Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cell Phones: Accessible Annoyance

An interesting posting on Roland's Ramblings caused me to make use of my personal "Wayback Machine" to dredge up a bit of nonsense that I had written before Just Blowing Smoke existed as a blogspot blog. I have updated and edited it as my own small way of paying homage to Mr. Hansen, a constant source of interesting information. 

I don't know about you, but one of the most annoying things in my life today is the cell phone. You can't seem to go to a restaurant, family gathering, or even church (or at least, so I have been told) without one of these marvels of modern technology interrupting the event. Not content with this level of intrusion into our lives however, the manufacturers of these electronic Torquemada torture devices have added the ability to listen to music, text message, and even receive emails 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is now no longer anywhere we can go or any time of the day when our friends, our customers, and our employers can't disturb some part of our lives with something of inestimable importance (at least to them)

Whoever thought that one of the greatest pleasures of the modern age might become the chance of being inaccessible to our fellow human beings for however brief a time? Why is it that the ability to communicate with other people at times and in places where any sane person would once have been ashamed to do so is now not only acceptable, but necessary behavior? When did being at the beck and call of any yahoo with the ability to sign a two year contract and a yen to share information become the goal in and point of our lives? When did we reach a point in civilization when no one is content unless they are constantly communicating useless information with a person that they cannot see every minute of their probably pointless lives? 

And don't even get me started on the subject of personalized ringers (oops, too late). I know that it's supposed to be cute, but so is a baby alligator until it bites you. Is it possible that people might realize that their current favorite song (or that from the night they lost their virginity) might not something that everyone wants to hear every time some idiot wants to extend their electronic social life? Isn't it burden enough that we have to share the musical tastes of every juvenile delinquent with bass enhancement each time they pull up next to us at a stop light without having to suffer it in places where such vehicles are not allowed? No offense to those of you out there sharing these bits of melodic rhapsody with the world (OK, maybe some), but your choices usually leave something to be desired. With all of history's music to pick from, you would think that people could find something that doesn't make the fillings in your teeth work loose, and you would be wrong. (And for those of you who still have "Who let the dogs out" on your phone, for shame.)  

Add in the special ringtones for special callers, alert tones for text messages or emails, and the music the phone plays when turning on or off; and you reach a point of mind-numbing tonal madness that we insist on subjecting our friends and neighbors to on an everyday basis in the name of self-amusement.  

And once the din announcing that someone would like to share some part of their idiotic life with you electronically has finally been silenced, you treat us to conversations that nobody cares about, at a decibel level that is suited only to a rock concert. 

While I am sure that their life is important to them (and it should be), can we agree that it means little or nothing to the rest of the world and that the necessity of subjecting us to it ad nauseum just because we happen to be standing within a block of you is ridiculous? Can we likewise agree that perhaps if these people actually had a life, that they wouldn't feel the need to share it with the rest of us quite so much? I can't take it any more! I hereby reject all of the ignorance, lack of good manners, and sheer stupidity of the behavior constantly committed in the name of non-stop, nonsensical cellular communication!

... and that's just my phone. Don't even get me started on how annoying yours is. 


Roland Hansen said...

Ah shucks, Tim. Ya give me too much credit; I much prefer cash.

I think cell yell folks should be placed in a padded cell! Furthermore, I believe that people have become captives to their cell phones and violaters of social etiquette.

I say to them: Crush those cell phones and take the time to speak personally to the person next to you rather than yell to some unseen far away person through some electronic gizmo fastened to your head.

Put that cell phone away and pay attention to your driving. And if you really need to text some one, for goodness sake, get the hell off the road. The life you save may be mine!

And for goodness sake, take time to smell the roses.

Tim Higgins said...


Credit is given where credit is due...

I'm not sure that I am willing to crush my cell phone, but do recognize that there are times and places to turn the power off. Nor am I ready to constantly wear a piece of "bluetooth" jewelery.
As for things like the impending regulation change to allow cell phone use on airplanes, they terrify me.

These devices are a necessary evil, not a necessity of life.

Norma said...

We visited your fine city Friday--the Art Museum and the Glass museum. Wonderful things to do in Toledo, Ohio.