Friday, March 15, 2013

Senior Citizens & Cell Phones



(google free images)


Disclaimer: no senior citizens, or citizens of any age who fit into this category of cell phone users were meant to be harmed by this post. I'm merely stating my frustration, er opinion, regarding how SOME seniors (and others, like Our Youngest Teen) use their cell phones.

The cell phone is a marvelous invention. We can call someone who is NOT at their home! I don't mean to call to have a long, meandering, private conversation that everyone in the waiting room has to listen to one side of. I'm talking about important things like suppose you've got the pukey flu, and your dear mother is at the grocery store fetching some items for you, only you forgot to say diet ginger ale, so you try her cell phone.

Except The Nutritionist's definition of cell phone is an item I keep in my car to make an emergency call to my husband should I need assistance. She doesn't carry it in her purse. She doesn't turn it on unless she wants to make a call. What's a pukey girl to do?

Call The Swede, who always has his cell phone, in fact, has bluetooth in his car so that he can safely answer EVEN IF HE'S DRIVING. This, by the way, is the highest level of cell phone usage. Always at the ready, and SAFE.

The Swede, who is just the best Dad in the whole world DRIVES TO THE GROCERY STORE to intercept the cell-less one, and adds the ginger ale to the cart. Talk about going out of your way to help a girl. I get my precious ginger ale, and feel a bit better.

My parents aren't the only ones who treat their cell phones this way. The pattern is almost the same with my in-laws, The Advocate and The Boss. My father-in-law is an attorney (no, I don't think he'll ever retire – he's just having too much fun as an expert consultant) and his cell is his business cell, so I'm more likely to find it on. However, The Boss, my dear mother-in-law who has been through the wringer health wise in the last two years (she wins...you've heard about me in snippets, but she wins...believe me) has been in and out of the hospital, the rehab hospital, and so he's been required to turn it off, so he's been harder to reach the last two agonizing years.

I don't think I've ever reached her on her cell. However, she's a step ahead of The Nutritionist – her phone is at least in her purse.

It's not just seniors who have phone use issues that don't match MY definition of what a cell phone is for, and this particular example is a 13 year old child. Mine. When he started riding his bike to school, I needed him to have a phone so he could call and say, “I crashed my bike, come help.” However, he forgets to bring it, forgets to charge it, forgets to look at it...

I've had to result to punishment (didn't work...) and now I'm actually BRIBING him to use it. I thought, “Teenager. New technology. Wow, he's going to love this present.” Not so much. This boy who plays MineCraft, wants to be an engineer (electrical), can take apart a hobby grade (read outrageously expensive) RC car, water proof the important parts, put it back together again, won't use his phone. What's a mom to do? Five days in a row of texting me before you leave school and I'll buy you a blizzard. I wonder if The Nutritionist can be bribed...

How do you use your cell phone? Have you run into these issues with the older generation? Do your children have phones? Do they use them? Or am I the only one going nuts trying to reach people who HAVE phones but don't USE their phones... 

22 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's weird your son doesn't want to use it.
My mother often forgets to turn on her phone. Fortunately, she's usually with my father and his is always on.
Me? Still holding out. I'll be the last person on earth to own a cell phone. (Then again, one can always call or text my iPad.)

Ghadeer said...

Guilty! I just really need to get used to the idea that my cell phone should be like a baby I always make sure is charged and carry around with me everywhere..

Banker Chick said...

I am seasoned citizen and I sort of do a good job. I never turn it off and it is sitting next to me right now, but yesterday, I went shopping and I forgot it, which I do about 50% of the time.

Brian Miller said...

if i could i would rather go without a cell phone....way too much expectation that people can get ahold of me anytime they want....

Jo said...

We have one phone between the two of us, I insist when he goes out hubby has it and turns it on. Otherwise we go out together and no-one knows our number anyway. I always have it with me for emergencies but don't turn it on. Cell phone usage is too expensive for someone on a fixed income.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Jeremy [Retro-Z] said...

my mother has one, yet never has it on... cause she thinks she it bothering people when it rings. though gets mad, cause no one ever calls her on the phone she has.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You just described my husband's old phone - if it was with him, it was off, if it was on, it was in his car. He'd pull it out and say "Oh look, you left a message two weeks ago." Now that he has an Iphone, I can finally reach him.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina - just so glad I don't have your cell phone hassles!!!!

Mine sits here .. it is on and I occasionally get a call, let alone pick one up ... I think I work in the days before phones - make my plans and use only when necessary.

I phone overseas friends occasionally ... and then there's Skype - I get reminded to use that occasionally ...

Or thankfully most people use email .. though I have one friend who will not use email ... she rings - and I make sure when she's in the country in the summer to clock in with her!

I have to say I'm relieved not to have to use the phone all the time ... and conversations do bug me.

