I Don’t Want To Sound Old, But….

As a middle-aged woman, I don’t really think of myself as “old.” There are moments when I feel my age and think the nursing home is just around the corner, but that’s mostly when I forget what I’m talking about in mid-sentence, or I’m being pulled along by a big shelter dog and find myself telling the dog to remember that there is an old lady on my end of the leash.  But mostly, I don’t think of myself as being old yet, and I don’t want other people to think I’m old, either.  Which is why I make an effort to keep certain opinions to myself.

I know one of the quickest ways to sound old is to talk about how much better things used to be.  Phrases like “kids today just don’t understand…” or “we never had that when I was young, and we got along just fine without it” are usually uttered by actual senior citizens.  And I don’t mean that as a criticism.  The world has changed so quickly and dramatically that I understand why older people might prefer a time that is more familiar to them.  Still, I don’t want to talk like an old person when I’m only fifty-seven.

So it’s hard for me to admit that I do sometimes long for “the good old days.”  Especially when it comes to technology, and most especially when it comes to cell phones.  Obviously, they are wonderful devices and I do like their ability to keep me connected to my friends and family (even those far away), to take and share photos almost instantly, to easily access the internet, and to summon help in an emergency.  There’s a reason almost everyone has a cell phone.

DSC00209But that doesn’t mean I want to look in my rearview mirror and see the driver behind me is looking down at his phone rather than at the road ahead of him.  Or that I want to hear the loud, boring conversation of the person next to me in the check out line. Or that I enjoy traveling with a friend who is busy scrolling through her cell phone rather than talking to the other people in the car.  And there is nothing so creepy as sitting in a roomful of people who are all ignoring each other as they stare intently at their cell phones, their faces slightly illuminated from the reflection of their screens.

I admit that I’ve pulled my cell phone out in the middle of a restaurant dinner with my husband, just to make sure I haven’t missed an important text or email, and I can only imagine how special that makes him feel.  Although I’ve never done it, (and never will do it) I have been tempted to check my phone when I’m stopped at a red light and hear the little “ding” that indicates a new text.

It seems to me that my cell phone, handy as it is, is also robbing me of the ability to just live in the moment and simply deal with what and who is right in front of me.  I may be with a person who is special to me, but I’ve just got to answer that text or check for that important email, right?  Sure I do….  I’ve come to realize that I have a love/hate relationship with my phone.  I love what it can do for me, but I sometimes hate what it does to me.

So at the risk of sounding old, I admit that there are times when I think, “we didn’t have cell phones when I was young, and we got along just fine without them!”  Even so,  I doubt I’ll be trading my cell phone in for an old-fashioned rotary phone anytime soon.

10 thoughts on “I Don’t Want To Sound Old, But….

  1. While I ask, “What did we do before Google?” I usually say it tongue-and-cheek. “I’ve come to realize that I have a love/hate relationship with my phone. I love what it can do for me, but I sometimes hate what it does to me.” – I couldn’t agree more!

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  2. It’s a completely different world, isn’t it? And I couldn’t agree more: the quickest way to bore anyone is to start a sentence with, “In my day…” but isn’t it tempting sometimes? 🙂 Great post.

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  3. I relish talking like the sixty five year old guy I am… and dogging the youngin’s while doing so…“we never had that when I was young, and we got along just fine without it”…Is true. Hard to really appreciate what one is born to. Be it manners, money, or information……the 411 on damn near anything… is just a click through, you “rookie” you.

    I’m part Dewey Decimal, the Decadent Sixties, “and” The Digital Revolution. Life is long….as in the LP, The CD, The MP3, and Pandora….when it all starts with a 45…RPM. And that’s the record.*

    And it was Buddy Holly, James Brown, The Beach Boys, and The Beatles… With butterfly handlebars on 3-speed bikes that took us to play pick up baseball games, and impromptu block parties, to rice patties, to gimme shelter, one step for man…to just a shout away……..I am not a fortunate son.

    But I am.

    My Grandmother witness the end of the bugging whip, the noose of the rope, the capture of flight, the rumble seat of the Model T, the call letters of the first radio station, Verdun, Pandemic, Depression, Pearl Harbor, Auschwitz, Dresden, Hiroshima, The Red Scare…The Cold War..The BABY BOOM.


    We all are the new and the news.

    And that’s the way it be. And it’s fun to bitch about, living through my X, Y, and Z. And proud of it.

    And you will too, kiddies…so stay off my lawn.

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  4. I know exactly what you mean about the cell phone and not being present in the moment. This is why I still don’t have a smart phone even though I get teased about living in the stone ages. I don’t want to become one of those people who is glued to her phone all the time and missing out on life going on around me.

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  5. Yes, I think smart phones are such a missed blessing, and the more they can do, the more attention we give them, often ignoring what is actually going on around us. I was on vacation last year in Maui, and I saw a young couple sitting in a beach side restaurant. The view of the ocean was incredible, but there they were, sitting across the small table from each other, staring intently at their cell phones. It was just sad.


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