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Commentary

The Rapture Of Being Disconnected, If Only For A Day

A mobile phone on a sandy beach.
TheHilaryClark
/
Creative Commons

At the risk of violating technology's prime directive -- "Thou shalt not look backwards" -- I found a way, if only briefly, to get my mobile phone to just stay put.

How I've often longed for the sweet certainty that the darn bunch of silicon and circuitry would just stay where it is. I mean, one would hardly expect a refrigerator to one day just decamp to the bathroom. 

Even the humble toaster has the good sense to unceremoniously man its post without a hint of countertop contretemps.

Not so the peripatetic mobile phone which, with the stealth of a World War I spy skulking around a Grand Hotel, can at one moment appear to be in the ballroom -- chatting amiably with Miss Scarlett -- only to find itself, without a clue, appear in the pantry covered with Colonel Mustard by the sink.

It's all enough to make one wish to just nail the elusive device to the wall, and tie a cord around it. Then, if it rang, one could simply walk directly to it, and not madly burrow through sofa cushions, pockets and the back seats until at last locating it under a discarded sock.

Which was how I decided on an attack of my own: to take a one-day vacation from my cell phone by parking it on its charging station on the antique dresser of my idyllic summer cottage and -- get this -- leave it there.

Ah, the rapture of being disconnected.

A walk on the beach became an uninterrupted parade through sea, sand and marine life without being gulled into the crabby civilized world. Even a stroll to the ice cream stand took on a special sweetness, knowing that the only rocky road I would encounter would be atop a waffle cone.

Of course, vacations end, and the modern world calls, and calls.

True, the hiatus lasted only one day. And true, I spent the next day checking my messages in the misguided belief that I’d missed something important.

Yet it’s also true that all journeys have to start somewhere, and for one glorious day, both the phone and I were recharged with one simple step. Even if that step was backwards.

Commentator Robert Chipkin lives and writes in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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