Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cell Phones

Cell Phones << >> State of the Union (IMHO)

Okay…New Blog.

I was raised never to talk about Money, Religion, and Politics, but I guess at age 50, I can do what I want to do now. (Plus, the people who have raised me are dead and I can’t get “grounded” any longer). I am devoting this blog to “things that make me crazy”.

This first one will be about cell phones. I am not a “Luddite”… Far from it. I LOVE new gizmos and gadgets. I took my first computer class in 1977 using FORTRAN programming and punch cards. I had a Commodore 128 with dual 5-1/2” floppy disks and color monitor and dot-matrix printer in February 1989. I bought an Atari when they first came out in 1979 and bought the Nintendo in 1986 and the first Zelda game at the same time. I’ve had a cell phone since 2000 because I needed one for a cross-country trip and thought it would be useful in case of an emergency and it was because we used it when we broke down in Death Valley. BUT….

As a society, we have totally gone overboard with cell phone use. No matter where I am, I see someone with one of these things glued to their head. Doesn’t matter if I’m driving, in a restroom, or any and all public areas and buildings, there is at least one person blathering or texting on one of these things.

First off, we all know that multi-tasking while driving is dangerous. Fine, drive your own self into a tree or ditch, but make damn sure that you don’t take someone else with you. Every time I get behind an erratic driver, I’ll yell at the idiot “PAY ATTENTION AND GET OF THE FRIGGING PHONE!” More times than not, if I dare pass them, they’ll be using their cell phone. IDIOTS! I don’t care what you do in your own world, but when you’re driving, “PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROAD AND TRAFFIC WHILE YOU ARE BEHIND THE WHEEL!”

Secondly, “I HAVE GREAT HEARING AND I DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOUR PERSONAL CONVERSATIONS!” I don’t want to eavesdrop on these idiots but I can’t help it. I would like to read my book and keep to myself while waiting for my doctor appointment, not listen to someone talk about anything, especially “WHO YOU PICKED UP AND SCREWED LAST NIGHT!” I get embarrassed hearing these things. I’m no prude and like sex as well as the next person, but I don’t want to hear the details of anybody else’s sex life, especially some stranger’s. I also don’t give a rat’s butt about anything else that these people feel they must broadcast to the rest of the world.

Third, have we all decided to disconnect from where we actually are? I can multi-task when I need to, but I know I’m not paying attention to what’s going on around me when I am doing more than one thing at a time. When I’m on the phone, I can’t pay attention to what the person on the other end is saying if I’m doing something else at the same time. Either that or I’m paying attention to the person on the phone and NOT paying attention to the world around me. Hell, someone could be pointing a gun at my face and I wouldn’t notice. Aside from the potential danger from not being aware of your surroundings, it seems like we are disconnecting from personal, face-to-face contact with our fellow human beings. Is it so hard to shut the phone and acknowledge that the cashier at the grocery store said “Thank You”? I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had a door shut on me or my poor crushed hands because the person going though it before me was on their phone and didn’t notice me or else they didn’t care that I got hit by that door. Now, I just hang back until the door shuts instead of trying to grab it. I get a lot fewer injuries that way.

Fourth, it’s JUST PLAIN RUDE! If I’m out with someone and they are waiting for an important call I don’t mind them using their phone (I have call-waiting and only use it if I am waiting for my doctor or lawyer to call), but sitting at a restaurant twiddling my thumbs while my lunch date is texting or talking to someone else for no apparent reason makes me feel pretty bad. It makes me feel like I am not the person that my lunch partner wants to be with so why the hell do they bother being with me in the first place?

Fifth, with all these apps that show where everyone is, who is talking to whom, on-line information “back-up”, or the GPS letting anyone know where you are is kind of scary. Crap, I don’t want anyone to know where I’m at or who I’m talking to unless I specifically tell them even though I’m not doing anything illegal. HELLO! Do you remember BIG BROTHER in “1984”??? TIN-FOIL HATS ANYONE?

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