I spend way too much time with my cell phone. Yes, it is useful in almost any situation, but we still spend too much time together. The other day I walked out of the house without it, and I felt just a little naked, just a little uncomfortable, a bit out of sorts. It’s time for me to reconsider how hung up on my cell phone I really am. I lived most of my life using landlines, traveling the world without that little electronic crutch in my pocket, and I was fine, just fine. I don’t cry when I don’t have my cell phone with me, but I often check my cell phone, thinking that I have phantom phone calls. I don’t feel bad if it doesn’t ring. I find that the cell phone is most useful when it is getting me out of trouble in some out-of-the-way place–some two-lane highway in the middle of nowhere, for example. Cell phones are particularly useful for finding lost people, calling for tow trucks, ordering pizza, keeping track of the kids. Yet, I wonder. I grew up in a world with no cell phones, and we seemed to do just fine. I can probably identify a few moments in the past when a cell phone would have been very useful, but we still got by. When I watch people tallk to themselves in airports, or walking and talking on the street, I think they need to examine where their lives are headed, and I am particularly weary of drivers who are talking on their phones while driving. They could at least put down their coffee and steer with one hand. Really, who’s in charge, me or the phone? I worry about whether it has enough charge or not or should I plug it in? I carry my charger almost everywhere I go. Is this really something I need to do? Wouldn’t I be better off just turning the thing off? What I am wondering about is my mental health–am I too dependent on this mechanical device which is supposed to make my life easier? Is it really making my life more complicated than it needs to be? I have always preferred face-to-face conversations, and I think that my phone is going to get turned off for awhile and we’re going to try a trial seperation for awhile. I don’t think I’m obsessed, but this month of August might be a good time to try and live without it for awhile. Just turn it off, put it in a drawer, and walk away. And then I’ll reassess at some moment in the future, and maybe we can renew our relationship on a limited basis, but this cell phone thing has got to stop.