Cell Phone Hell! Monday, December 20, 2010

I am currently in the market for a cell phone. My cell stopped working about a month ago. The touch screen simply went blank, but I did get nearly two years out of it. I have been using my wife’s old phone. It really isn’t old usage wise, she had only used it for four months before she decided to go Blackberry, but it is almost two years old which is very old from a technological stand point. I’m having nothing but problems with her phone and am really tired of it. It drops calls and doesn’t always ring. Just this weekend  I received an adult oriented joke text/video message from someone and decided to forward it to a couple of people. Well, somehow the message forwarded to my wife as well! She wasn’t very happy. I know there were only two contacts listed when I hit send, and she was definitely not one of them! I’ve checked and rechecked my phone send file and I can’t find a record of it being sent to her. I have no idea how it happened other than phone malfunction or God is messing with me! I managed to survive that fiasco,but don’t want another accident so I’m diligently looking for a new cell phone. I would really like to forgo carrying a cell phone and become one of the unreachable, for there are still a few out there, but it in today’s hi-tech society I find that a cell is a necessary evil.

Let’s talk about cell phones.

The cell phone, that cute little palmed size device that has revolutionized communication as we know it, began as a brick sized, walkie-talkie style, portable phone in the early1980’s, that did nothing else but make and receive calls. Well, they’ve come a long way baby! The phones we know today, come complete with touch screens, cameras, widgets, internet access, games, GPS, tools, wi-fi and countless applications. The cell phone has become our new best friend and constant traveling companion. It keeps us connected. Like the Am Ex card, don’t leave home without it.

It seems like everyone has a cell phone, young and old alike. As if the geriatric crowd don’t have enough to worry about already, now they have to be concerned with how many minutes they’ve used. My dad, an 86 year old WWII veteran would be lost without his cell. He may not know how to text or remember how to retrieve his messages, but he knows how make and receive calls and that’s all he cares about. He doesn’t even have to worry about his minutes, we got him an unlimited plan.

And the kids with phones! Incredible! I ’ve seen kids who look as young as 7 tooling around with cell phones. Come on, why the hell does a 7 year old  need a cell phone? Who’s on their tens list? Mom, dad, grandma and grandpa, their best friend Billy? Kids that young DO NOT need cell phones! Some parents will argue that the cell phone is a valuable tool in keeping in touch with their children and knowing where they are at all times. Listen, if you need a cell to keep track of your kids you’re in big trouble.You should know where they are at all times irregardless, their only 7!! They should be with you or some other responsible adult.

Then there are the teens, they are fused to their cell phones, they are truly the cell phone generation. Many of the students at the high school where I work have some of the latest phones, most of them  better than my own! And this is at a SES school! (low socio-economic status)  Unbelievable!

Yes, cell phones have definitely become an integral part of our society. The modern day convenience that many of us love to hate. I hate my cell, not only because I’ve been having problems with it, but because of what it represents. It is another tool of convenience that removes us from being actively involved in society.

I have long held that the invention of the automatic garage door opener was the first step in the dehumanization of mankind. Before the auto opener came into popular use, we would pull up into the driveway, get out of our vehicle and physically unlock and open the garage door. After pulling the car into the garage we would have to come back outside to close the door, thus offering us two opportunity to visit with neighbors if they happened to be outside. It was a social thing.

With the advent of the auto garage door opener that all changed. Suddenly their wasn’t a need to get out of the car, we simply push the button as we approach our homes and by the time we pull up the driveway the door is open. We wave a hasty hello to our neighbors, pull into the garage, and close the door behind us. Socialization averted.  Sadly, this scenario is routine in neighborhoods across America.

The cell phone does much the same thing. No longer do I have to wait in line at the store and strike up a conversation with the total stranger behind me, now I can whip out my cell and call someone who I really want to talk to,(maybe)  check my messages, text or play a game. I don’t even have to talk to the cashier if I don’t want to, I can just stay on the phone. On occasion, particularly at Home Depot, the cashier is on the phone also and scarcely acknowledges the customers as she scans the items. Rude? Definitely, but reality.

I have to admit cell phones do have their place, particularly in emergencies situations. We’ve seen that time and again on the evening news. And it is very convenient to be able to make a call from wherever you are to check on someone or to check on a situation, but there are some people who are constantly on their cell, the damn thing is glued to their ear, while shopping, driving, or eating in a restaurant, Who the hell are they talking to and why? Couldn’t it wait til later? Or perhaps they’re just lonely?  Hell I don’t know.  Cell phone are everywhere and they’re out and in use constantly. It’s like a disease gone wild. “Cell Phone Madness”

It begs the question “What the hell did we do before cell phones?”

JS

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