By Kalan Gott
Let me start by saying this is a tale of an old soul’s triumph over technology that often perplexes and frustrates her. Please smartphone users, tweeters, and updaters do not be offended.
It is no surprise to most who know me that I have what I proudly refer to as a stupid phone (no internet, a poor camera, slide out keyboard, and buttons-you can’t touch the screen). I usually make fun of myself when others are around because it is weird these days to not have a smartphone. In fact, many elementary students gawk at my low-tech device as if it was the old Zach Morris phone from Saved By the Bell. I am fine with the self-deprecating humor and being teased by others because I know I have a secret super power. This is the tale of how I used it on others.
My secret super power is sitting when I am alone. I don’t have access to the Internet, or Candy Crush, or the ability to peer into other’s lives on Facebook, so I sit. I often play a game to see how many people I can get to look up from their devices to smile or say hi in return. This particular day I was at training and it was lunchtime. I am also usually the only goof who still packs my lunch and brings it to these things, so I was sitting alone in an auditorium. Now, having practiced this many times I am getting good at using my alone time to fit in a few extra minutes of reading (especially important now that I have an 8 month old and reading in my house consists of either reading Good Night Moon for the hundredth time, or getting halfway through a page in my book and conking out from parental fatigue.) So there I sat alone in the auditorium of a middle school relishing the 45 minutes of reading I got to do. It was the dessert to my packed lunch. My super power came into play when people started to trickle back in. Instead of talking to me about Candy Crush or the latest Pin I got surprised comments like, “Were you here alone?” “What are you doing?” “Is that a book?!” All of those questions allowed me to bring up my book, engage in conversation, and passionately share the details of the extremely interesting murder mystery I am enjoying right now. In this age of the technologically isolating I got adults to talk, face to face, about a fiction book. Move over smartphones. Smart people are back.
P.S-In case you are interested, the book is called Gone Girl and it is by Gillian Flynn. It was recommended to me by two of my three sisters and it won’t surprise you to know that I didn’t realize they were making a movie out of it until I had that conversation in the auditorium and another adult told me about it.