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Hello! You can hear me now

Just the other day my husband and I were commenting on how attached we have become to our cellphones and tablets. There is rarely an instance where one or both of us does not have some type of electronic device within arm’s reach. Sometimes we even juggle two devices at the same time.

I remember how hesitant I was to get a cellphone when they started becoming popular. I had been fortunate enough to avoid having a beeper/pager attached to my hip that would require me to search for a phone to call the office when it went off.

It didn’t take long for the pagers to become obsolete, and they were quickly replaced by cellphones, which still beeped but eliminated the need to search for a phone.

At that time, we were still living in California and my husband and I were commuting to work roughly 100 miles each day in the opposite direction. He was the first to get a cellphone and soon insisted that I needed one, too.

Needless to say, we both became certified, card-carrying cellphone customers. My husband constantly used his for his work as he was in charge of facilities and operations for hospitals and medical facilities. I was lucky if I remembered to turn mine on.

Fast forward a decade or so, and our roles are reversed. As editor of the paper I am constantly in touch with my staff and getting updates about things happening in and around Boulder City.

I check email regularly and try to keep up with social media accounts to see what others are concerned about. It’s the first thing I do each day and the last thing I check before my head hits the pillow.

We have become so dependent on having cellphones and tablets around us that we can hardly do any other activity without having the dang things handy. I’ve become too adept at watching a movie on our TV while monitoring my email at the same time.

And we are not alone. Go to a restaurant and see how many people are checking their phones or posting on social media about their meal, who they are with or what their thoughts are at the moment.

Movie theaters have to post special announcements reminding people to silence their phones during each screening. Doctors’ offices have strict no cellphone rules.

Many people have even abandoned their “land lines” in favor of a cellphone.

For someone who didn’t want to get a cellphone, I find that it is now such an integral part of my life that I am lost without it.

I can’t take all the blame for my dependence/addiction to my phone. Even something as simple as grocery shopping now requires one to have a cellphone handy. Stores send out electronic coupons or ads on a regular basis. Other places offer discounts if you “check in” upon arrival.

Don’t think that I am complaining. I like the ability to stay in touch with family and friends. And more than once, I have been grateful that I had a cellphone with me when I had car trouble out in the middle of nowhere.

I just hope I remember how much I appreciate the convenience I enjoy today when the next new gadget arrives.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercity review.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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