I'm the first person to celebrate the always on connectivity of having a mobile phone. I love being a few rings away when I'm not with my kids. I love how much better the coverage is since I first started using a phone. (You know, the day I started using it to communicate rather than leaving it in the glove box for a "just in case of emergency" moment.)
But I have to confess, I miss the sounds of silence. No longer can a group of parents sit in a waiting room at a gymnastics or karate class and quietly read. There is always someone with some obnoxious ring tone going off. Either they jump up and run out the door, or, worse, sit next to you and talk as loudly as my father used to when making a trans-Atlantic phone call.
There is no place that is sacred for silence anymore. Not the woods. Not the beach. Certainly not the grocery store, where everyone seems to be on the phone. Even in church, people forget to silence their phones and frantically grab for their bag to run out with the phone. Perhaps the most horrifying place to hear someone's phone go off is in a public restroom, but let's not go there.
A friend of mine does not have a mobile phone. Oh, she has one for work, but leaves it off when she is not there. She goes hiking every weekend, biking, and rides her horse. All without a mobile phone. I'll admit, sometimes I give her a hard time about being out of touch"if you had a phone, I could have told you where I was so we could meet.." She has decided to embrace the sounds of silence, at least in her time off from work. In truth, I admire her independent spirit. Maybe I'll call her and tell her that.