Monday, November 01, 2010

A day of silence

My iPhone and I are friends. I rely on it (I've never assigned gender, although my car is female and my iPad is, ummm, male, I think) to find me when needed and to get me the people I need when I need them. I don't tax its systems. If I'm home and the call is local, I use the house phone. My iPhone is for contacts and calendars and quick "dialing."

So when I went to Canton Trade Days last Friday and found I had No Service, I wasn't particularly bothered. It was a very busy day. Great weather and people everywhere. Of course, the lines would be busy. But when I consistently had No Service--not even a lonely little bar which would indicate I might not get a call out but I could at least try--I started to feel a bit of anxiety. What if somebody needed me? I couldn't even access my travel partner to confirm our rendezvous. I started to listen to the loud speaker very carefully.

Then I noticed there were fewer people than usual talking on their cell phones. The place is normally a hotbed of cellular conversation, everything from "I'll deal with that when I get home" to "I told you I was going to Canton" to "Where did you say that was located?" Some people were chatting away, but most were not.

There'd been a huge storm in the vicinity a few days earlier. Had a tower gone down? No one mentioned it. I turned on my iPad and it showed a cellular signal, but I couldn't get a play out on Words with Friends. The dial spun and spun and spun and would still be spinning if we were there, I think.

We were halfway home before my friend got a call on her phone, a sure sign that civilization wasn't far away. But it was a lonely day at Canton and I realized just how dependent I am on the idea of always being in touch.

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