Pretend Cellphone/Modern Life
A colleague asked me the other day, "how did we find stuff without the web? Seriously, I can't remember." I couldn't remember either. We're so used to Googling and just typing in whateverbusinessname.com and even checking the weather forecast and our bank balances online, it's hard to remember how we did those things before. I do remember using the phone for the last two, and the yellow pages for the first two, but the best I could come up with for a wikipedia substitute was the library. (I make it sound like a poor substitute, when obviously it's a much better resource—just slower.) Once I made this leap, the memory of researching cases I'd heard about on Law & Order on microfiche sprang to mind—and this was in 1995 and 1996, when I was already working as a webmaster.
In any case, I mention this because I also have the same thought about cellphones sometimes. What did we do before cellphones? We used pay phones, certainly, but I think the more accurate answer is that we just communicated less. When we went out to the grocery store, we got whatever was on the list (or whatever struck our fancy); we didn't take orders on the fly from folks at home. We didn't call to clarify which brand of shaving cream was wanted; we just picked one and hoped we were right. We didn't call home for a count of the bananas already in the fruit bowl; we just tried to remember how many we'd seen before walking out the door, and made a guess about how many more, if any, we should buy.
I'm not saying that cellphones are inherently good or bad; what I'm saying is that they make our lives different than they used to be. But for our kids, cellphones everywhere, anytime is the norm. This is probably why the Beaner fished my glasses case out of my purse yesterday and announced it was his cellphone. He stuffed it in his pants pocket just like I do (though he looked way more gangsta than I).
He took calls every few minutes—like Al's been doing lately—to the extent that I finally quipped, "tell B_____ to just check it again, and not to call so often on weekends." The Beaner did as requested and gave B_____ an earful about calling him all the time, but he decided to take a call from Daddy after we entered Wegmans, land of the "no photos, please!" Sorry the first photo in the sequence is blurry; I was shooting blindly from around knee height so as not to attract the attention of the Wegmans produce workers.