Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thoughts on Being Connected

Our telephone line has been out all day. No dial tone. No way to call anybody or receive calls. Cell phones don't work on the island, except in town (6 miles one way) or at the resort (6 miles the other way). When we have a phone problem, which is frequently, it generally affects our whole neighborhood community as well. So we can't use the neighbor's phone to report the problem. Eventually one of us goes to town and calls the phone company, which responds (in their own sloooow good time) by sending a technician to repair something in the main relay box by the fire department sub-station.

For a day or two (sometimes more), we have no phone. During these times, I notice restless and uneasy feelings set in. I used to worry that someone in my family might be trying to reach me about my mom. Now I just worry.

Wasn't always like this. I used to go back-country hiking nearly every weekend and never give a thought to not being connected to the rest of the world. My world was smaller then. I had my parents across the country in Minnesota and talked to them on the phone every other month or so. At Christmas I called my parents when I knew my brothers would be there and talked to each of them for a few minutes... my once a year contact. I had a couple of close friends, colleagues at work and dance friends. That's about it. No Facebook. No email. No blogging friends. Rare long-distance phone calls to keep me connected with my family.

Was it better? I don't really know. Easier and more simple? Yes, I think so. Certainly I wouldn't have gone into worry-mode if the phone wasn't working.

A blogging acquaintance, someone I've never met or talked with in person, wrote that she thinks we'd be better off dropping Facebook and all our Internet connections in order to dedicate ourselves to a few, important, deeper relationships. That's an interesting thought. But could it ever be a two-way deal? Isn't nearly everyone glued to their cyber-connections and phones these days?

One of my husband's issues with me, as stated in counseling, is that I spend a lot of time with my back to him.... that is... on the computer... blogging, playing cards, emailing. Is it just possible that the blessing in our current phone disconnect is all about deeper connections, turning my attention away from the phone and toward him?

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Gratitude for the day: beautiful batik fabrics, the smell of baking potatoes, the fire in our wood stove, Susan's stories about Bhutan


  1. Our phone has been out for... two weeks, I guess. We can call out, but incoming calls are met with static on their end and nothing on ours. That we haven't had it fixed yet shows how little it means to us. Everything we do is generally by email, and getting calls is not something that happens much around here. I find it much more peaceful knowing the phone is not likely to ring at random.

  2. Hi Robin
    I think the Internet thing is whatever a person makes it. I don't do much on FB. I don't really want the relationships with a blurb in a status line. But I do like to keep in touch with my brother's kids there.

    I much prefer the blogs and the email connections I have with those that respond to comments via return email. I have made some good cyber friendships this way, but never as good as talking in person.

    I also think the internet can be another avenue for addiction.

    Lets just face it, our relationships are what we make them, what we want them to be. You give attention to what and who is important to you, yet your husband can't expect you to give up what you enjoy and direct your attention to him every minute. Its all about balance for both of you.
    And that, of course, is always the hardest to achieve.

    Even the Indians used smoke to communicate. Hope you get your phone service back soon. Its all about peace of mind.

  3. Intersting turning your back toward him.
    Then "facing" him.
    Wow - very good, PB!

  4. hi, Robin,,,,would it be possible to arrange your computers side by each...? it works for us....Penny

  5. How recognizable! But on the other hand... were it not for cyberspace, I would never have gotten to know you! (But certainly I would love it far more if we could hop over to share a cuppa and a hike once in a while.)


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