Monday, October 17, 2011

Cell Phones: The Bane of Mankind

Yes! I have a cell phone. It is a "throw away" with a pay-as-you-go system where I buy a phone card to add minutes and user time every 90 days. I have just recently learned to text and I know how to answer an incoming call and make calls. Other than that, if my phone has other features, I don't know how they work or even what they are.
My son has a cell. My daughter has a cell. My grandson has one and so does my daughter-in-law. They all have these fancy-schmancy phones that are mini computers.
I have no objections to cell phones. My objection is how they are used.

I hate it when someone is on the phone in a restaurant. I get peeved when I hear a phone go off in church. I don't like it when I am having a face to face conversation with someone and they get a call or a text which interrupts us.

But what really burns my wick is drivers who insist on using their phones while on the road. I passed a car the other day where the lady driving had a cup of coffee from McDonalds in her left hand, a cigarette in her right hand, along with the steering wheel, and a cell phone propped on her right shoulder. She also had a child in the back seat in a car seat. She was doing 60+ mph down the 4 lane highway. How safe was this? I am surprised that she wasn't trying to apply lipstick too!

Behind me in line at the drive thru yesterday was a gal in a little red car. She keep creeping closer and closer to me. I thought she was going to smack into me. She was texting as she waited in line. If she wants to text, at least look where she is going and keep her foot on the brake.
At our Mexican restaurant the other night, I had to wait on the guy at the register to get off his phone to take my money. I bet if I started to walk out without paying my bill, he would have gotten off the phone muy pronto without saying "adios."
I had problems with cell phones in the middle school classroom. Students were to leave them in their lockers, but invariably they got brought into the classroom. I caught students texting each other, taking pictures, and playing video games. The usual routine was to confiscate the phone, take it to the office, and the student had to go to pick it up from the Asst. Principal after school and endure his wrath, which could be considerable. Since I was the only adult in the room, I usually just took the darn thing away from the student, and gave it back when class was over. I really didn't have the time to run to the office, nor the energy after dealing with adolescent attitudes.

It is interesting to sit in the mall of our large shopping center and watch just how many people have cell phones. Some carry them all the time. Some have that stupid-looking "blue tooth" thingy sticking out of their ear, and some carry them discreetly in their pocket or purse.

How did we ever manage without them? We left notes on the fridge as to where we were and when we would be home. We asked our friend's mom if we could please use their house phone to call home to tell Mom where we were and when we would be home. We even offered to pay for the long distance call if necessary. Or we used a pay phone, which used to be available on several street corners.

Yes, technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, but along with those advancements, I can see a decline in manners, and independence.



Curley said...

I oh so totally agree with everything you wrote. I do believe they are good to have for emergencys. But phoning or texting just to be texting is another story all together and never while behind the wheel.

Mellodee said...

I was in a restaurant not too long ago and sitting in the booth across from me was a group of four. I don't know the relationship of the four (at the moment I can't even remember the gender make-up except it was both male and female. Three of the four had their cell phones out and in use one talking, one texting, and one playing a game. The odd man out looked lonely as hell. Poor soul was probably the dad!

Conversation? Social interaction?? Communication?? I don't think so.

I have a cell phone. I use it to make and receive phone calls. I will very rarely use it to snap a photo of something out of the ordinary. That's it.

I seriously believe that texting will finish off what email started....the complete and total annihilation of good grammar, correct spelling, and English as a written language.

Over time our bodies will atrophy from lack of exercise, we will become a mute species because vocal cords will mutate and finally disappear through disuse, ears will cease to function as anything other than a place to hang our sunglasses and earrings.

In another few centuries, human beings will morph into nothing more than a gelatinous, featureless blob attached directly to a computing device that will constitue "life".

Now if I could turn that into a screenplay, I could make millions....nah, it would just be reality tv!


Terry said...

I was behind a cell phone multi tasker at a stop light the other day. The phone was held between her head and shoulder while she used the rear view mirror to apply eye make-up. She had a tooth brush in her mouth which I'm sure made a two way conversation difficult. I saw smoke or steam curling up from the center so she must have had coffee and/or a cigarette too. Wow - to be young and nimble again.


Jimmie Earl said...

Terry: That's not young and nimble...that's young and stupid. (Just my opinion!)

Mel: Amen! I can see a decline in the ability to communicate verbally or on paper already. Isn't that sad? It's a good thing that our favorite poets and authors didn't have cell phones. Just think Juliet could have texted Romeo to find out where he was.

Curley: I have my cell phone mainly for when I leave the city in case I have car trouble or some other crisis. Then, I just have to remember to take it with me,which I didn't this AM when I left town for a Dr. appt.

Terry said...

I agree with you Jimmie - I was just trying a little sarcasm without expressing my real thoughts as I was watching her.

Jerry said...

I agree with you all the way regarding cell phones. I use TracFone which is a 90 day pay-in-advance plan. Like you, I can call out, answer the silly thing....and recently learned the art of texting. I don't understand, or care about the other features.

Unlike most of the world, I don't live for my phone -- never carry it into restaurants, and never answer it when I am conversation with another. Real people are more important that phone people.

Jimmie Earl said...

Jerry: Thanks for stopping by. I do use Tracfone also. Best way to go in my estimation if one really has the need for a cell phone. Right now I'm not sure exactly where mine is. I know it's in the house somewhere.

Lilith said...

My whole family have cell phones. That's 5 phones in this house and I feel it's up to me as a parent to set the standards to which my children are allowed to use those phones.

They are NOT allowed to text during meal times. They have specific times at night the phones must be turned off and handed over to me. Also, while in school their phones are to be turned off and in their lockers, and yes I can check to make sure.

Another thing, when we are at another family members house, their phones are to be turned off. Same goes for going out for dinner.

When it comes to texting, all the phones have full keyboards and I demand my children use proper grammar and spelling when writing me.

I think a lot of the problems come from parents just giving their kids a phone and not setting and rules or expectations!

Jimmie Earl said...

Lilith: Thanks for sharing, and THANK YOU for teaching your children proper etiquette for cell phones. I agree with your thought about parental teaching. But what about those adults that got their phones as adults. Someone needs to be teaching them!! LOL! And, as usual, thanks for commenting. I enjoy your insight.

Curley said...

One more comment on this and I will shut up. I don't know how people can afford cell phones anyway. Five phones, Lilth? I would hate to have that phone bill, and the more "perks" you have one one the more it costs you and don't get me started on the call drop outs. No thank you!

Lilith said...

Well, I get a discount on my plan because of where I work. Also, the only "perks" on 4 of those phones is texting and I have an unlimited package for that. Everything else but making phone calls is turned off on those phones. It's actually not as bad as you think. Keep in mind, not all cell phone plans are created equally. lol

I've seen people have two "smart" phones pay more than I do for my 4 "dumb" phones and 1 "smart" phone.