I'm back, after a short jaunt to NY/NJ to visit my cousin for her birthday. We went to Six Flags, which was fun after it stopped raining. Somewhere between riding the Runaway Mine Train and Bizarro...I lost my cell phone.

Immediately upon realizing it was lost I fell into a sort of depression. My cousin and her friends consoled me with mournful looks and stories of how they'd lost/destroyed phones in the past. The mood of our little party changed. I called my parents to let them know to call my cousin and not me...my efforts to cut off a freak-out on their part. I filed a missing property report.

Since then I've had at least two dreams involving losing other possessions or earning enough money to buy a new phone. (I'm in the middle of a contract and the warranty expired. It's either full price or cheap replacement). I called the lost & found department at the park, left a message with my name and number and even managed to find the info with my phone's serial number on it. I hoped and prayed.

I don't like this. This 'missing-an-arm' feeling I have without my phone. For the record, I didn't call very many people. It's just how I am...I don't call, I text/email/write. I'm not a salesperson, I have no office to carry with me. I would have said a week ago that I could live without it. I'm living, but I'm grieving its loss in a way that is probably unhealthy. That annoys me.

When did it change? When did I change? When did I become a drone of society, addicted to technology? I've long been aware that I have a fascination with the Internet. But I justified it by believing that I used it for work (Etsy, eBay). When did I get dependent on a cell phone that I don't even use that much? I can come up with a list of reasons why I need a new one. First, because we only have one car and four drivers in my family so living takes a lot of coordination. But people lived for centuries before this without a cell phone. To do so now is to be behind the times.

I don't miss the stress of making sure I had it with me, or making sure I checked it periodically because when I'm home I don't keep it on me. I don't miss worrying if it was charged, wondering if it was taking pictures of the inside of my purse. I don't miss the problems it would cause when a text didn't go through, or someone didn't answer, or I forgot their number or couldn't understand a voicemail...or the Hispanic family that called looking for 'Luisa'. (I guess she had the number before me).

So it is a give and take, I suppose. I will get a new one. Pay phones are decreasing in availability. Stores don't like to let customers use their phones, nor do strangers. Carrier pigeons and flares are out of style and/or hazardous.

But I will also continue to wonder about how I'm influenced by what 'they' decide I need. I will be more careful. I will try to weigh the pros/cons before diving into the next cool thing. And I will strive to get more grounded, to *gulp* unplug to recharge, to reconnect with the real world, the tangible world, to get my head (and heart) out of the electronic (tag)clouds.

Photo credit: me! -cell phone I lost