Today I finally understood why despite the fading numbers and scratched cover I refuse to upgrade my 2 and a half year old cell phone: my Nokia is my 5th extremity.
Four years ago I didn't have a cell phone. Students simply contacted me via e-mail or called my home phone. Then, I became Georgetown MSA President and I got my first Nokia. No texting, no graphics, and only 100 minutes and I felt "wired", very connected to my fellow students.
Within a year I had upgraded to 600 minutes, 200 text messages and my brand new 1,000 contacts phone. As East Zone Rep USA, there was scarcely a moment I didn't have my cell phone. My phone was on 24/7, just in case there would be some catastrophic MSA emergency at 1am.
Last year my sister took a picture of the family and used it as her desktop picture. When I complained I wasn't in the picture she said, "Your phone is, that's good enough".
Last night I truly felt like my phone had become part of me. With countless conference calls and ad hoc conversations I finally put down my phone at midnight, realizing that since I left work my phone had been glued to my ear.
To be blunt, its sad that my phone has become my fifth extremity. But perhaps its representative of my need and desire to connect to my family, friends, and fellow MSAers. As a Zonal Rep, my job was to talk to students, hear what they have to say, and help them develop their MSA. That mandate only intensified the longer I've volunteered with the organization.
Today, with even more minutes and text messages, I struggle with the same question as every consultant: should I get a Blackberry? But whether its my attachment to my fifth extremity or my desire to have a few precious, uninterrupted moments away from my e-mail, I have not scummed to that norm. At least, for now.