Too Available? #MondayBlogs

Mobiles.

They are wonderful things, aren’t they?

Gone are the days when you lingered by your corded landline phone, waiting for a special call, then spent ages contorting with the cord to find a private space where your conversation could be conducted.

Back in those days, there was no caller ID, no screening calls. You either got it, or you missed it. And there was no 1471 (on British phones) where you could check back to see who called.

If you were one of the modern households, you may have had an answering machine, complete with a tape deck so messages could be recorded.

If you didn’t, you never really knew if anyone had tried to contact you, or why, until they either met you, wrote to you, or called you again, and you were home.

And the world didn’t end because you missed that call.

Fast forward to now.

If I find that I have left my mobile phone somewhere, I have to calm myself before I begin to hyperventilate!

Seriously.

I mean, what if, while my phone languishes on my dining room table, someone sends me a most excellent meme via my WhatsApp, and I can’t respond straight away? (Okay, in my lunch break, I’m teaching otherwise, but you know what I mean!)

Or what if that text message is left unanswered.

I may need to send a surreptitious message to someone in the same room… about another person in the same room… without them hearing the comment spoken!

Heaven forbid, my lack of phone means I can’t capture certain moments for use on Insta at a later time!

My Facebook and Twitter notifications would mount up. Deleting all my junk emails would be really tiresome later that evening.

My poor games would be notifying me how much they missed me!

Oh, and I could actually miss a phone call.

But, would the world stop spinning because I didn’t look at my phone?

Would I be unfriended by the masses because I wasn’t ‘there’ virtually to react to how fantastic their lunches looked?

Let’s be honest. No.

Nothing major would happen.

Though I end up feeling guilty that I haven’t been available for those  who have actively sent communications my way, meme, message or otherwise!

And if there was an emergency, the people who know me and need me have my work contact. My daughter is in school with me. My son’s school has the right details. My Hubby Dearest’s work is aware of how to get in touch with me too.

The problem lies in us making ourselves far too available nowadays.

And technology has developed in such a way that it’s easy to become a little addicted to Social Media, and sometimes become obsessive about the length of time it takes others to respond.

In the past, I know of individuals who have accused me of ignoring them, because they saw my ‘Available’ light on by my name on certain messaging services.

The thing is, when I look at my phone, regardless of the app, the phone tells the world I am there, ready and willing to be bombarded with messages and images from all directions.

When I’m not.

I may just be flashing a glance to check the time.

The other thing is the ability to see whether others have seen or read your messages. Then the tedious wait for a response. The agonising thoughts “What if they didn’t like the picture/message?” or “Why are they ignoring me?”

This weekend, I went out with the family for a spot of shopping and lunch. While out there the network signal was sparse, meaning after a couple of attempts to check what was happening in my virtual world, I simply put my phone away.

And, you know what? It was great! I wasn’t constantly checking for notifications, talking to the family, and having fun.

Sure, it meant that there was a little catching up to do when I got home, but still, it showed that I was still able to function without being ‘on call’ 24/7!

I’ve actually muted all my notifications so I am not aware of a series of bings and tings every time someone contacts. I have even reduced the visibility on my phone so only important messages show up, unless I actually visit a particular app, which is when I see the huge amount of notifications waiting for me.

Daunting, it is, to go through, but at least the incessant beeping is gone, so I don’t feel I am missing something of vast importance. And, as I mentioned before, if someone needs to contact me, they can just actually phone me

I am in awe of those who have not been swallowed by the Smart Phone craze. Yes, there are actually still individuals out there who refuse to change their phones and use them for, well, phones, rather than mobile computers. My Brother in Law is one. He hates the idea, not wanting to have to field constant messages from various distant family, who get offended when you don’t reply straight away. He’s not on any social media either!

My parents were the same too, until a few years ago, when the handsets they had just died, and they were given Samsung smartphones as upgrades. But it wasn’t long before my mum was using hers like a boss! Shes on FB and Insta too! Pops took a little longer, but now, he LOVES his regular WhatsApp messages, and checking the cricket score on the go!

But they make sure they switch the handsets off, every night, and leave them downstairs, so they aren’t disturbed by them.

I can’t do that. My mobile is also my alarm, but I don’t look at it after a certain time at night. (Okay, that sentence there may have contained a little white lie, but I do try and stop myself, honestly!) Oh, and I would miss the memes too!

