A RANT ABOUT CELL PHONES…

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

About a million words have been spoken and written about what cell phones are doing to us, i.e., giving us brain cancer, making us unable to communicate verbally, walling us off from each other, yada, yada, yada…..

Something happened recently that made me start to think more about this. I was in a parking lot, walking from my car into a store. I was walking along with car bumpers close by on my right side. Directly ahead of me was a guy walking toward me, deeply absorbed in texting.

I could go no farther to the right without running into car bumpers. “He sees me,” I told myself and continued my path. He came closer and closer and never looked up, so he simply ran into me and almost knocked me off my feet. I couldn’t believe it. He had feet and feet of space where he could have gone to his right, but he was oblivious to it and oblivious to me. His arm hit my shoulder and he looked up at me as if I had just landed from Mars. He didn’t hurt me, but he jostled me. And he didn’t even have the decency to apologize.

I work with a young man who is on his phone every minute of every day—texting, Facebooking, shopping, messaging or whatever else he does on the phone. Even when I’m trying to talk to him, he’s only listening with one ear. His eyes are glued to his phone screen. Why management doesn’t land on him, I don’t know, because he behaves that way not just to me, but to everybody.

I work with a young woman who keeps her cell phone hidden, but who has FaceBook open at all times and constantly refers to it.

I work with yet another one who plays gambling games all day long, even while we’re at lunch and trying to have a simple conversation.

When I walk into the break room, almost every person there is texting or doing something on the phone. Nobody even says hello anymore.

I have another acquaintance who pulls her cell phone from her pocket or purse every few minutes to check for something. It’s impossible to have an uninterrupted conversation with her. I never have her full attention.

I have yet another friend who weaves from lane to lane while driving while she’s either trying to get the phone out of her purse or trying to punch in a number or read a text. At least, I haven’t seen her text while driving, but she might do that. I no longer know, because I’ve quit riding with her.

Person using cell phone while driving.

Person using cell phone while driving. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SMS: Text Messaging Gets Redesigned

Just last week, I heard a young woman talk about dropping her cell phone in a cup of Coke when she was texting while she was driving on a major highway.

I’ve seen two teenage girls standing a foot from each other and texting each other.

These days, you hardly see a young person who doesn’t have a cell phone in his or her hand. Only older people have them in holders attached to their belts or secured in their purses. But they still have them with them. Even if you’re on welfare, the government will provide you with a cell phone, and it isn’t just *any* cell phone. It’s an iPhone or an Android if you want it.

So do any of you recall the days when if the phone rang at your home and you weren’t there to answer it, you simply were not home? And if the caller wanted to talk to you about something important, he or she would call you back when you were at home? Do you remember the days when we didn’t have voice mail?

Mobile phone evolution Русский: Эволюция мобил...

Mobile phone evolution

When I was in the real estate business, I had “Call Waiting.” But I hated it. I thought nothing was ruder than abandoning the person or person with whom I was talking to answer the phone. But, for some reason, it was a tool I thought I needed.

Angel with mobile phone

Angel with mobile phone (Photo credit: Akbar Sim (terribly busy))

So now that we’re to the place where almost no one (and I mean no one) is without a cell phone, especially if one is under 25 years old, where are we really? We’ve exponentially compounded rudeness. We’ve almost eliminated verbal communication. We’re encouraging young people, who are already easily distracted, to have the attention span of a gnat.

And I could go on and on. Am I just an old fuddy-duddy who can’t adapt to the times?

What comes of all of this? Does anybody know?

By the way, for you who are interested, THE LOVE OF A STRANGER will be a free download on Amazon on the 17th and 18th. You can download it to your Kindle, your computer, your iPad, your iPhone or most other devices if you get the Amazon app. I don’t, however, think you’ll be able to get the Amazon app on Nook, but I don’t know for sure. So if you want to read it for free, there you go.  🙂

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14 Comments

Filed under Lifestyle

14 responses to “A RANT ABOUT CELL PHONES…

  1. Deanna

    We have a cell in the car for emergencies. We have a landline and an answering machine. If there are people here to talk with – guess what…we talk!!!! I’m the wrong generation to want to be tied down by one of those electronic bullies, and surely not while driving!!!!

    Like

    • Obviously we can’t undo a pattern that is entrenched, but the question in my mind is where is all of this going? It’s stunning to see a kid wandering around with an ear plug in one ear, a cell phone in his or her hand, and a faraway look in his or her eye, unconscious that there is anyone else on the planet.
      Anna J.

      Like

  2. Mary Craig

    Preach on, Sister! I have a client (aged 15) who used his cell phone to take a photo of a study sheet for his final exam, and when the school confiscated the phone and looked through it, found a picture of a 13-yo girl who had sexted him a naked picture of herself. Can anyone explain why a 15-yo or a 13-yo needs a phone in school? The parents say it’s so they can get in touch with them, but I remember the days of a parent calling the school, leaving a message and someone just taking a note to the student.

    I had a fellow run into my parked car once just talking on the phone, never mind texting.

