Sentiments on Cell Phones and Technology

I think I got my first cell phone when I was getting out of high school.

It seemed really cool at the time, but little did I know that this gift would become my abhorrence, and the bane of the existences of many people.

While cell phones can be quite useful, my general belief is that they can become that thing where idle time and people’s souls, creativity and social skills go to die.

Like I said, cell phones can be useful, and I don’t knock this. You never have to worry about change and phone cards, like you had to with pay phones back in the day. Some cell phones are as good as a computer, so really… if something ever happened to your computer, you could use a phone to surf the web and check email! At one point, I didn’t have a computer at all. I actually asked for a smart phone so that I could still check my email and everything until I found a computer that I wanted to buy. This took a few months. In the meantime, I was still able to keep in touch. Texting is also quite a nifty thing when you’re waiting for someone, and you need a way to entertain yourself. Fruit Ninja is good for that, too.

I swear if there’s anything I’ll miss about giving up my smart phone, it’s Fruit Ninja. And Nemo’s Reef. Aaaand the day minder. That is the most beautiful thing about smart phones. If you have a good one, you can remind yourself about things up to 2 weeks in advance! I always hated having to get those leaflets to put in a physical day planner; plus, an alarm doesn’t go off in the day planner when you have to remember to return your library books, or that a certain bill is going to come out today. A smart phone will cut all of that out for you, which is lovely, and it’s something that you can keep on you without it being bulky. These are the beautiful things about technology.

As great as these things are, the drawback is that we’re all like big kids that are addicted to video games; we get so sucked into our phones and the neat little things that they do, that we neglect actually talking to people that are right in front of us. Instead, we resort to talking to them on the phone… very loudly displaying all your business while in the nail salon to the annoyance of the other patrons. It makes me feel like these guys:

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I used to HATE when people would be talking on the phone while in front of me, the cashier, when I worked in retail. It was so rude! Do you really have to finish telling Marcy about how little Thomas managed to stick his head in the railing and what a time it was getting him out?? I also REALLY wanted to know about the explosive diarrhea you had the other day. Thanks for that. Look, I know we all lead busy lives, but please don’t expect me to give the attention to the transaction that it deserves when you’re distracted, and I’m getting increasingly annoyed the more you talk on your phone without even acknowledging me.

What’s even worse still is that hanging out has come down to people sitting together on their cell phones! I have a friend that would be on her phone all the time while I’m with her, and I used to hate that. Sometimes I wondered if she would notice if I just walked away and didn’t come back. I never said anything until she would try to update her Facebook status while driving. I’m sorry, but there are too many stories out there of people getting killed because they were texting while driving. I don’t care what ANYONE says… you cannot text and drive. Ask the families who have lost loved ones that died because they thought they could text and drive. If you want to endanger your life, that’s your business; don’t do it with me in the car… and at least endanger your life doing something fun! Like base jumping!

I miss the days before cell phones were popular, and yearn for that time where social interaction had nothing to do with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. Lucky for me, I remember times like that. So do others that are older than me… but sadly, they’ve been sucked in, too.

I never liked talking on the phone to begin with; now, I can’t get away from the phone! If my family hadn’t made me get one, I wouldn’t have one. I would have sooner tried to send smoke signals. Or a carrier pigeon. Do people use those anymore? Whenever my old soul gets thoroughly fed up, I find myself shouting (out loud) to whomever is within hearing range “screw technology! I just wanna be Amish!”

I have no idea how well that would work out because I’ve never seen Black Amish before, but can’t a girl dream? I’ve already got cooking and quilting down pact… but I can’t knit to save my soul, and I hate to clean. A domestic goddess, I am not. I could be, but I fight it; the very idea makes me ill at heart.

To get back to the point of things, I think a balance should be struck. There are things that are great about cell phones and smart phones… but I think they can also keep us from experiencing what’s going on around us. Try to find your balance; make times where you “fall off the grid”. It sounds scary, I know. Even though I’m not crazy about phones, I admit that I did become quite attached to mine. Putting it down will be the best thing that ever happened to you, though… even if it’s only for a couple of hours. I felt free, man.

if that’s not enough to convince you, try watching this. I left my cell phone alone for a whole day after watching this, and have used whole days to not pick up my phone unless someone called.

http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/i_forgot_my_phone/

ciao! Stay connected, and I don’t mean virtually!

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