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Out of Our Minds
Monday, August 15, 2005 8:54 AM
A Surprise Irritation
Kevin Salwen on Travel

It was -- in my mind and gauging by the reaction of those I told ahead of time -- to be the perfect opportunity for R+R. I was headed last week to rural Idaho, where I was told ahead of time that I would hit the tech troika: No home phone, no Internet access and no cell phone. You want detox? This was it.

But a funny thing happened on the way to chillout: Cell phones worked there -- just not my service provider (Sprint), which turned me over to the dreaded Analog Roam. So, the others in our cabin were happily chatting away, connecting with colleagues, bosses, family members. As for me, my service was a loser with extra fees staring at me.

My reaction surprised me: Instead of retreating back into bliss mode, I found myself annoyed that I didn't have good service. Long gone was the desire to disconnect; damn it, with everyone else getting 3 bars, I wanted 3 bars. But I wasn't willing to pay extra for them, so I sat tight, stewing. What odd reactions hath tech wrought?

As a pulled into Salt Lake City to prepare for my return flight, my phone connected, pulling up messages and voicemails from those who had wanted me during the week. Not a single one was urgent, not a single one couldn't wait. I guess it's me -- not my phone service -- that needs reprogramming.

1 comment

martin - 8/15/2005 10:57:30 AM
Next time when looking for 'three bars' and you're on vacation, make it three bars that serve adult beverages. That's infinetely more relaxing.

And if you need a phone, use a pay phone. It's soooo...retro.


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