Cell Phone Culture

My wife has repeated the statement several times in the last few weeks, “I don’t understand and I don’t like this new cell-phone culture“. I have to agree with her, not just because she’s the wife and that’s expected of me, but because she has a point. It seems that no matter where you go or what you’re doing there will inevitably be multiple people talking or texting on their mobile devices.

Over the weekend as we sat in the dining room of a local restaurant, I watched a couple come in and sit down. They appeared to be middle-aged (whatever that means). The man wore a baseball cap and a scraggly beard, the woman was wearing a large, fluffy, southwestern patterned fleece jacket. They sat down, browsed the menu, ordered, ate, paid, waited for their change, and left; all without ever once interacting with each other. The lady was talking on the phone from the minute they walked through the door and was still engaged in the same conversation when they left. Personally I find that rude; 1) to the man she was with, 2) to the other customers seated near her, and 3) to the waitress.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident. It happens all the time. Today’s society can’t go more than a minute or two without connecting to someone or something. We must send and receive text messages, talk to someone, check the weather report or sports scores, or update our facebook statuses. We even caught our daughter (God love her) texting at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

You would think, since I am a self-proclaimed geek and gadget nut, that I would be all about the fancy cell phones or so-called “smart phones”, but you would be wrong. I like my phone, but that’s really all I want or need it to be; a phone. I don’t mind leaving home without it. I have no misgivings about leaving it in the car when we enter a movie theater. I leave it off while I am at work or at the very least on vibrate in my bag. I have been out and realized hours later that though I have been carrying it all day, I never actually turned it on. I have an iPod. I have a PC and a notebook. I have a digital camera. I have a TV, a calendar, a calculator, and video games. I don’t need or want my phone to be any of those things. I need it to make and receive calls when necessary. That’s really all.

Don’t get me wrong, mobile phones definitely have their uses. In fact, I don’t know what we did without them. But it’s gone too far and I believe it’s leading to even further deterioration of good old-fashioned manners and respect, which were both on the endangered species list to begin with.

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4 thoughts on “Cell Phone Culture

  1. Totally agree. I am never without my cell phone but I have no problem turning it off during dinner, meetings, conversations with friends etc. I figure if it’s that important they’ll leave a message or call back.

  2. So true Art.

    Oh – I forgot “watch” – I have a watch. It’s bizarre to me that so many people have stopped wearing watches & rely exclusively on their phones to know what time it is.

  3. Had to replace my phone just before Christmas. Went to the Verizon store and asked for a phone, just a phone: no camera, no internet, no text, no GPS, nothing but a phone. The sales guy looked at me like I was from Mars. Finally found one (with large keys and a big, bright screes, must be Verizon’s answer to the “Jitterbug” geezerphone). Works for me, and with my corporate partner discount it only cost me a few dollars out of pocket. And ring tone: Phone bells, just like that old ‘ma Bell phone I grew up with.

    Now, I used “public time” for many years. I’m sensitive to most metals. (told my wife that she’d have to get me a gold rolex if she wanted me to wear a watch). Then she found a Citizen Titanium avatior’s watch which I can wear.

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