Each night, like the rest of the world, I go to bed. And each night, before shutting off the light, I make sure to shut off my cell phone.
(Nerdy note: I actually turn my iPhone to Airplane Mode. This is a feature that disables iPhones from receiving phone calls. Yes, I could just shut it off, but I also use my iPhone as my alarm, so I kinda need it on to wake up.)
Anyway, leaving your cell phone on or shutting it off at night has been a cause of debate between me and some friends.
Those of my friends who like to be as connected as possible leave their phones on. They argue that if someone needs them enough to call in the middle of the night, they want to be available. ”What if something really bad happened, and someone needed me?” “What if someone needed to talk?”
I say that if someone really needed me in the middle of the night, for something absolutely unthinkable, I’d probably be better equipped to handle it in the morning after a little more rest. Plus, there are always those friends who might be out all hours of the night, enjoying one or five drinks, and think it would be great to call me at 3am. Tipsy voicemails? Hilarious. Me being woken up to attempt to talk to you while your slur your speech? Not so funny.
Or, more likely (and a bit more innocuously), what about someone who is calling to catch up just a little bit too late on a weeknight I decide to go to bed early?
Prior generations didn’t really even have the option to think about this. The house phone was always on. Now, as in many more areas of our life thanks to technology, we have more control. How do you use that control?
Postscript: I’d like to dedicate this post to my girlfriend who silenced her phone last night, which prevented us from being woken up waaay too early this morning from a phone call.
Post postscript: Also, if I know something is going on that might warrant an early or midnight phone call, I’ll leave my phone on. I guess maybe it’s about expectations?