I was reading the New York Times today, Wednesday September 27th, the Circuits Section and there was a column by David Pogue entitled "My life B.W.,...", meaning Before WiFI. Hmmmm... Interesting that people judge their life before and after they have Wifi for the their laptop, and other communications modes. Sad to say, I'm not even a digital phone person.

Yes, before you really feel I'm insulted about being a curmudgeon, I'm not. Ok, sort of one but a nice one. I do have a cell phone, a years old AT&T analog-only phone. I probably outdate many cell phone users, only I kept my original phone because it does what phones do, be phones. It just does that call in and out and not more. No voice mail, call waiting, or anything else. Just a phone to call people.

And while I used laptops in my field work for the USGS long before probably almost all young people even had laptops, I don't own one now, let alone carry one around with me, and even have WiFi to access the internet. When I'm out in the world, I like to be out in the world, not necessarily connected to folks somewhere else. I try to be in the present moment around me.

When I worked for the USGS, and was a manager (1990-1997) and senior technical manager (1997-2005) I had one rule for folks, whomever was in front of me had my attention. I didn't answer the phone, that is what voice mail is for, and I didn't look at my computer and check my e-mail. I figured if someone came to my office to talk, they had my attention, my complete and uninterrupted attention. We worked together in whatever they wanted to discuss.

I realize the value and importance of a cell phone. Our field people had them and called in for checking the realtime data at their sites as they worked on the site and equipment. We could monitor the data stream from the site and talk with them for problems and solutions. And again, my rule was simple, they had my complete attention while they were on the phone. If someone came in, they sat in a chair and waited or left a note to contact them.

My point? Well, with all this instant, anywhere communications we forget we in our spot in the world, and we're likely forgetting the world around us. They're forgetting the moment for another world, somewhere else with someone else. In the effort to stay communicated they forgot their own existence and presence. I'll keep mine in the moment where I'm at thank you.

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