Cell Phone Time Warp

Lately, my cell phone has been acting kind of funny.  Every time I turn it off, and then turn it back on, it resets the time and date to January 1, 2005, at 12:00 midnight.  As a result, every time I get a text message or miss a phone call thereafter, it will say it was received at the according time, like “Text from Matt, Jan. 5, 2005, 3:45 a.m.”  It is really throwing me off.  We have become so dependent on technology that, for a split second, looking at that message will have me question my reality.  Was that message sent January 5, 2005?  Is it 2005?  Did I even know Matt in 2005?  And why was he writing me a text message at 3:45 a.m.?

The clock is off too, and even though I wear a wrist watch,  I am surprised by how frequently I will look at my phone to see what time it is.  Why do we do this?  Is society telling us that looking at our phones is important?  Is it a sign of social status?  Like, oh, he’s looking at his phone while he commutes/waits in line/sits in court, he must be important?  Everybody knows you’re just playing Angry Birds.

I often think about time travel.  Maybe it’s the nostalgia-riddled, sighing romantic in me.  But recently I was riding a train in Minneapolis around rush hour, and every train station we stopped at, there were people standing, waiting for their train.  And 90% of them were silently staring at their phones, zombie-like, ignoring those around them, the sunshine, and all the wonderful things you miss when glued to modern technology.  I did see a few people reading books while they waited, and that was a comfort, but overall the experience left me sad.  What if time travel was possible, and someone were to travel to that same train ride, even from just 10 short years ago?  What would they think of the mindless drones staring at their little hand-held devices?  They would probably think we had all been drugged/lobotomized/lost our minds.  It is like an episode of “The Twilight Zone” out there.  It is freaking me out.

What if it were possible?  Say, there was a device, small, like a cell phone, and all you had to do was reset the date and time.  Would that be neat?  Scary?  Where/when would you go (butterflies off the coast of Japan and ripple effects notwithstanding)?

Maybe I just need to get a new cell phone.

7 thoughts on “Cell Phone Time Warp

  1. (hopefully I don’t have a comment quota. it’s just nice to read a different kind of blog.) I think you are so right. We have been overtaken by technology. And I think our interpersonal relationships are so different now, than what they used to be. I almost never call up any of my girl friends to just chat or see what they have been up to. There are only 2 girl friends I do that with, and even then it’s not very frequent.

    I am the first to admit, I am slightly addicted to my computer. I have to watch myself and once in a while, reel myself back in. I love technology, even though I don’t “get” most of it. However, I also try to do things to not let it completely over take me. Last year, I decided to write one of my best girl friends a letter. So old school. It was fun, but I almost felt awkward doing it, like I had forgotten how. I also have managed to refuse to get a “smartphone” (mostly because I am too cheap to pay the data package fee), but more because I know it would be glued to my hand-and I don’t want that. Also, I have been trying to make an effort to leave my phone at home, or in the car, say when I take my girls to the park to play. Do I really need to catch EVERY text message the second it comes in?! No.

    Honestly, I often day dream about the time when we build a house. I picture us moving out to a nice piece of property-5 acres or so and just trying to live a more simple life. Not necessarily leaving all things modern behind (that’s not gonna happen), but maybe just getting a little further away from “stuff”. Ugh. There is so much “stuff” cluttering our lives!

    • There is absolutely NO comment quota. Comment away. Tell your friends.

      Also no, the irony in blogging about the pitfalls of technology is not lost on me.

      But I am with you 110%. I miss human contact. Actual interaction. Touch. Remember when people used to talk face to face? Remember when teenagers used to actually go on dates and hold hands? Facebook will be the death of dating, mark my words.

      This has been going on for quite some time. When I was in college, my future wife’s roommates would go to the computer lab on campus, spread out to various computers around the lab, and then IM. With each other. What is up with that?

      I miss NOT being connected. When I was a kid, and you left the house, to go on a hike, ride a bike, actually hang out with a friend, you were gone. There was no mom calling you on your cell phone, and no expectation that you would call her. You weren’t missing any texts. Missing any emails. There were no emails to miss. And if you were late, as you often were, you got in trouble. But it was all part of the process.

      Oh, and if you got lost, you were lost. No calling for directions. No GPS. I miss getting lost.

      I too am resisting the smart phone. I am already too connected.

      I love the computer too (obviously), but it is VERY distracting. There is almost always something I could/should rather be doing.

      I love writing letters. Like actual letters. I don’t do it much any more, but I wish I did. It is sad that it has become passe and awkward. And receiving a thoughtful letter from someone you care about…there is not a better feeling in the world.

      Get your 5 acres. Live simple. And promise you’ll invite me out when you do. We can sit in rocking chairs on the front porch, sip lemonade, watch the kids run around playing tag or catching fireflies (or whatever), and actually talk to one another, actually see one another, like real people used to do. Deal?

  2. I had a 70 minute, one-sided “conversation” this week with a patron at the desk who wanted to tell me about the multiverse, time travel, string theory, David Deutsch, Brian Greene, quantum foam, and the “hundreds of thousands of astronauts that are going to die when we start colonizing the universe. They don’t think they’ll die, but they’ll die.”

    Then I left the desk and he started talking to my replacement. He was still there when I left work 30 minutes later.

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