Saturday, July 14, 2007

Stop cell-phone division

Remember when every square inch of the planet wasn't a phone booth?

At my apartment complex, the swimming pool is always lined with college kids catching tans or - for at least one minute per hour - actually dipping into the water. The rest of the time, they are invariably gabbing away on their cell phones. It's not unusual here to see three girls, presumably best friends/roommates, sit together for a long time and exchange scarcely a word...with each other, at least. But they're talking, all right - engaged in what psychologists say is one of the most annoying sounds to humans, the one-sided conversation.

This has to be a sign of the apocalypse. I can see why people would want to have a cell phone in their daily lives, whether out of necessity or just to have around in case of emergency. But what compels people to bring them to a swimming pool on a summer weekend, especially when they presumably have their friends with them? As many times as I've been swimming with friends and family, I can't think of a single situation where I would want to pick up a phone and spend the entire afternoon calling others who aren't there. Isn't going to a pool one of those things you do to escape that sort of thing?

Cell phones are too ubiquitous in society. Way too many people have them. And way too many people are extremely rude with them. What's surprising, though, is that (at least in my experience) many people don't find anything unusual about conducting entire transactions with cashiers or hanging out with their friends with their ears glued to their cell. Am I the only person who finds this teeth-grindingly rude?

I think Rob Guillory said it best: "The wireless web woven to bring us closer together is building a digital wall between us. The first step to bringing it down is hanging up our phones..."

Well said. And he didn't have to call anyone to say it.


Rob Guillory said...

Shit...I wrote that? Damn. That's good stuff!!!

Ian McGibboney said...

Yes you did, and it may be the most profound thing I've ever heard.