I find the cell phone a useful invention. These days, nearly everyone has one. They are so prevalent that it is getting increasingly difficult to find pay phone, but, have the increased our ability to communicate, or decreased it.
I’ve thought for a while about doing a small one day project on cell phone use. It wouldn’t need to go past one day and I could probably hang out on one corner in downtown Charlotte for about 1 hour and get all of the pictures that I need. Everywhere, people walking and talking on their cell phones, or sending text messages while walking across the street, talking on the phone while driving, while walking with friends/coworkers. I’ve seen people walking through the zoo with their kids while talking on the cell phone. Can these calls really be that important? At lunchtime, people sit at their tables, 4 of them, all talking on the cell phone, none of them talking to each other. Photo opportunities abound!
The other day I noticed a mother and her two children sitting at a table, allegedly having lunch together. The mother was on the cell phone, the kids were playing video games. Occasionally, one of them would look up, grab something to eat, then continue with their electronic diversions. Ahhhh, togetherness!
I have a cell phone, but usually only my family members call me. If someone else calls, there’s a slim chance that I’ll answer. I prefer to call back at my convenience. Also, I make it a personal policy to NEVER answer it when I’m having an in-person conversation with someone, unless they call numerous times in a row, then I might consider it an emergency, excuse myself, and then answer. Personally, I think that it is terribly rude to interrupt a personal conversation to speak to someone on the phone. The person in front of me is much more important. Also, as for call waiting, forget about it. If I’m talking on the phone to one person, the other one can leave a voice mail!
These 3 photos represent what was going on on our hotel room in Myrtle Beach over the weekend. As soon as we got in the door, Tony went one way, my wife another, and Ryan, Tony’s teammate and friend, went another way. The reception in the hotel room was spotty, so positions next to the windows were prime. As you can see, they are all camped out next to the window!
We’ve conditioned ourselves to believe that these things are necessities. They are not. They are merely conveniences and instead of bringing us closer together, I believe that they are pulling us apart, making things more impersonal. Years ago, they didn’t exist and everyone got along just fine. Now, everyone walks around in their own little isolation, cell phone to ear, bluetooth device plugged in, music blasting through the iPod … totally oblivious to life.
More than likely, I’m probably just an old fashioned guy. I prefer to read rather than watch TV. I don’t like video games, and I rarely send a text message. A regular old fart!