Monday, January 9, 2012

Cell Phones Redux

Okay, so they've become a replacement for landlines in great measure. I guess I understand that, though I don't use mine for that purpose. As I've mentioned in the past, it's not a comfortable instrument on which to talk and I dislike "Bluetooth."

Perhaps that's progress. Well, more than that. Remember back to the old days when sitcoms had teenagers on the phone for what was portrayed to be hours on a 30 minute show? Parents would holler to get them off the device. I'm wondering if we haven't reverted to that.

After all, as in my recent post regarding Facebook, what compels us to have the need to be so well-connected; more than that: So constantly connected. 

Have we come to a place in our lives, or to some extent, society in which everything, no matter how minute, requires sharing of some sort? More importantly, do we ever consider that, perhaps, this sort of minutiae is just plain boring?

"Hi, I'll be there in five minutes," someone told me on my cell the other day. "You'll get here when you do," I responded, "Why the hell are you calling me? I don't find it a courtesy and personally, I think the fact that you're late is discourteous."

The point is that at the end of the day, we're not that important and very few of us are that interesting. If you haven't realized it by now, your friends, close and good as they may be, often simply endure this foolishness.

I think it's time for all of us to become more thoughtful, not in a "courteous" manner, but rather, in the vein of thinking about things: life, the world and so forth.

We've done far to little of that and look at our human condition, to say nothing of social and national conditions.


For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is privacy, I've removed myself from Facebook, which is a challenge, as I'm sure you've read.


But that's not the point of this post. Watching my wife on her Facebook page, I noticed no fewer than 18 posts by one person and 15 by another: All in ONE day.


First, what the hell do these people do for a living. Well, that should be "Second." "First" should be, why the hell does anyone care if "so and so" was at the corner of 1st and Main at 10:04 AM, getting gas at 11:12 AM, saw a chicken cross the road at 11:18 AM and had a good bowel movement at 12:08 PM?


This is not, in my view, a form of communication, but rather a display of inanity and severe cases of egocentrism.


Perhaps it is age that is upon me. I think that if you want to share some good (or bad) news with a friend (and believe me, no one really has 100+ friends in this world), it's more effective and intimate to pick up the phone or have a drink to do so.


Beyond that, think about it: This material is there forever. Believe me, no matter how innocuous something someone "posts" on these sites can come back to bite them at some level and probably will.


I believe it was Huey Long who said something to the effect, "If you can call, don't write and if you see 'em in person, save the nickel and buy the vote." It's a metaphor, obviously, but you get the point.