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The phone is a fine invention

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By Jazzmine Freedom

Two years ago, I was a high school sophomore with no cell phone. Almost everyone I knew had one, but I wasn’t terribly jealous. I lived in a small town and went to a small school. It wasn’t difficult to get a hold of me, and I didn’t think I really needed a cell phone.

But in January of my sophomore year, my best friend moved to Texas. I didn’t have long distance on my home phone and if I wanted to speak to her, I had to wait for her to call me. When my sister (the only member of my family to have a cell phone at that point) told my mother she ought to buy cell phones for the rest of the family, I agreed simply because it meant free long distance.

I couldn’t have imagined how convenient everything would become once I did have a cell phone. But in spite of its convenience, I took the gadget for granted for more than two years. It wasn’t until about two weeks ago, when I lost my phone somewhere in the thriving metropolis of Albuquerque, that I realized how much I appreciated it.

There is a deep connection between teens and their cell phones. I never fully understood it before, but it seems clear to me now. We’re kids. Is there anything in the world we like better than being spoiled?

And believe me, a cell phone spoils you rotten. It’s been nearly two weeks since I lost my phone, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reached for it, about to make a quick call, check my calendar, use the calculator for simple math, send a quick text, or even just check the time before realizing I’ll have to wait to perform whatever task is at hand without the use of a cell phone.

It’s seems like such a small thing to have, but without it I feel as though I’m lacking some part of me that performs small necessities. On top of that, I feel far away from friends with out- of-town phone numbers, as I still don’t have long distance on my home phone. I can’t help feeling disconnected from the outside world. The words “I miss my phone” are always on the tip of my tongue. I look back on my pre-cell phone days with a bizarre curiosity, wondering how it was I didn’t think I needed one.

I’ve heard many people say that cell phones take away from everyday, face-to-face interaction. This is somewhat true — I know how annoying it can be to have someone stop listening to you so that they can answer a text — but overall, I think that phones allow us to stay connected to others and to take care of simple matters in a quick, efficient way. As long as you don’t ignore those around you just to use your phone (show some manners!), I think that cell phones can be a great part of life.

“The telephone is a fine invention,” says musician Jenny Lewis. “It allows me to talk endlessly to you.”

And I can’t help but agree.

Jazzmine Freedom , a Robertson High School senior, is an intern with the Las Vegas Optic.