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I love my cell phone. I enjoy texting. I don’t know what I will do if I lose this cell phone. That could instantly stop my communications and at this point, that is how I mainly keep in touch with my family, the staff I work with in our organization, our hundreds of contacts (yes, my phonebook can carry a thousand names) and the nuns – most of them, even our 82-year-old Sister, have a cell phone now.I text fast, especially when I put it in the dictionary mode. I am awed at how the right word comes out and tells you if your spelling is wrong. I don’t care too much about using text language. Sometimes, I can hardly understand messages that come into my unit: FYI / BTW/ GB / TYVM. Or: ‘Gdpm,Sr. pwd b mgtn0ng?ksi po d n sumsagt bf k s mga txt ko. May ngyri samn n0ng 1 gabi. Sb nya mahal nya k0 pr0 bkit d sya sa2got? An0po ga2wn ko?’ Although I am learning how to read them now. And starting to txt that way too! . . .You see, I don’t only own a Communicator . . . I am also a COMMUNICATOR! I am a writer, lecturer, a radio announcer and a TV host. I have been writing for our school organ since high school and until now I submit articles to magazines, newspapers, and lately to websites. I conduct seminars on health, values education (especially for teens and their teachers), responsible parenthood lectures to couples in urban poor communities, and talk at international pro-life conferences . . .
In my writings, talks, radio and TV shows, I always announce my cell phone number to let people know that we, in pro-life, are available for counseling. We also receive prayer intentions and forward them to Contemplative Nuns who include those intentions in their daily prayers. And people do text me. I am surprised at the number of boys and girls, men and women who want to communicate . . .
Because of the cell phone, I am in touch with thousands of people from all over the country. We are connected so quickly – our thoughts and desires united within a few minutes. This is something that never happened in the past. Modern technology has allowed all these good advantages to happen.
I know that the cell phone is almost like another hand and eye and ear for a teenager. Though, when the cell phone becomes an obsession and the teen doesn’t pay attention anymore to the adults because of being ‘hooked’ to that little piece twenty-four hours,this is where common sense and discipline must come in. It does take self control not to open the message and reply ASAP. Except for doctors, I don’t think any message is a matter of life or death. So waiting to read it till the class or Mass is over will not kill you. Not answering messages from strangers is also a good advice. I have received some depressed counselees – victims of abuse or foolish relationships which all started by answering the ‘pwede ka bang maging textmate ko?’ The persons pressing those sweet words could be hiding behind a dozen lies – their age, sex, civil status and job, if they have any. Obscene and violent words have also been sent to me. My natural instinct and curiosity makes me REPLY but I hold back, whisper a short prayer and commend to the Lord this person – who really does need God’s mercy and guidance at that moment.
I am also very good at turning off my cell phone whenever I am in Church, attending a lecture, watching movies (whether in a movie house or videos at home with the nuns) and while counseling. I hate being disturbed when I myself am giving talks so I give due respect to others when they need my attention. I turn it off also at bedtime so the people near me can enjoy their good night’s rest. In case of emergency, my family and the nuns from other convents can call us on the landline anytime.
Lastly, I do not text while walking. I learned that the hard way. I tripped one time because I did not see a hole on the driveway. Thank God I did not fracture my leg, only sprained my right ankle. But how it hurt for three weeks!
I consider my cell phone an instrument that God (author of science and technology) has given me. I like it but I am not attached to it. I depend on it in many ways. But there are other alternatives in case I do not have it. I use it to be able to communicate, to bond, and to reach out to people, especially those in need.