Out of pocket on the high seas
April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Go on a cruise and see something so out of the ordinary in this digital age, it’s almost unbelievable.
And no, it’s not an air guitar contest.
I just returned from a cruise around the Eastern Caribbean. As we were preparing to leave port and folks were settling in on the lido deck, I noticed interesting behavior. People were not on their cell phones texting or checking Facebook. They were smiling and having fun, disconnected from the rest of the world via technology. I definitely don’t see that in airports.
I even see it on the ski lifts.
Most everywhere I go, and I am as guilty as the next girl, I see people with their heads pointed downward to check Fantasy Football scores or look up the exact length of Crystal Gayle’s hair on Wikipedia. People are nonstop texting their ex-boyfriends – OK, maybe that’s just me – or tweeting about the latest celebrity divorce.
They are hardly few and far between these days.
As much as we say we would like to be out of touch, we almost can’t be. Society demands that people can reach us by smart phone, email, text, social networks, etc. I typically don’t have a problem with that since I am a huge fan of my iPhone and Facebook account. I’ve been known to panic when said smart phone is not within eyeshot.
But then I went on a cruise.
While on the high seas and at the different ports, international data rates of $19.97/MB applied. I know I don’t have the expendable cash to rack up a bunch of international charges. I did send a text or two to check on my dog but that was it. No phone calls, and definitely no logging on to social networks. Most of the time, we were out of service anyway and who can beat that for really taking me away?
Not even Calgon could pull that off.
Instead of thinking about work emails or a recent long-distance online love match that fell miserably on its face before we even met, I was able to step away from the phone and have some fun. I could dance away the troubles of constantly having a smart phone attached to my ear.
That problem is self-induced, I know.
I also had two of my best girlfriends with me on the cruise to make the smart phone separation anxiety seem, well, stupid. Who needs texting my BFF when I had the real-life sister-from-another-mother there to dance to Joan Jett and Michael Jackson with me? The only thing I needed my cell phone for was to take multiple self-portraits with her on the beach. The self-portrait can never be underestimated.
Especially when boat drinks are involved.
When we arrived in port in Miami, I was back to the grind, checking in on the texts, emails, and Facebook friend requests. Even the cruise director, Noonan – so many “Caddy Shack” references, so little time – walked by and said, “Ah the faithful Internet connection’s back, eh?”
What I discovered is maybe I should lay off my smart phone because it might be dumbing me down. I found out that I hadn’t even missed calls. And the texts? Well, they were few and far between, unlike the celebrity divorces.
Sorry to hear about your luck, Mr. and Mrs. Kutcher.
I did Google Crystal Gayle’s hair length and it used to be to the floor but now she keeps it between her hips and knees. It grows about 3 or 4 inches a month, according to the Internet, and she donates it. She is also Loretta Lynn’s sister, which for some reason I did not know until now. Long story short, I can survive without my smart phone.
Even in this digital day and age.
April E. Clark has her mind on the turkey and the turkey on her mind. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@yahoo. com.
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