Do you ever wonder “What would happen if….” such and such happened. Last night, I posted one of my favorite quotes. It is one from Thomas Edison, in which he said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
That guy was relentless, I’ll tell you. But that is besides the point. It made me wonder… “What would it have been like if the telephone had never been invented?” Our world would certainly look entirely different, from top to bottom.
Think about, historically, how significant the telephone has been in our culture? The old switchboards and operators. The ability to call from one side of the country to the other. A message prior to those times would have taken weeks by ground. The ramifications are really unfathomable. Then we jumped from the land line to the cellular connection. The game really changed then.
But, I wonder now, what would happen if we all had to turn in our cell phones for one year. Starting May 2. Everyone would have to give over their phones and all cellular signals to cease. Or face a 10 year prison sentence…. or something even worse… like having to eat lime Jell-o for 10 years. Regardless. Someone would come around and install one land-line-rotary-dial-telephone in each home.
Life without cell phones. Now, as I think about it, I don’t think it would be too hard on me. I truly do not use my cell phone to make phone calls. Very rarely. I completely dislike talking on the telephone. I’d rather have dental work done. Phone calls… to me… are purpose driven. Some people just like to get on the phone and chat. This is beyond my brain capacity.
Come to think of it…. phone calls and stores are along the same lines. I do not comprehend the word “shop,” and certainly find no joy, what-so-ever in the shopping process. Again, a purpose-driven-task for me. If I need to buy something, I go to the store and pick it up. And then I leave.
Oh, back to making phone calls. I try to stay away from that activity…. completely. The two things I might miss on my phone would be 1. Checking on my email / texts. And 2. A Game — called THREES.
Yes. My guilty pleasure. I love Threes. If I have a little bit of idle time…. standing in line at a store… waiting for my coffee to heat up …. and on…. I will play a game of Threes. I am guessing… without my cell … that I would be standing next to the wall phone in the kitchen, repeatedly dialing three… over and over and over again. It would be quite pathetic, I assure you.
But this is the small. My little existence. I cannot help but wonder what would happen on the broader scale? I think there would be mass hysteria. Cats & Dogs living together…. mass hysteria. Initially, I am pretty sure people would not know what to do with themselves. They would go completely sideways. Violence, rioting, mayhem would ensue.
But eventually, I hope, the dust would settle. Maybe people would slow down a little bit, and start noticing things again. Like fluffy bunny clouds in the bright blue sky, and flat river rocks with cool stripe patterns on them. Maybe we would actually start talking to one another again. The selfie-obsession would subside. There would be a huge decrease in car and pedestrian accidents. The collective blood pressure of society would fall off.
Yes. We would find our space again. Our sight, our sound, our smell and our touch. We all might start singing more. Right out loud.
Then. We would earnestly say, “Can you hear me now?”
Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why. — Eddie Cantor
Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast. — William Shakespeare
I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy. — Marie Curie