) I use the weather apps. I'd be completely lost without the calendar - we have it synced so all 4 of us can see the whole family's calendar and if it's not on the calendar it's not happening. I play Words With Friends against not just friends but both kids and my mum. I also play Candy Crush, but refuse to pay any money to get through the levels more easily. I like always having a camera with me. I use the Kindle app to be able to carry books for those inevitable times when I'm waiting for kids after sports practices.
    I don't listen to much music on it, but I do listen to NPR when I'm at home and on wifi.

  8. I like my iPad rather than my phone which I only really use for the odd text and, like you, to be contactable. Haven't got an iPhone but would like one next time contract needs renewing.
    I stick to CDs and the radio!

  9. I'm glued to mine, mainly for work reasons (as I work with Americans who are liable to email at times of day I'm not at my desk working). Also Facebook, which I love because it's like a virtual office for some who works at home on their own.

  10. By the way I agree with Iota about Pond Parleys....


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