On this day in 1973, on the streets of New York City the first cell phone call was made. This little piece of trivia got me to thinking…..

I have been under the impression that cell phones were a basically modern (by this I mean rather current) invention. In 1973 I had not yet been born, and on this date in 1973 I had not even been conceived (too much information??). I can assure you that at my age I would not be considered “modern” or “current” so this really changes my thinking about cell phones. Did you have any idea they were created in 1973??

I remember when mobile phones were first being marketed for public use. The big excitement stemmed around being able to make a phone call from your vehicle. During the late 1980s my parents decided that my grandpa needed a mobile phone. He was a civil engineer, still traveling and doing surveying work but was aging and had really serious heart problems. I’m sure my parents saw it as a safety precaution. My grandpa could call for help if he needed it. The phone they ended up buying for him was similar to this one:

Except…..it was in a bag? Do any of you remember those? It came in a leather zippered pouch and you had to plug it into the cigarette lighter (which I don’t think are even in vehicles anymore). This sucker weighed 2 or 3 pounds. It was a monster. And, I don’t know that he ever used it. Ever.

It’s funny and a little scary how much the phones have evolved over the last 25 years. Now I have one of these:

And this isn’t the newest version on the market. It slides into my pocket, has a forever long battery life and surfs the internet.

I will be the first to admit that I love my cell phone. We don’t even have a land line anymore. We eliminated that bill. I love being able to check the weather and surf the net. I play games and text and send emails. I make to-do lists and grocery lists and lists of gift ideas.

But here’s the thing. Every so often, when I’m reminiscing about my life growing up I miss the time of being “unplugged.” I miss not feeling like I have to update my status or tweet something clever every time I leave my house. I enjoyed the days when talking to someone meant actually talking – with real words – spoken ones. Not texts or tweets or updates or messages or emails.

So, I think I’m going to adopt one day a week that is “unplugged.” Granted, it’s not going to be easy. I’m just as addicted to my little portable Google machine as everyone else is. But I’m going to give it a shot. My hope is that maybe my family can connect a little more closely; that maybe we can shut out the noise and the nonsense and the hectic pace even for just a few hours. Have any of you done this? Did it work? Did you pull it off? Is it liberating? I’m thinking that it will be.

Plus….I think my grandpa would like it.


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