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In Focus: I can talk any time, but don't really want to

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 11:42 a.m.
 

I remember, when I was in sixth or seventh grade, spending hours on the phone with my best friend.

Christen and I would gab practically all night every night from shortly after dinner until bed time — unless one of our parents needed to make a phone call, or if one of us was out somewhere. If either was the case, though, we'd call each other as soon as we were able.

I have no idea what we could've talked about for so long, especially since we saw each other during the day at school. And, on top of seeing each other, we wrote notes, many, many, many notes covering all of the tween and teenager topics like cute boys, our parents, my brothers, etc.

Still, we would come home from school, eat dinner and then call each other to chat some more.

In those days, I wished I had my own phone line, so our totally unimportant talks didn't have to be rudely interrupted by anything ever. Cell phones weren't common, especially in the hands of middle-schoolers.

It's crazy how things change.

Today, almost everyone — from the elementary school aged to the elderly — has a cell phone. For years now, mine has replaced the landline at my house.

No longer do we need to be attached to a wall to make a phone call. We can walk much farther than what the springy phone cord allows. We can multitask. I could call Christen from just about anywhere, if I wanted. And we'd probably have even more things to talk about than we did back then, since we no longer see each other every day. But you know what's funny — and kind of ironic? I absolutely hate talking on the phone now.

It must be one of those cases where you want something so bad, but when you finally have it, it's not what it's cracked up to be. It's like when you're a kid and you wish to be grown up so you can stay out or up as long as you want to, but once you become an adult, you decide you really enjoy sleep and are in bed by 9:30 on a Saturday night.

For a day or so last week, my cell phone wouldn't work. I could not make calls, or text anyone or browse the Internet when I was bored. I was completely unconnected.

But as much as it was an inconvenience, it was kind of nice to have complete silence for once.

Kristina Serafini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1405 or kserafini@tribweb.com.

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