Right, that’s my Monday musing done, I’m (kinda) logging off now, to get ready for work… (But if you need me, you know I’ll be there…)

Have a great day  Peeps, and try to disconnect from your mobile a little! (Do as I say, not as I do! )

106 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Grateful Single Mom
    Apr 08, 2018 @ 11:13:46

    Excellent reminder that the world will survive without us! I am working hard to at least lengthen the leash…To not feel so obligated to respond immediately. Sometimes it’s harder than others…But people are learning that I’m just not available 24 hours a day…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. thereluctantpoet
    Apr 08, 2018 @ 03:56:05

    Reblogged this on The Reluctant Poet and commented:

    Come enjoy Ritu’s excellent piece on always being available to the world via our electronic leash – our Smart Phone! You know, the one we all love! Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. thereluctantpoet
    Apr 07, 2018 @ 14:24:03

    Really Super post Ritu!!!! I loved it. Reminds me of all the ominous concerns about an “Electronic Leash” back in the day when people had to wear pagers for work so they were always “Available”. Seems we have all been conditions to love our leashes? LOL! Love your writing!!

    Have a great weekend!
    xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Losing the Plot
    Mar 31, 2018 @ 10:49:34

    I make so few actual calls on my phone now, though because I live about an hour from my parents, we use face time a fair bit, particularly with the boys to keep in touch.

    The rest of the time I have a love hate relationship, and sometimes leave it on silent, upstairs ‘accidentally on purpose’

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Midlife Smarts
    Mar 31, 2018 @ 08:23:48

    Great post. Everyone wants (and needs) an answer immediately these days. I think I might do like my mum who keeps her mobile switched off, in the box, in the wardrobe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Miriam
    Mar 28, 2018 @ 04:33:28

    Great post Ritu. I think we can all relate to this and we’re all guilty, at least to a certain degree, of feeling guilty! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. josypheen
    Mar 27, 2018 @ 16:12:59

    You might be one of the most always available people I know Ritu! I remember when you mentioned you wouldn’t be involved at #SundayBlogShare because you were going to be at a wedding…and yet you still shared more posts than most people!!

    I think it is totally okay for you to switch off and relax a bit more often!

    Maybe you should get an alarm clock for your next birthday, and leave your phone charging downstairs where you can’t see it!? 😀 😉

    p.s. I think it’s awesome that you are always so on the ball, I just also think you deserve to relax more!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 27, 2018 @ 16:36:20

      Lol Thanks Josy!
      I actually do have an alarm clock… but the phone is just easier!
      I think I wouldn’t know what to do with out my phone.. isn’t that really awful! But for all my addictions, I never let my kids, human, feathered or furry, be second place! They come first (usually 😉 )
      I do try to relax, but my relaxation is interacting with others, so me answering messages, reading posts and sharing helps me out! I’m not a drinker, but pour me a shot of blog any day!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  8. Lorna
    Mar 27, 2018 @ 16:12:23

    I have a love/hate relationship with my phone. No notifications switched on, but I don’t text anymore, it’s all FB messenger. And I get confused when people actually phone me on it.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 27, 2018 @ 16:34:04

      Lol! I know… My Pops rings me on it every night, so I can’t forget that, but I think it’s mainly messenger or whatsapp for me too! My mum, though tech-wise is very wit it, uses the landline to call me before trying the mobile!

      Like

      Reply

  9. Hugh's Views and News
    Mar 27, 2018 @ 15:41:46

    I’m one of those people who only uses my phone for calls and text messages, and I hardly get any 😀I also use it for taking photos but, more often than not, I end up forgetting to take it out with me.
    I use my desktop computer for blogging, social media, etc, and I can’t take that with me when going out. The saddest thing I saw the other week, was a family having lunch at a lovely restaurant (with wonderful views) and none of them ever looked up once or talked to each other during the whole meal, Instead, they were on their phones.
    I’ve also learned to turn off my computer in the early evening and to enjoy everything else. I’ve cut down on the number of social media platforms I use and as you say, Ritu, people can always give me a call on the landline if they really want to contact me. There really is a great life away from the world of technology and the internet.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 27, 2018 @ 15:55:06

      There really is Hugh… yet we still forget… but I definitely try to not allow phones at a mealtime. Totally rude!
      Having said that… my phone is my best buddy… 😉

      Like

      Reply

  10. amreade
    Mar 27, 2018 @ 15:33:11

    Funny and insightful–I love being unplugged! My kids hate it. They send me ten texts that just say “Mom.” as if they’re calling me from upstairs and I’m going to somehow hear their words.

