We have become so connected that we're nearly impossible to reach. Who can remember which number or account to call, text, message, zap or otherwise zing?
My entire family used to have one phone number on a line shared by two other full families. If someone at one of the other houses was on the phone, you couldn't use it.
If you picked up the receiver real quietly, you could listen in on their calls - and they on yours. Don't try to impress me with three-way calling technology. We had whole neighborhoods chattering on the same call.
Back then, complete families were connected to one phone, and that phone was connected to the wall.
Today, a family of five requires a list of 30 or 40 cell numbers, landline digits, email addresses, hash tags and other fixings and trimmings.
Paul Revere's ride today would be one if by landline, two if by tweet, and so on.
Once I nearly reprimand my daughter for taking text messages in church. Then I saw the messages were from her mother, sitting in another pew.
We are connected. Overly connected. That's why you hear conversations like this one between two fishing buddies:
"I tried calling you the other day. When you didn't answer..."
"My personal cell or the work cell?"
"You don't carry any company phones."
"I do now. Gotta stay connected. I'll call you on it so you have the number."
"Never mind that. Anyway, when I couldn't reach your cell..."
"Did you try just mine, or my wife's, too? She could have passed me hers. Unless one of the kids switched cells again. I still carry my old phone, just in case.''
"No, no, no."
"If you use the home phone, remember to use our main number. The kids have three lines, and there are four more for..."
"No! I tried email..."
"AOL or Yahoo? The Yahoo account's just for business contacts. I use the Big Junior identity on AOL for friends. The Mr. Richards ID is the one I give for school and church, and I use the Touchdown Tommy account for the sports sites..."
"Stop! Then I messaged you on Facebook..."
"I have six Facebook pages, personal, family, businesses, hobbies. Then there's the LinkedIn and..."
"Argh! I should have Tweeted."
"Got two of those. How come you've never Skyped me?"
"Can I see your phone for a minute?''
"Sure. Couldn't find my way out of the driveway without it. Look at the screen on this baby. You can connect to anything ... Hey! You heaved my phone into the lake!''
''I'll zap my wife on the tablet here and have her plug into the GPS app and ... Hey! (Glub, glub, glub), you just threw ME into the lake!"
"Now that I have your attention, when I couldn't reach you electronically, I wrote a letter. With pencil and paper. Since you still have only one street address. Oh, don't bother calling. I threw my phone in the lake yesterday. It's so much more relaxing being disconnected.''
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