I want to clear the air on something right off the bat; I am not a cellphone hater. Yea, I know that it seems everything I write has some axe to grind over cellphone use but I honestly don't hate cellphones. In fact, I love my cellphone. What I hate is phones and phone calls in general. I hated talking on the phone when I was a kid and hate it just as much today. Don't get me wrong, I love to talk. I talk a lot and I talk loudly...just not on the phone. You wanna go for a beer or a cup of coffee I'll talk to you until I'm blue in the face. Just not on the phone. Which leads me to my cellphone issues. People have taken what may be one of the great social inventions of the past 30 years and twisted it into this sick, twisted little device which gives it's user the power of super ignorance. People have taken the phone call, once relegated to home use, public and have no compunction about talking about the most personal and intimate things in front of other people. They just talk and talk and talk. It's like a disease or addiction. They just can't stop talking. It's mystifying. I can't do it. I honestly don't have that much important to say. There is a commercial for some cell carrier or another where the dude starts talking to his friend in NYC and ends up in rural Canada of some such bullshit. It's really not that far from the truth as some people could be on their cells while World War III was happening around them and never even take a breath. Now if you're under 30 you probably don't know any better as you've likely grown up with a cell pressed to your air. For the rest of us, we should know better. Tell the truth, when it was all pay phones and you had to pay for every call did you talk on the phone even 1% as much as you do now? No, didn't think so. Whew, that was a long opening paragraph. I know, let's do a list!!! Here's my Top 5 Things About Cellphone Use That Chap My Ass!!
1) The Check-In Call- Ugh. This is the most annoying use of phone calls. The periodic check-in with the spouse/significant other/sibling/parent etc for no real purpose at all. "Hey, just checking in. Everything ok? Good, I'll check in later". What the hell? I mean, what the hell? Is there a real reason for this call? More then anything I hate pointless calls. Calls for the sake of calling as opposed to calling for a purpose. It makes no sense to me to talk just because this is the designated time to talk. And DO NOT give me the "you haven't got wife/kids/pet turtle" argument. My dad had a wife and 6 kids and if he called once a day while he was at work that would be considered a lot. Just...please...STOP
2) The Trapped Call- Is there anything worse then being stuck somewhere and having to listen to someone phone call with no way to escape it? You're on the bus or train and someone is just droning on and on about the upcoming proposal. You're in the checkout line and the woman in front of you has been yakking non-stop the entire time to her sister about the results of her Pap Smear or some other really personal stuff. Or the meathead at the gym on the bike next to you talking so loudly on his phone to his meathead buddy about how wasted they got last night that you can't escape it even with your Ipod volume maxed. Do people have no concept of privacy anymore? Or, even more so, concept of courtesy to others? I mean surely you must realize WE DON'T WANT TO HEAR YOUR PHONE CALLS!!
3) Giving You The Finger Call- No, not THAT finger but it may as well be. I'm talking the pointer finger thrown up at you in a "just a minute" signal. Every time someone does that I want to break that finger off and stick it where the sun don't shine! So, you're saying "well, you're probably interrupting their call" which is true, I am! I'm interrupting their call because they are supposed to be working/helping me/doing something else other then making personal calls. I honestly find the "just a minute" finger" more offensive then the "f*#k you" finger as the "f*#k you" finger can be justified and out of legit anger whereas the "just a minute" finger is just plain ignorant
4) The You're Just Not That Important Call- This may actually be more ignorant then the finger. You're in a conversation with someone and their phone rings and (if you're lucky) they announce they have to take this call (other times they just take it while you're mid-sentence) reducing your importance status to lower then whale poop. Now, are there times that someone will need to take an important call rather then finishing their business with you? Absolutely. But there is simply no way every phone call someone gets is a "I gotta take this" call. My theory? It's some combination of the person on the phone represents the out of the ordinary versus the live person representing the ordinary and, at the back of their minds, people still feel that little tinge of status enhancement taking an "important" call
5) The Wish You Were Here Call- Similar but slightly different then the You're not that important call. You know that guy (or girl. For the sake of simplicity I will use the term "guy" to represent a person)that whenever you go out as a group, or are having lunch with, or invites you to his house then proceeds to take or make call after call after call to other people? People who may have had the option to be there but opted not to be there! I find the practice of talking on your phone while out with friends, family, coworkers, etc to be one of the highest forms of rudeness. We all know that guy that keeps getting up and walking away to take a call sometimes not even excusing themselves. Again, I go back and say before you had a cell phone with some kind of "minutes" plan did you constantly run out to the pay phone every 5 minutes to make random calls? Used brainwaves? Smoke signals? No, I think not you simply went out, enjoyed the company you were with and saved all phone calls for when you got home (and were alone) or at the office. The ultimate sign of the time; 4 people sitting at a table at a bar all on their phones talking to other people. Just freaking perfect!
It will never stop and will only get worse. We (as a society, not me and you) talk while driving, talk while biking, talk on the toilet, talk in the movie theater, talk while crossing busy streets, talk on the bus, talk on the subway, talk while running, talk while hiking, talk at the gym, talk at the salon, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. Oh, and we have excuses for all the talk. It's a 24 hour work day. Bullshit! I need to keep in touch with my (kids/parents/siblings/spouse). Bullshit! It brings people closer keeping in touch on the phone. Bullshit! We simply love to hear the sound of our own voices and have eschewed common courtesy, quiet, private time, and enjoying our surroundings for the constant droning that is us talking and talking and talking and talking on our phones. Do me a favor people. Please, for the love of all that is scared, PLEASE, GET OFF YOUR PHONE!!