    We check our phones constantly because we can’t concentrate on anything more than 30 seconds without boredom setting in. Gone are the days when we simply watched the talking heads on TV news shows. Now there are crawlers along the bottom, and while the guest is talking, the channel is flashing pictures one after the other, either alongside the guest or anchor, or over the face so we only listen to the voice.

    Consumption addictions come in many forms. Alcohol, drugs, food–and now data.

    Like

    • Hi, Mary….The exotic cell phones that all of the kids want nowadays are, in reality, mini-computers. Many of them have more memory and more power than some people’s computers. So now ways to block content on computers at home are out there, but how can anything on a cell phone be blocked? Other than taking it away from a kid, at this point, I don’t think it can’t be done.

      And I know what you mean about cell phones in school. Why? They can only be a distraction.
      Anna J

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  3. You’re preaching to the choir. I get so annoyed at people who believe that owning a cell phone means you must use it constantly. Husband and I were at dinner and a family of parents and four kids were at the next table. The parents and three of the four kids were on their phones the entire meal. Remember when people used to talk to one another face to face at meals?

    Like

  4. Brandy Hodges

    Hehehehehe. I know you’re being serious, but this made me laugh. Cell phones are a distraction yes. It’s strange how I can’t go a single day without it, but you have to think about why they are necessary. Most people just take it to the extreme. I love my phone as I’ve said ten million times. It’s helpful and entertaining, I can see the obsession. Off subject, I’m finally reading love of a stranger. I love this Alex character. She’s a badass. >:-)

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    • Hey, Brandy….Thanks for stopping by and posting. Love having your perspective here. I, too, like having my cell phone handy. It presents huge convenience for me. I have not yet succumbed and gotten one of the SMART phones, though….Most of us will probably agree that if we have a computer in our hands, many things that are happening on the Internet are infinitely more interesting that what’s going on around us. LOL. As you say, it’s a matter of taking it to the extreme….Glad you like Alex. Many readers thought she was too hard and did not like her. For the record, I spent the first 4 days of my vacation re-formatting that book and correcting the errors a couple of people posted about on Amazon.

      Like

  5. You have opened a can of worms talking about cell phones! A friend of mine was hit by a car in the Walmart parking lot–the driver was texting. Thankfully, the friend had only some scrapes and a bruise on her hip. People are not only rude with their “toy” but have lost the ability to converse with other people, As you mentioned they split their attention between you and the blasted cell phone. Yes, I have one but only use a few times a day (at home)… I do indeed remember when there was no answering machines, call waiting or caller ID. Hon, I remember the party lines we had to share, if it rang 3 times it was for us, 2 times it was the neighbor down the road…
    To REALLY be truthful, I remember our old crank telephone—oh, the good ole days !!

    Like

    • Hey, Jimmie Sue….Good to see you again. You know, you and I come from the same place. I do, indeed, remember crank phones. Most people do not realize how isolated West Texas used to be and in some ways, still is. I do indeed remember crank phones. When I was a little kid, we had phone service only hit or miss, so not much energy, effort or money was put into a telephone instrument. A crank phone on the wall was what we had for a long time. I can remember my grandmother shouting into the phone, “Hello, Central? Are you there, Central?” Then, when Central came on the line, my grandmother would tell her who she wanted to talk to….”Central” was one little old lady whose name I can’ even remember now, who had the whole telephone service (a fixture about 3 feet wide) in her living room….My, my, how we’ve evolved.

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      • Just one more memory about the crank phone—My Uncle and Aunt had one installed and the first call came through someone wanting to speak with my Aunt–my cousin calls to her to come to the phone –time went by and she calls out to her again. My Aunt rushes in and said ” I had to put some lipstick on and comb through my hair”…lol
        Never thought I would see the day that now you can see the people you call.. Not me–I wouldn’t have one !!

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  6. One additional thing. The day after I posted this blog, the topic of walking and texting came up for discussion on one of the morning national talk shows and the host told about almost being run over by a cell phone user absorbed in texting. He also told about one of the northeastern states that has passed a law against “inattentive walking” and the fine is $85. Then 2 days later, I heard a rant from Dennis Miller about the same thing. So you see, I’m not the only one. I’m just saying…
    Anna J.

    Like

  7. Haha, I can totally relate to your blog post. Yesterday I went out with my parents for dinner and the whole bunch of business associates were having dinner meeting but most of the time someone talks the rest kept their fingers busy on their phone or making a phone call. Gee, I guess they really need to bond to get the thought of what the other was saying. Then last Sunday at church, five times a phone rings ,and one was with Lady Gaga ring tone of Judas.. what a mess was that.

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    • It’s crazy, isn’t it? I was standing in line behind two teenagers who were a foot apart, but were texting each other. And the phones just keep getting more sophisticated and more expensive. It makes you wonder how far they will go. They already exceed the capabilities and knowledge of most of the people who have them. Personally, the tiny screens drive me crazy. As someone who sits in front of a 22″ monitor most of the time, I find that even the Kindle screen is too small for anything other than reading.
      Anna J

      Like

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