    One thing I find amazing is thinking back to when the phone rang when I was a kid. There was a mad dash to see who would answer it first. Nowadays, no one answers the phone. It doesn’t matter who’s calling (we have caller ID)–no one wants to talk on the landline. Weird!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. fancypaperblog
    Mar 27, 2018 @ 12:03:19

    Spending more time with a book this week myself: an actual one made out of Paper 😋

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  12. thatblogwherecheriemovestogermany
    Mar 27, 2018 @ 10:25:46

    For the first 6 months that I lived in Germany I did not have a phone. Now that I have one, I am back on it all the time. So, i have started to leave the phone in the living room at night. I have also started to leave it at home when my husband and I go out (although I worry that I may miss a perfect picture for my blog!). It’s strange how addicting they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. OIKOS™-Redaktion
    Mar 27, 2018 @ 07:53:28

    Reply

  14. Erika Kind
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 19:05:40

    It is crazy how quickly we can make ourselves a slave to those devices. Yes, I don’t want to forget my phone but first of all, because the important people in my life know that I am available over it and I want to be available for them. But in all other cases, I don’t get a bit nervous if I am walking around without my phone. I silence it during work completely and only check if one of those “important people” tried to reach me. When I read your intro lines about the way we were using “phones” in our childhood until early adulthood I thought how nice and special in a different way that was. We had to make appointments and stick to it or we knew we would not reach each other!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  15. Rarenwise
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 16:49:34

    Curious… how many years have you been blogging now?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. Rarenwise
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 16:35:54

    Oh how times have changed… I dont think I xan even turn on my phone without people pinging me on facebook. Even though I dont have messenger on my phone. just as long as I have the facebook profile it still shows I’m on messemger

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. Tessa
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 16:15:36

    My kids expect instant replies and one of them called my dad after an hour or so had gone by without a reply. He struggled up the steps to check on me giving me a scare the way he started the conversation. I can’t even shower without someone having a fit I didn’t answer right away. I don’t know how we existed before without them.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  18. Bryntin
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 15:52:57

    Very tricky balance, for me notifications are turned off for most apps and the Facebook one is deactivated (best you can do with some modern phones when they slap it on as a ‘standard’ built-in app… I hate that.)
    Only then can I be the one who decides when I want to deal with all the things the day has brought, otherwise as you say, you become enslaved by it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. Gill
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 15:49:48

    My hubby and even my daughter tel me to stop looking at my phone all evening! I don’t know how I’ve got so bad with it, I never used to be, but it’s taken over my life.I think I’ll try putting it in a separate room after 6pm like you do. Well I’ll try…..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. Marje @ Kyrosmagica
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 15:17:42

    Our phones are great but sometimes we need a break at being on constant back and call. It’s getting a balance or trying to!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  21. elementhealing
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 14:44:17

    Technology is nice, we need a certain amount to live, but do we really? I don’t like the intrusion into my life. If I can’t find my phone, and it happens a lot LOL I’m in no real hurry to find it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  22. wells baum aka bombtune
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 14:33:36

    Heathy reminder to unplug and dive into nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  23. syl65
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 12:51:51

    I still have a landline and I don’t let social media become an obligation. Have a great week Sister!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  24. Jennie
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 12:51:28

    Great post, Ritu!! I’m logging off…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  25. willowdot21
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 11:32:06

    I think we are all guilty of this, I must admit I blog and read posts on my phone too. I have it on silent a lot so as not to hear the constant pings or bleeps. I swore I would never use one of these tiny life keepers but I am hooked like everyone else. I am sitting in the Drs waiting room typing this! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  26. Judy E Martin
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 11:09:33

    I know what you mean, Sis. Smartphones can almost take over your life! I used to be permanently attached to mine but not so much now. In fact, I am very often late to answer my messages due to not bothering to check my phone! There must be a happy medium somewhere! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  27. thebeasley
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 09:33:13

