Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Days without a Cell Phone

For those of you who don't know, I'm rough on cell phones. From dropping them down storm drains to losing them completely, it's rare that I have the same phone for more than a year. This time though, my phone simply died on its own. After many trips to Verizon and missed FedEx deliveries, I haven't had a cell phone in three days.

The first day without my phone, panic ensued. Who am I going to talk to in the car on the way to work? How am I going to get in touch with people? What happens when people can't get in touch with me 24/7?

The second day, I was less stressed. I wasn't constantly checking my purse or pocket to make sure I hadn't forgotten it. When I did talk to my dad (thanks to the generosity of my roommates), I had a more meaningful conversation with him because I hadn't already talked to him 4 times that day. I Skyped with a friend rather than just texting him. I stopped by another friend's houses to hang out.

Today I'm wondering if I even need a cell phone.

Who am I kidding? Of course I do, but this time reminded me of a conversation our class had in grad school about cell phones and technology in general. From Facebook to Twitter to email, we have an abundance of ways to stay in touch with friends, family, and colleagues. But, do we lose those moments we might have had with others in our lives or miss a connection while in the grocery store/in an elevator/on the subway because we're chatting away to someone in another state?

I understand that it's a give and take. I've maintained close relationships with my friends from high school and college and my family in other states thanks to this technology, but it does make me think.

First Day with Meals on Wheels

I began volunteering with East Cooper Meals on Wheels last Thursday and I'm so glad I did. With 8 volunteers and 2 staff members, we packed 2 meals for over 150 homebound people for that day alone. Since it was my first day, I was responsible for dividing and counting bananas. The others formed an extremely efficient assembly line to divide, package, and pack hot meals, all while chatting animatedly about the fundraising dinner the night before.

I learned a lot that day about the East Cooper distribution center. The following lists a few of the highlights:
1. Of the five local distribution centers, East Cooper is the only one without a waiting list of any kind.
2. Although most meal recipients are the poor elderly, East Cooper delivers to anyone of any age who is homebound for any length of time and/or unable to independently provide a meal. Recently, they delivered to a woman in her 40s with breast cancer who was too ill to fix meals.
3. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, East Cooper delivers a veritable feast including fresh turkey and all the fixins!

I'm looking forward to many new experiences!