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Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be connected, plugged in and wired up at all times, especially at this age. But in this world of technology, I never miss a chance to text, email or visit Facebook no matter where I am.

It all came about several years ago when my husband and I realized our two children didn’t answer their phones anymore but were texting. We had no choice if we wanted to communicate with them — we had to become tech savvy.

We already had cell phones, but it was difficult to text on them. So, we had to make the plunge and get ones for easy texting. We went the iPhone route and found them relatively user friendly. We have since upgraded our phones several times, purchased an iPad and update our software.

Now it is rare that I pick up the phone and call someone. Texting is by far the quickest, if the intended receiver is online. Email is a close second, if the person is checking consistently.

Here we are, grandparents looking at seven decades of life next year and staying turned on. Go figure. It is hard to imagine life unplugged and out of touch.

Just think, a few years ago none of this was even possible. Cell phones were revolutionary when they came on the scene, and now the latest models are way off the charts.

My first cell phone was what was called a bag phone. The receiver was as big as a regular phone and the whole gizmo was in a black bag (thus giving it the name) about a foot long and eight inches wide. The reception was great, but it was not convenient to carry. Mine was basically left in the car to use on trips and when commuting to work. The next model was a teeny, tiny flip phone  easy to carry around, for sure. And then there were several others with keyboards built in and often difficult to use.

After the iPhone, it was a natural progression to the iPad, which has opened up a whole new world with games, news, videos and more. Doing all the same things I did on the phone but with a bigger screen has been amazing.

I was always addicted to games  thousands of hands of solitaire actually using playing cards and small hand-held devices with one type of game. Now the games are all rolled into one device, pure heaven for a gamer like me who looks forward to blocks of times when I can play uninterrupted. Some have consumed me: Candy Crush, Pyramid Solitiare, 40 Thieves.

Charging is sometimes an effort, as my husband and I both seem to want to use the one on the first floor at the same time. The other will have to make the trek to the second floor to plug in.

Using them at work can be off-putting to customers in retail settings, especially at checkout lines. In addition, customers who talk loudly on the phones are a terrible distraction for serious shoppers like me. I will get away from them as fast as I can.

Our grandchildren are definitely plugged in too, with mini pads and tablets. Even the 3-year-old wants to use the iPad for games. It is amazing how fast those little fingers move.

I am leaning towards purchasing a phone watch when they come out. Maybe I won’t misplace my phone if it is on my wrist.

We have really come far in regards to technology, but who knows. I am sure there is some form of technology and communication on the horizon that we can’t even begin to imagine. I can’t wait to see what it will be.

Frances Lowe

Frances Lowe is a retired journalist and educator, most recently serving as lifestyles editor at a local newspaper.

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