Friday, May 09, 2008

Why My Spiritual Life is Like My Cell Phone

We switched cell phone contracts the other week, and I am now the new owner of a sleek new metallic-sea-blue LG slidey phone that does just about everything but toast my English muffin in the morning.

Or at least it would if I really understood how to use it.

As it is, I can call out on it, and I can answer calls...I can add phone numbers to the directory...but most of the rest of it is a great mystery to me, even after repeated trips to the manual for guidance. Last week, for instance, I took a photo of my lovely Friday bouquet, with every intention of e-mailing to myself and posting it here...but darned if I can figure out how to do what was a fairly simple procedure on my old phone. I thought I had activated my voice mail, but whenever I try to get into my mailbox I'm told that my passcode number (the same number that I used for my old phone)isn't the right one. Some menu functions on the phone I just avoid altogether, because I'm not quite sure what they mean.

This morning on my way to work -- having realized that I'd forgotten my new cell phone, perhaps unconsciously accidently-on-purpose -- it occurred to me that the spiritual life is like...well...a cell phone. There's so much good and useful stuff, so much potential, packed into it; but sometimes it seems easier and safer and less confusing to confine oneself to the most rudimentary actions.


toujoursdan said...

I have a blackberry-like cell phone and most of the features like the camera are a mystery. I walked through trying to take a pic once and it was so complicated that I just don't use it.

They really try to be all things to all people.

Choralgirl said...

If there were an entry in the dictionary under "apt metaphor," this post would appear. complete and total agreement!

P.S. an after-thought said...

I like technology, but I find it irritating that the phones seem to get less user friendly. I used to be able to do email on mine with just a normal setting and contract. But when we got new phones because there was a new tower, the technology had changed. Now we need to add an extra cost for the internet to do it. But the internet stuff is too slow to bother paying for it.

Some of the features, like when two people call at once, happen so infrequently that I can't remember what to do. At least my phone has icons to help remember what button does what. My husband's phone gives no clue what a number of the buttons are for.

Tom in Ontario said...

I don't have a cel phone. Nobody in my household does. The battery on our old one needed replacing about 5 years ago and we didn't bother.

We manage fine without it. People manage to get ahold of us when they need us. We don't even have an answering machine/service at our house. We do have call display so we can see if someone called while we were out and if we think it might have been important we can call them back. If they think it's important enough they'll call us back.

I wonder what that says about spirituality, not getting ourselves tied down to the ubiquitous technology that everyone is convince they absolutely can't do without.

Sheryl said...

I have a very basic cell phone, because I need to have one for work (I actually have a pre-paid plan because I almost never use my phone - it costs me about $25 for three months). I'm thinking of getting a new one, but I don't want any special gadgets. I just want a phone that doesn't accidentally call 911 when I put my purse down in a funny position (has happened to me three times).