Like many people, I feel a bit naked without my cell phone. If I ever leave the house without it, which a rare occurrence in itself, I will go back for it under almost all circumstances. I'm not proud of this instinctive reaction, and I acknowledge the technology-rules-man overtones, but that's what modern urban life has become.
Every summer, however, I look forward to a few days when packing a cell phone is not a priority. Sonoma County's Russian River area is a beautiful and relaxing spot to spend a long weekend. Few things can beat reclining by the pool with a cocktail and the hot sunny weather is welcome after a cold San Francisco summer. But the best thing about the Russian River is that cell phone service can be hard to come by. Except for a few spotty areas with AT&T service, the entire area was one huge dead zone. And that suited me very well. Since my phone didn't work, there was no point in even thinking about it--quite a liberating feeling indeed. So there it would rest on the table for three days while I enjoyed a peaceful vacation without the intrusion of a ringtone or the outside world at large. After all, isn't that what a vacation is all about?
But this year I had a rude awakening. After arriving at our resort, I was surprised to learn that I had reception. My bars never slipped above two but I had enough coverage to make calls and send texts. While part of me was suddenly pleased that I could keep in touch with friends who were staying at other resorts, I also was somewhat miffed. Now the office could call or mom could phone to tell me I forgot a relative's birthday. Suddenly, I feared the real world would do more than just invade my vacation; it would sit next to me at the pool. As I see it, when I'm completely out of touch I have a good excuse not to take the call. But, if I get reception I feel that I have a responsibility to answer. You may think it's crazy, but that's just me and I know quite a few people who feel the same way. … Read more