Holidays are always fun, if for no other reason than you get to see your family and old friends, both of whom–because they know you so well–can tease and question you like no other.  Sadly, I am not immune.  My trip home to Minnesota was full of a lot of questions and teasing—mostly about my relationship to my phone, and my job.

In no particular order, nearly everyone clowned me about my ‘addiction’ to technology, questioned whether people really work from home, and referred to my iPhone as ‘my child.’ Ah family, gotta love ‘em.  Jokes aside, the conversations got me thinking about the role that technology plays in my life—personally and professionally—and where and how it differs or compliments the experiences that other people in my life have—particularly those outside the ‘media and telecommunications terrordome.’  And so I begin 2012, by kicking off a personal exploration into technology (phone and phone calls in particular) à la real talk (not policy speak)—and how it impacts my life and the folks that I call family and friends.

First, let’s set the context.

Truth be told my relationship with my cell phone number and my yahoo email are my longest running relationships to date—longer even than my relationship with JD.  In fact, until last February when I changed my number and email, my longest relationship ever was with the phone number that came with my first cell phone in 1997—a Motorola Micro T-A-C 550.  651-269-1781 (sorry to whoever has that number now) was my consistent and dedicated partner through 5 jobs, law school in the US, advanced legal studies in London, a post-grad fellowship in Europe, 1 apartment in Minneapolis, 3 apartments in St. Paul, 2 houses on Minneapolis’ Northside, a marriage,  and the big move from MN to IL.  If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.

Changing my cell number last year was hard–as-in-break-up-hard!  My parents and family had the number memorized.  My friends Ana Najera Mendoza and Andrea Quijada regularly reminded me its the number they still dial.  And over a year later, my partner has yet to memorize the new number—opting for no-contact if he can’t access his cell phone’s address book.  Sigh.  Yet, I can’t really complain, because when I’m not thinking it’s still the first number I blurt-out when asked for my contact information.

While it sort of felt the same way when I let my yahoo email address go, it was also different.  My email was so inundated with Spam that deleting it felt like a relief.  Whereas, changing my cell phone number felt like I was letting a piece of history go, a piece of me, my life and all that meant for over 14 years.  As someone who’s experienced a lot of movement—some by choice, much by necessity— in my life, my original cell phone number was my constant.  No matter where I was, or what was going on… I was ultimately, ‘findable’—I hadn’t disappeared.   This was comforting.

Until next time…


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