Elderly Peer Pressure: Stop The Phonistas

4 years ago


A few years ago, Nora Ephron – of blessed memory – wrote a book called I Feel Bad About My Neck. As I was driving one day, I heard her on NPR reading an excerpt in which she said that her lunch group of "ladies of a certain age" were so fond of mandarin collars that it looked like a meeting of the Joy Luck Club. To which I spit my diet soda all over the dashboard and nearly ran into a ditch. 

Now, in addition to sagging skin, hair growing in all new places, insomnia, and the complete disappearance of anything remotely resembling a waist, I also have to worry about my phone looking old.

Never much of a gearhead, recently I decided to drop by the Verizon store to see about a new smartphone. I'd been sporting the same Blackberry for five years, which is evidently something like 130 in phone-years. Mine had been doing what I wanted it to do – email, texting, internet and actual talking – quickly and without a moment's trouble, using the same battery it came with and nary a cracked screen. As soon as the 12-year-old salesperson took one look at my Elderberry, he said, "At least no one will try to steal it." My husband probably thinks the same thing about me.

I know the Blackberry is dying; hell, we all are. Why was I even thinking about tossing my clunky, out-of-style sidekick for the thinner, sexier iPhone or Droid companion? It's not exactly like I'm a slave to fashion in other ways. A little hair highlighting, some extra plucking, and better night cream will do it for this former jock.

Peer pressure, that's why.

When I go to professional gatherings, I'm intensely aware that I'm one of the oldest people in the room. Jason and Heather are all grown up now and are networking with each other, and it's clear they think I need to get back in my Buick Regal and get home in time to have dinner before Jeopardy comes on. (Dummies. I record Jeopardy.)

Besides, what really makes me an old bag is that when I go to lunch or important meetings, I leave the phone in the car. Yes, the Elderberry stays in my horseless carriage so I can actually pay attention to the people and activities in the room. I go in without my most important accessory. It's sort of like leaving the house without earrings.

What say we start a trend? Let's stop worrying about our crepey necks or being able to hook up simply by tapping our cute little phones together. Let's stop standing in line for hours for the privilege of giving Apple hundreds of dollars every time they put out a product with a miniscule difference. Let's find friends and men and clients who appreciate a little experience and don't mind the extra mileage. And let's stop allowing the phonistas to make us feel bad. 

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