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Thursday, 03 December, 2020

Cell Phones are a Pain in the Ass

Date: 25 May, 2004

By: Chief

Imageoes anybody need, as in really need, a cell phone? Not as in nice to have one, either. When I mean need I mean a life or death requirement. Just sit on down and think about it for a few. I will bet that you probably do not really need a cell phone.

What are cell phones anyway? They are intrusive, invasive, disruptive, distracting and expensive. And those are the good qualities. What they are is an electronic leash. I, for one, do not like leashes of any sort. The bad qualities of these contraptions go on forever.

You see and hear the damned things everywhere. Are we really so brain dead, so incompetent that we are unable to be away from home or work or wherever without somebody checking up on us or controlling us? Sheesh, what a dreadful way to live.

How many people with cell phones actually accomplish something worthy while foaming at the mouth, endlessly, with their next best friend — living or dead? Answer — it can't be done. Too blasted distracting — which is a prize understatement obviously.

When one mentions distracting one can not help but wonder how many additional vehicle wrecks, they are not accidents by the way, have happened because some idiot driver was jaw-jacking on his or her cell phone instead of paying attention to the road and the other vehicles. Now I am a firm believer of our Constitutional system and the rights contained therein. So my feeling is take the yakking driver who caused the wreck, provide him or her with their Constitutional rights, try 'em, find 'em guilty and then hang his or her stupid ass. Publicly of course. The whole process, from start to finish, should not take over a couple of hours. Harsh lessons make for long memories.

When I invite somebody over to my house, which is rare let me tell you, I tell them upfront, no cell phones, no beepers. I find it rude as hell to be in the middle of a conversation or dinner and be interrupted by the "distinctive" signaling of a cell phone or a beeper. I also turn off the ringer of my regular telephone — I hate those things too. I don't even want to think what happens in a classroom at school. "Could you please explain that part again professor, about how 1 plus 1 equals 2, I was on the phone." Get my drift?

Parents tend to make big use of these evil inventions. They use them to keep track of their teenage sons and daughters. Of course the parents have no clue where the kiddies are, what they are doing and possibly what they even look like. Unfortunately for the kids at least, the parents have never learned the lesson that parents cannot, well - parent, via long distance. So the teenagers, being typical teenagers, do what they want and end up in trouble. Mommy and Daddy just don't understand how "such a thing could happen." "We love them so much, we give them everything." That ain't love, that is bribery. But there it is, the unvarnished truth. Truth hurts doesn't it?

Cell phones, like television, which will be the topic of a separate article, are social creations. We do not need them any more than we need a case of terminal hemorrhoids. "I just need to talk to my boyfriend or girlfriend." Or, "Well hi, haven't talked to you for ages (yesterday)." Those are two of the more common and useless examples of cell phones. Cell phones also have this annoying trait of teaching those who use the vile things to make spur of the moment decisions. And, as we all know, spur of the moment decisions usually come back to haunt us.

I like my freedom. I do not like being at the end of an invisible cord, an electronic leash. When I'm driving I pay attention to what is going on around me ... keeps me from being buried in my car. If I happen to be going some place and in the process will be passing by our local grocery store, before I leave the house I ask my wife if I need to pick up anything at the market. A little face-to-face communication goes one hell of a long way. And, truth be told, it is cheaper as well. Gee, what a concept.

Maybe the problem is people are scared to talk to each other face-to-face. Yeah, it may be easier to give the bad news via AT&T but doing the cell phone shuffle instead of face-to-face does not build character, courage, integrity or trust. I would much rather have my boss tell me the bad news to my face than over the phone. You can bet your bottom dollar that when I had news to give my boss, good or bad, it was face-to-face.

Whatever the reason the simple fact of the matter is that phone companies are making a fortune off our love affair with the cell phone. And for absolutely no viable reason. Here is an example. I knew a guy who wherever he went had a beeper and two cell phones! Not one but two of the infernal things. I asked him why the electronic weight belt and he responded by saying:

"Gotta stay in contact with the world you know."

No, actually, I don't know. I don't need to stay in contact with the world. I don't give a tinker's damn about the world or what happens to it, with it or because of it. Ain't my business. Besides, life is far too important to be taken seriously.

Look at it this-a-way, if you are blabbering on the phone all damn day how can you take the time to see a beautiful sunrise? Or a meteor shower? Or any of the wonders of nature? Let alone take time just to think. You can't. No way. While you are bumping your gums on your cell phone to your next best friend, living or dead, about your day ... life is passing you by.

So, who really needs a cell phone? Nobody.

Cell phones suck.

[Ed. note: This story has been updated.]

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