Cheers and I can quite see why they're so helpful to your life .. hope all's well for now - Hilary

JoJo said...

All I need my phone for is texting and calls. I don't have a smart phone; it only has very basic internet.

I got my mom a Jitterbug phone years ago. I spent hours and hours with the customer service people programming all the phone numbers she'd need, including Triple A, etc. All mom had to do was to turn it on and say 'Call ____'. I explained it to her over and over, I wrote out the instructions, I made a copy of the manual for myself. She refused to learn and insisted, 'it doesn't work right, I can't make it work'. So I gave up. She got rid of the phone last summer after never using at once but paying for it for years (I paid for it for the first 4-5 years and she finally decided to take it over in 2011). She refuses to learn and automatically says, 'I can't do it'.

shelly said...

I pretty much do what your son does. I forget about the darned thing until the Sweetman hollers at me. Then I'm good about it for a couple days.

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

Graciewilde said...

I actually intensely dislike phones in general. I do have a cell phone but use it more for texting. Texting judt seems less intrusive. I am the boss of my phone. It is not the boss of me. Therefore it is on vibrate a good deal of the time lest it intrude on my world.

sayacivale said...

I never switch off my phone and it is on 24/7 as I have relatives and friends from all over the world who does not understand the concept of time zone and call me at all hours of day and night.

klahanie said...

Hi Tina,

First of all, I'm surprised they allow you to have phones in your 'cell'. Although, I've heard how you sneak them in! :)

Sorry, that's me trying to be clever. Of course in lil' ol' Britain, they are called mobile phones.

My issue with cell phones is that I really don't want to listen to someone else's cringe-worthy conversation when I'm out and about. And why do people talk so loud on the telephone?

Another issue I have is that I can phone cell phones for free to North America. Unbelievably, even though I'm making the call, the person at the other end has told me they are being charged to receive my call. What the heck is that all about? At least some of my friends and family have landlines and that works out okay.

Y'all have a peaceful weekend.

Your starstruck fan,

Gary :)

loverofwords said...

Being of the "older generation," I have a cell phone but do not turn it on unless driving to the airport to pick up guests and when we are on a road trip. I do carry one in the car for emergencies, but do not turn it on. I have sons, grandsons, they do not call to "chat." If I were younger with children at home I would use one full-time. Wish I did have a closer family, like you :),

Adriana Dascalu said...

I love cell phones - they're useful and sometimes necessary, even if we don't like to admit it.

But, though I love technology, unfortunately, it hates me. I'be lost/destroyed more phones than my entire famile together :D
Before cell I was having the same problem with my watches.

I am lucky to have my senior relatives available and a little addicted to cell, so reaching them is not a problem.

I'm lucky that way.

Liz said...

My mother's cell phone is on all the time, and she uses it all the time. My father and his wife just got new smartphones, and while my father refuses to learn all the bells and whistles (he's capable, just not interested), his wife is up on all the new toys.

They use their cell phones much more than me.

Robin said...

My mom keeps hers on but she doesn't hear it very well (the ring) and she can't hear you very well to talk on it. I don't know what the problem is. I think she got a lemon phone with a bad speaker, because she had no problems with her previous cell phone.

As for teens... my ex's son, with whom I try to keep in touch, is the same as your son. Trying to call him gets you nowhere. The kid constantly loses the phone or doesn't have it on. Gah.

Annalisa Crawford said...

My mum turns on her phone to make a call, leaves a voicemail asking me to call her back, then turns her phone off again before it's put in her pocket... every single time.

runningsurvivor said...

My biggest pet peeve with cell phone usage is when people yell as if the one on the other end is literally too far away to hear them...my mom is guilty of this! lol...by the way I'm following you now and have signed up for the A-Z Challenge again this year...blessings

http://runningsurvivor.blogspot.com

criticalcrass said...

my mom's answering message on her cell phone is, "i'm not in my car, and that's where my phone is..."

and she doesn't always remember to bring it with her.

but then, my dad and brother get irritated with me because i'm not good about keeping my phone on me, either. and if by some miracle, i do have it, it's not always charged.

Heather said...

I can't believe that I've finally come across a cell phone that is perfect for my mother. She has lost site in one of her eyes and has little in the other. Due to torn retina's. It's called the Cenior and it has braille, reads the numbers back to you, flashlight, magnifying glass. I got it from yippz. She uses this phone for emergencies, so when she goes outside she has this with her. I picked up an H2O sim card that only ends up costing 8.33 a month.

Christine Collins said...

I think a lot of senior citizens don't use cell phones as much as often as the younger generation does because, first, they have trouble memorizing what all those buttons and icons in the screen are. Second, maybe it's because they're not used to such technology. But technology found its way in to make elders use cell phones with ease, like being hearing aid compatible, and having large enough keypads and screen.

Christine Collins @ SnapFon.com