A warning to everyone: I don’t like it when you call or e-mail me and your first sentence is “Why didn’t you answer your phone?” Even if it’s not posed as a question but as a statement (“You didn’t answer your phone, that’s why I e-mail you…”), the reproachful undertone cannot be missed.
I could give all kinds of reasons:
- I was at the library.
- I was eating.
- I was on the other phone.
- I was sleeping.
- I didn’t hear it.
- I was out running.
- I was in the bathroom.
- I was climbing up a tree.
- I was jumping out of a plane.
- I was in hand-to-hand combat with an assassin who was after my life.
- I didn’t find the right button in time.
But I won’t.
Because it’s none of your business. I don’t owe an explanation to anyone about what I do with my time. It’s my life. Nobody is entitled to my time or attention.
I am not a slave to anyone. And I definitely won’t become a slave to a little gadget, like too many people have become.
Sometimes, I wonder what aliens would think about us humans if they came to visit from another planet: They would notice that we have machines with us or on our desks that sometimes emit a sound, upon which the humans jump to attention immediately and drop everything else, whether it’s a book, their dinner or even a conversation. The aliens would have to come to the conclusion that we are controlled by these beeping machines. – And maybe some of us are, sadly.