    I have to admit, I’m finding it all a bit too much. It’s like my my tiny brain can’t deal with all the messages and notifications. Like you, I’ve muted all notifications, but I’m aware that every time I go into an app they’ll be countless notifications waiting of me. Like you’ve also said, it’s that fear of missing out too. Oh my God, what if someone has liked a photo of mine and I neeeeeeed to see that! Whilst, I know logically that I don’t need to immediately see most communications I receive on social media, it still doesn’t stop me feeling twitchy about it. I’m following the “how to break up with your phone” plan soon (it’s a very fascinating book). I’ll let you know how I get on!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  28. weggieboy
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 07:40:20

    I have a problem with the abuse of my private number by people trying to sell me something I would never buy over a phone or, increasingly, trying to trick me into giving them important information they can then use to empty my bank account. I’ve stopped answering my phone for all numbers but those that give me a caller ID.

    Now, there is a new way of tricking you to answer: they commandeer a legitimate number in your zone so you think it is someone calling from your town!

    New strategy: never answer any number before it has rung three times. Usually, if it is a robocall, it will disconnect before three rings. Sometimes, though, it will continue to ring if there is a person calling, so the secondary strategy is not to answer it if it is in my zone but there’s no caller ID.

    I wonder many times if the s=damn things are worth the hassle!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  29. shelleywilson72
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 07:34:48

    Love this! We went on a family cruise six years ago and there was NO signal unless you were prepared to pay an extortionate amount of money for this service – I wasn’t! We had two weeks of absolute bliss – no peeps, pings, rings, pops, or rattles. Just silence. Since then I leave my phone in another room after 6pm so I can switch off and enjoy family (or TV) time! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  30. April Munday
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 07:11:48

    I don’t have a mobile and this has really put me off the idea of getting one. I know they’re useful, but I didn’t realise they could take over your life to that extent.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  31. writershilpa
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 06:35:04

    Hahaha! Aren’t we all guilty of this one thing!!
    However, as you said, there’s a breed of those who know how much importance needs to be given to their phones and when they need to be ignored.
    I too keep my phone off at night. Most times the phone is off the Wi-Fi from the evening to the next morning. And it feels awesome. But the days it isn’t so, I die of guilt

    We really need to show these smarties who’s Boss! WE are!

    Enjoyed reading your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  32. Esther
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 06:24:36

    😅

    Have a great Monday yourself Ritu. I usually wonder if I’ll go back to my dorm if I do forget it when going to school, but then I reason that really everything is on it.

    My materials for class, and of course, messages.

    Not that it’s a lot, well excluding the group chats, but personal messages aren’t so much.

    I challenged myself at a time to bit put my data on at all for a day…didn’t happen, but I do plan on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  33. scr4pl80
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 05:09:50

    Very good post. I have actually turned around and gone home if I have forgotten my phone, but I have all my notifications turned off and when I am driving if someone tries to text me they get an auto response telling them I am driving and not getting notifications. I like having it for the “in case of emergency” factor. I use my phone as an alarm as well so I take it to the bedroom with me, but also because of the kids. I’d want them to be able to get to me if they needed me.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 26, 2018 @ 05:52:22

      I definitely want it with me so I am available to my son at any time, now he walks to and from school alone. the convenience factor of a mobile phone seems to have now become a necessity, when I guess it’s not really, is it?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  34. allaboutlife13
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 04:45:50

    Sorry for the spelling errors😅

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  35. allaboutlife13
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 04:45:11

    So true it is…very well written😊
    I also feel sometimes that smart phones and internet have brought people close virtially but have distanced them at heart. People have started thinking in a way that if someone does not reply back within 1 minute then that person is ignoriong you or such stuff..I also feel like disconnecting sometimes but then I am stopped by myself cz there are some people who use phone very less(just for talking and are not really fond of social media) and for communiccation with them I need mine too..but otherwise for the updates and all stuff..I really feel like taking a break from it.
    Awesome post…I could easily relate myself it was a good and an eye opening read..
    Thanks for the post☺

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  36. barkhabale
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 04:28:37

    Well written😇😇

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  37. robbiesinspiration
    Mar 26, 2018 @ 04:25:36

    Very interesting musings, Ritu. I have been having some of my own over the past few months in this direction.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 26, 2018 @ 05:48:34

      It’s strange how guilty I feel over not responding to things asap Robbie, when 20 years ago, it wound’t have been an issue! We’ve lost the art of patience too, as everything has to be immediate!

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply

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