From The Storyteller
July 22, 2019, Battery
I wonder if I am the only one to think batteries in children’s noise-making toys last way too long, and am annoyed with flashlight batteries that don’t last long enough. A dead car battery is a non-starter (pun intended), and a dead battery in the morning alarm clock is an unwanted discovery.
While all these are important, the ultimate dead battery issue clearly belongs to the “smart” phone, when no charger is available. No battery power, and we’re suddenly cut off from all the people we’ve ever known, google search, and all 1500 Facebook friends. Because our phone serves as a watch and calendar, we’ve also no way of knowing the appointments we’ll be late for, and we can’t even call to tell them why. Panic!
These are just a few of my thoughts as I began a three day retreat that requires surrendering our phones. While feeling anxious handing it over, I’m thinking, “What if I’m needed or someone dies?” In my head I know there are emergency measures in place, but to me it feels like a major dead battery event. Eventually the panic passes and the entire retreat turns out great.
As that third day ends, I’m looking at the “smart” phone in my hand and realize something in me has changed. My phone as stopped being some vague part of my life support system. During those three days, my phone has been transformed into a tool – a useful one, but still just a tool. Yes, Facebook still does its birthday reminder, family picture thing, and Google still shortens my search time. Oh, I also use my phone to call and text family. But now, when I don’t want interruptions, “Text or leave a message at the tone” works just fine.
Moral: The smart thing to do is wisely use your “smart” phone.