Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Cellphone Wager by Tina Radcliffe

from the July 24, 2017 issue

Tagline: Hannah loved social networking...could she drop it for 24 hours?

Observations: This was a clever premise--and one I think teaches us a valuable lesson. I see far too many people on their phones when they should be interacting with each other. I feel a keen disappointment and a little anger when I see a parent on their phone when they could be talking to their child, like at restaurants or when shopping. I'm guilty of too much phone use myself.

I'm not sure why Jane was so invested in Hannah unplugging, but I went with it. Maybe she was just that concerned about her friend being too immersed in her own world. There was a tiny coincidence in this story--that Cute Guy happens to live in her building. But coincidences thrive on the pages of Woman's World.

Also notice that Hannah not only finds romance, she grows as a person and learns the lesson that her friend Jane was trying to teach her. She starts out reluctant and a little nervous, but bit by bit, she gradually realizes what she's been missing. At the end of the story you even see this little tidbit:

Someone's cellphone rang. Its discordant tone was a rude interruption.

I loved this little detail and how it showed how Hannah's perception of phones had changed.

Photo credit: Gonzalo Baeza (cc)

10 comments:

Hannah Fitch said...

Just a quick question- would you recommend including a word count when you submit things? I read the submissions guidelines page and there is no mention either way. Love the blog and appreciate the work that goes into it.

Tamara said...

I put the word count at the top of the first page right above and to the right of the title. I'm guessing they can make the count on their computers, but they might appreciate knowing before they read whether the story fits the required word count.

Mary Jo said...

I really liked this story. It struck a nerve...if I have dinner in a restaurant with my nieces and nephews, ALL of them are on their phones. Sometimes they are even texting EACH OTHER rather than talking. Who would believe it?

I must say, I do appreciate the more modern turn Patricia is taking with the WW fiction. I think it is good to broaden the horizons a bit.

Sandy Smith said...

I thought this was a great story. Tina always has such good ones. This topic really is timely. It made me think about my own phone use. I thought the fact that the guy lived in her building was great since she was always so busy on her phone she didn't notice him.

Shyra said...

I liked this story. I loved how Hannah hadn't even noticed the changes happening around her but when she did she saw the beauty in them.

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Deb Noone said...

Another stellar story - so fun to see great stories from familiar names. Loved the growth in character, and the joy she took in rediscovering the world after she had ignored it for a while (for good reason)..

bettye griffin said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Mary Jo' statement:

"I must say, I do appreciate the more modern turn Patricia is taking with the WW fiction. I think it is good to broaden the horizons a bit."

Divorced people, cellphone use, very 21st Century. Personally, I'd rather read about a divorced man or woman rather than widowers, because I always get sad thinking about someone struck down in the prime of their lives...

Kate Willoughby said...

Just to be fair, Johnene had stories about divorced people and cellphones. It may be that people feel Patricia is more open to "modern" stories, so they're sending her more of them to choose from. :)

Pat said...

Very cute, modern story. My kids are phone phobics, at least to me they are. I enjoyed the character discovering 'life' again.