#ColgateProblems: Head in the iCloud

The future is coming. It is only a matter of time before we are mentally communicating with our iPhone 32s, ordering a calorie-burning slice to be delivered via hover-board by a Mandarin-speaking robot. And sure, a large part of me can embrace it. I appreciate the ability to talk to my friends overseas and relive my middle school glory days via #TBTs. On the other hand, there’s another side of me that walks into a window whilst sending a text message, develops both a minor laceration and major fury at an inanimate object and longs for the days of pen pals and phone calls.

My first cell phone was a baby blue clamshell sensation that had a screen which doubled as mirror when not in use. I can’t imagine my girlhood thumbs had many people to text, but that didn’t matter ­– I had entered the circle of the few, the proud, the reachable by cell phone. As my devices got more advanced, so did my social skills, eventually making my handheld device inseparable from my hand itself. But despite the awesome things that come with your own phone number, every digital rose has its thorns.

For one thing, I am a serial in-class texter. My record goes back to seventh grade Latin class with Mr. Fosbrook (the white-haired, slightly clueless Latin teacher affectionately referred to as “Fozzy Bear”). It was a class I found so unbearable that the only option was to turn to my hot pink LG Chocolate, knowing that this was a teacher with whom I could definitely get away with it. Due to this voluntary distraction, I most definitely did not carpe diem and instead produced a disappointing 68 percent on my final exam.

Despite the ill effects, I continued to abuse the power of the cell phone until I suffered actual repercussions. That incident occurred in spring 2010, when I dropped my Google phone (this was during my alternative phase) down a drain while opening the gate to my school. The fall ended in tears and me holding a member of the maintenance staff’s watch, standing helplessly by as he reached down the drain for my poor cordless telephone. How could this happen? Why me? Why now? – I had just changed my ringtone to “Ice Ice Baby.” I stared deep into the drain where my phone met its watery grave and found no answers.

So, I found myself back at square one with my woefully out-of-date LG Chocolate, rendered totally obsolete because of its lack of internet capabilities and front-facing camera. Its hot pink face stared back at me as if to say “you thought you could get rid of me LOL.” Though it had the battery life of a gnat and its lack of a full keyboard meant it took five minutes to send a text, that little phone taught me more than my impossibly intelligent iPhone ever could. Technology is great; it would be stupid not to take advantage of a device that helps you talk in only Emojis and send photos that only last for 10 seconds. But when technology takes you out of the moment and into the cloud, it’s easy to realize the limitations of not paying attention IRL.