Walking while phoneless
Ann Q. Peters
You go out without your phone. Whatís the worst that can happen? You see a crime being committed, a house is on fire, you get kidnapped and thrown into the trunk of a car and canít call for help. YesÖ those things could happen, but more likely what will happen isÖ nothing. Think about that. You could have a prolonged stretch of time without being texted, called, or tracked by Google.
The worst thatís happened to me is that Iíve seen some really beautiful flowers or awesome cloud formations or cute farm animals and havenít been able to take a picture. Once I was out walking and a small dog, letís call him Elmo (not his real name because I canít remember it) started following me. He had tags with a Kenwood number and a cell phone number, but I had NO PHONE. Elmo would run ahead, lag behind, but always would come when called. Now I felt responsible for this dog, who clearly lived nearby, but was intent on going with me on the entire walk. I kept checking the two phone numbers on his collar and trying to memorize them, in case he abandoned me before we got to my house. Whenís the last time you had to memorize anything? In the end, he stayed with me all the way home, where he had a long drink of water and a doggy biscuit while we waited for his long-suffering owner to pick him up. Apparently Elmo is an escape artist and this was not his first solo adventure.
If I had run into anyone, I would have asked to borrow their phone, which would have required interacting with another person in the real world, and thatís the point, really. Walking while phoneless forces you to be in the moment, pay attention to whatís going on around you, and instead of looking at the landscape through a lens, look at it with your eyes, and store the memory in your brain.
Part of me loves my phone. It connects me to my far-flung children, who are really good about responding to texts and emails. It answers my random questions, organizes my day, plays my music, and shows me where to go. I certainly understand the benefits of having that tiny computer/communications/tracking device in my pocket, but itís okay to leave it behind now and then. We should all give ourselves some downtime, some time to relax and recharge. How important are you that you canít go away for a while without someone needing to talk to you?
Speaking of going away for a while, thatís what the Kenwood Press is going to do next month. We only publish one issue of the KP in July, on July 1st. So if you have anything you want people to know about for the whole month of July, get it to us before June 26. If itís an ad, get it to us even earlier. Weíre all going away for at least two weeks Ė wish it could be longer! And we may not even have our phones with us, at least for part of the time, so there!