August Theme: Dead2Me
The credit for this month’s theme goes to Steve Matthews, a member of our Advisory Board.
The premise is to think of something that you used to do or use, but no longer do or use. Great idea, Steve, and one I thought would be super easy for me to write about: the phonebook, also known as the Yellow Pages. I hadn’t looked anything up in a phonebook in years. I look everything up online. Except the week of #nopower when there was no Internet, and trying to call a 1-800 support number from my smartphone was a challenge. The Yellow Pages had the number, and better yet, it had the number to report outages! A whole list of numbers, actually.
So much for the Yellow Pages being “Dead2Me,” but I couldn’t begrudge that. #nopower reminds you of what used to be and it turned out to be helpful that I still remembered how to use a phonebook.
And then last weekend I was in downtown Chicago for the TechWeek Conference, and it hit me: the landline is Dead2Me.
The landline, the phone on the wall I used to make plans with friends, to call home when I arrived back at my college apartment, to call businesses to see if they were hiring, to make doctors appointments and call teachers and coaches to get quotes and stats for a newspaper article. I remember, in grade school, being really excited when my parents decided I was old enough to have a phone in my room. And I remember the thrill of walking into the office of my first job out of college, and seeing a phone sitting at my desk.
Now, I don’t have a phone sitting at my desk. There are days I don’t have a desk, but rather a table at a local coffee shop or my lap while sitting in on a session at a conference. The landline has been replaced with a myriad of options that I utilize: Skype, Google Talk (and recently Hangout) and my smartphone.
It occurs to me that, as a result of the landline being Dead2Me, so is the ease of disconnecting. Alas, that is for another post.