Cell phones, well now called Smart Phones, are taking over the world! Forget zombie, vampire, or alien attacks. This is what we should be afraid of now! Phones nowadays can do just about anything, when their only, original purpose was to make phone calls! Right? Who’s with me? Can I get a what-what?
Phones used to be stationed at home, usually in the kitchen or hung on the wall somewhere. If someone called you and you missed it, eh. No big deal. You moved on. Then “they” created the cell phone. Now you could dismantle that wall-phone, cut the cord, and carry this device in your pocket (well, the ones made after 1998) and never miss a phone call again. This advancement I am totally for.
But in the last ten years, technology – especially with phones - has amazed me with everything they can do. You can find movie show times, receive spoken directions to the movie theater, purchase your ticket without waiting in line, and even gain enough points to get a free small popcorn. What’s next? You’ll be able to watch a movie ON your phone??? Oh…
If anyone knows me personally (or the six of you subscribed to my blog) you can decipher that I am against all new technology involving communication. As a graduate with my Masters* in Communications, I have spent many hours studying and researching** the effects of face to face interpersonal communications, and not only do cell phones do the exact opposite, but I believe they hinder communication altogether.
Have you, a person without an iPhone (or android for that matter) gone out to dinner with someone with an iPhone (or android)? To you, you are enjoying a nice meal with a friend, catching up and discussing the events in your life. To them, they are out enjoying a meal, at a restaurant they found on Yelp, checking in on Facebook, uploading a picture, tagging you, asking you for a clever caption of said picture, tweeting a funny anecdote of their inner monologue while waiting for dessert, drawing a picture of a fire truck for their friends to guess, and playing the word “enation” to win the game on words with friends…all the while you are sitting there, right in front of them, at dinner.
Aside from all the applications, or “apps” - (remember when “apps” was short for mozzarella sticks??) phones receive emails and text messages. So, not only is your friend playing Family Feud with their college roommate, they are also able to get emails from Victoria’s Secret and texts from their friends, parents, and childhood next-door neighbors.
The cell phone is like an uninvited guest, sitting at the table, blinking that red light, waiting to be held. Put it on silent and in your pocket/purse/backpack and enjoy the present company.
These smart phones are ruining face-to-face communication and, well, dumbing us down. No one calls anymore. A text is the easier, more efficient way of getting in touch with someone. Again, I totally understand and agree. “Will you pick up a bottle of red wine on your way?” or “I work at noon” are totally fine examples of text message conversations. Simple, to the point statements or questions that only require a single word answer, if any answer at all. But, “Hey! It’s been forever, how have you been? What’s new? Did you ever get that rash figured out?” are NOT text message conversations. If you really want to know, pick up the phone and call them. Don’t make them type out a four page response on what’s been new in their life (or make them type “it was just genital herpes***”).
So, reader(s) and friend(s) and…well, Mom, I ask you to show a little respect towards your friends who ARE present and try, for those one or two hours to put your phone away and give them your undivided attention. Thank you.
* Bachelor’s Degree – But I was there long enough to get a Masters.
** I couldn’t afford text books and failed intro to Communications.
*** Everything cleared up.
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