Cell Phone Envy

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Sunday morning I walked to our church. On the way I passed one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time. I took a picture of it:

Wait, you don't see it?

Oh, that's because my phone doesn't have a camera. To take a picture with my phone you have to take your phone, dial your number so that you get your voice mail, then describe the scene with as much detail as possible. That's what I did. I took a picture, it's just a mental one. That's right, my phone takes mental pictures.

Does your phone do that?

The phone of every student in our youth group does.

And there are almost as many iPhones in our youth group as there are youth leaders.

And not a single youth leader has one.

I know youth pastors who do.

They're the cool kids at the youth leader get-togethers.

You can always spot the guys with the smart phones. They're fact checking the speaker on wikipedia. Then correcting the wikipedia entry if they think it's wrong too. They're chatting with students on facebook while at a "wilderness" retreat. At lunch, they're downloading all the videos and graphics the speaker just used so that they can give a talk next week they will say was "inspired" by the one they just heard.  But really it's the same talk.  And they have packed the smallest bag because everything they need is on their phone. You may think they have the Holy Book memorised but really there's an app for that.

I'm okay with youth pastors having better phones than I do. I've accepted that it will probably always be that way. But I'm having a little trouble accepting the new golden rule for youth pastors:

Thou shalt not covet thy ninth grader's iPhone. 

It's becomming a tough rule to follow.

Three years ago, we'd go on youth trips and I'd pass my phone around so studetns could call their parents as we returned to town. This was helpful for parents timing student pickup. Now there is no need. Now students have texted, or called, or tweeted, "back in town, mom come pick me up" before I can even open my phone and offer it.

Okay, I've yet to have a student in our group do that last one, but it's coming: I feel it in my bones.

The rare student that doesn't have a phone of thier own is too embarrased to admit it to the group and even more embarrased to be cauth using my phone* for fear that somone might think it's theirs.

I love the idea of the junky car club. The idea of "living with less to give more" apeals to me on so many levels. In many ways that's how my wife and I live. However, there is no junky cell phone club. At least not one I could fine in the five seconds of searching I did on google with the search terms "junky phone club."**

I do not use a six year old cell phone because it's what Jesus would do.

I'm okay, and have accepted, my lack of coolness. Consider the points I make in this post or this one. It surprises me how much I consider my uncoolness. I'm okay with a six year old phone: it gets the job done for the most part.

This morning I'm wondering if my lack of technology tells others that I'm not prepared to live in today's world. You won't get a text from me. You will not find me driving with a bluetooth.  And I will never be updating my facebook status while away from a desk. Why? Because my phone doesn't do any of those things.

So, hopefuly people can relate to me even if I didn't get what they tweeted five seconds ago. And hopefully we can connect even if I don't answer my phone while I'm driving. And hopefully you're okay with me calling you back.

And hopefully this isn't about cell phone envy. But sometimes it feels like it is. However, I'm not about to get a new phone anytime soon.

* I almost referred to it as antiquated technology, but it's not even up to those standards. I'm considering launching a series of "your moma" style jokes about my phone. Consider this, my first offering: My phone is so out of date that razor phones make fun of it. My phone is so out of date it drops more calls than the new iPhone. My phone is so out of date today's youth don't even know how to use it. My phone is so out of date there's a rotary dial. Feel free to add more in the comments section.

** I did, however, find a forum called "Jetta Junkies." I assume it's for people who love the Volkswagen Jetta, but I did not investigate further.


Chris Miller said...

My cell phone is so out of date, there's a cord attaching it to the wall.

Becky said...

Lmfao! Aw, poor Chris. Maybe santa will leave you an iPhone for christmas... ;}

Chris Miller said...

an update about the phone: the antenna broke off, the screen often quits, over the weekend it began vibrating and would not stop without the removal of the battery, and it began dialling random numbers