Friday, February 03, 2006

Cell Phones: Friend or Foe?

Cell phones are the new lighters. I discovered this when Dumpling and I were at a concert this week. When the power ballad comes on, the cell phones are whipped out and held high- a visual delight of swaying electronica. It made me kind of sad actually. I hadn't been to a big ampitheater concert in years, probably 10. Seeing that aged me.

That concert was so big and loud, I amused myself with text messaging in between acts. I even text messaged Dumpling even though he was sitting right next to me:

Me: Hi.
Dumpling: Hi.
Me: Whatcha doing?

I worry about being too reliant on my cell phone. Sure, if I am lost in a big ampitheater and I can't find my friends I can call them rather than report myself to the lost & found. If I am bored between acts I can text anyone. Boredom banished with the push of a few buttons! Brilliant! But for the most part, I don't spend a whole lot of time on the phone. (Those of you who have attempted to call me can probably attest to that. Sorry!) I do fall prey to the text messaging in leiu of actual voice conversation. It's often a cop out. I admit it. Or I am trying not to be too rude by communicating with someone other than the person I am hanging out with at the time.

I wish cell phones came with ettiquette lessons. "Congratulations on the purchase of your new Mortorola phone. Please follow these basic guidelines: 1) do not use the phone in public restrooms; 2) do not answer the phone (or text message) while in the middle of a conversation with a live person who is sitting right next to you unless someone is dying; 3) turn your phone off during meals; 4) never answer your phone during a movie; 5) refrain from talking about private details (no one wants to hear about your chlamydia); 6) never use text messaging to break up with someone." You know, something like that.

It's just a suggestion.

I am just wondering that if with all this technology we aren't becoming more separate as humans. Are we losing the human touch through all these electronic devices? Is it really keeping us in better touch or are we using it as a way of keeping things on a surface level? From keeping us apart?

24 comments:

Gary said...

People really push the envelope with cellphones. There are probabably even people who have rigged up a special belt so they can wear them while having sex.

circe said...

Ms Sizz,
There are indeed pros and cons, and cell phone etiquette is essential. I admit to loving mine though. But I'm not much of a phone talker so I think I like the text message part the best. Oh, and the camera.......*EG*

electronically,
circe

Lushy said...

I have had some deep conversations with long distance friends via text. Sure, it takes three messages to type the whole thing and it's full of errors, but I think the point comes across. :)

Anonymous said...

we are "evolving" into the black eyed, grey skinned aliens. except we have sweaters. sweaters rock!!

Neil said...

My new phone has internet access, TV-watching capabilities, and games. Soon, everyone will have an integrated ipod-phone. I definitely think it will just isolate everyone from society at large -- as if you're walking around in your own private world all day.

sue said...

I like my phone because it has caller ID and I can screen calls...

Having said that, I also like my husbands phone so he can talk to his buddies all. Day. Long. While driving his tractor or his semi so he doesn't have to call them at night at talk to them all. Night. Long.

I guess I'm more pro than con. :)

Party Girl said...

I couldn't agree more about the ettiquett lesson on cell phones. Especially in the restroom, I mean good lord.

The cell phones at concerts started with Blink 182 during an MTV appearnce...yeah, Bic lighters, so much better.

alissa said...

I agree, I love text messaging, e-mail etc... but I think we're losing that human touch for sure.

It's the same with iPods, I love that when I wear mine I have an excuse not to say hello to people that I pass on the street, and that it is a block for random people who want to start up a conversation, but I find the fact that I like that about my iPod, to be a little sad.

whoorl said...

What concert, Sizz?

Melissa said...

The ones that send me over the edge are the ones driving down the road just laughing and talking away on their cell phones paying no attention at all to the wake of destruction they leave behind them.

You. Would. Hear. It. Better. If. I. Shoved. It. Up. Your. Ass.

gorillabuns said...

yeah, what concert?

i can't leave the house without my cell phone, just to run up the street to get a sonic diet coke. i'm afraid i might have car trouble or an accident and then what would i do? yes, i'm too reliant on my cell phone.

Bob Merrick said...

when I first heard of people doing the phone thing at concerts, I thought it was the dumbest idea... then a few weeks ago, i was at the Black Eyed Peas concert in Vegas, and from the front of the stage, it was such a cool site to view the whole arena lit up. It's a really cool effect and you don't burn your fingers, polute the air or risk setting the person in front of you's hair on fire (very key at a Bon Jovi or Whitesnake concert)...

Sizzle said...

for those of you who are wondering, we were at the coldplay/fiona apple concert at the hp pavillion in san jose, ca.

there. you know all my secrets.

jeopardygirl said...

I used to work in retail, and it drove me nuts when customers would get to the desk, whip out their cell phones and dial, while throwing whatever it was they wanted to buy on the desk for me to ring up. I used to wait for them to hang up before ringing anything in. Sometimes, I would even walk away and help another customer or tidy until they were off the phone. Manners, people! I'm not a machine!

Claire said...

I like my cell on my terms, which means it's off a good deal of the time.

goldmoon said...

I agree, agree, agree. Did you notice that I agree?

Jenny said...

sweaters? relevance?

i like having a cellphone. i like text messaging. i like not having to answer the phone because i can see who is calling. i like my ipod. i like my PDA. yes, sometimes i am disconnected, and i want to be...but etiquette is much needed...i say you write a blog about this. side job :).

jenny said...

I think I must have missed the age cut-off for text messaging. I just don't get it. My friends and I tried it once just to see what it was like, and it just seemed silly. (And after re-reading that, why does it sound like I'm talking about drugs?)

Mikey said...

Foe, I don't want to get into more.

Aimee said...

Just last night I was at a small swank coffee / chocolate shop, sandwiched in close with a bunch of strangers. The couple next to us was holding hands and mooning all over each other, and then the girl's cell phone rang. She answered it and proceeded to have a longish laugh riot conversation with the person on the other end, and then closed by saying, "well, I'm out with my soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend... blah blah blah." The poor guy's face dropped, and not only did the caller know, but everyone else in the shop knew too. The funny thing is they continued to hold hands and kiss over the table after she hung up. Couldn't quite grasp the mechanics of that, but a little ettiquette in a few areas would have gone a long way.

Moonchild said...

Hey no one ever tex'es me.... :(
I have no land line, only a cell now for three years...I love it but rarely use it since I am on the phone literally for 8 hours a day... so I avoid the phone as much as possible and prefer Emails and blogs. But are cells excessive? You bet.

Bellina said...

Oh, Sizzle. How right you are. I, too, can not stand the fact that when I'm talking to a real live person that I have to be faced with them checking their cellphone 800 times for meissed communications. Hello! I'm more important than whomever you THINK might have called you. And, hey, did your ringer break? Cuz, last I checked, you would be able to hear the ringer and don't have to hold it tightly in your hands all through lunch.
Oh, and driving and talking on the cell...while your children are in the backseat! Hang up and let your children know you love them. Ask them about their day.
Yikes! I could go on and on here! Great post!
~B

D'Andre said...

I think you and Bellina need to start up a blog together and just "rant".. I know you both would have followers...

sandra said...

A few years ago, RIM (Blackberry company) had Aerosmith as the entertainment at their company party. There are apparently photos somewhere of a bunch of crazed RIM employees, lighting up their Blackberries instead of lighters at the concert.