Friday, August 17, 2007

Cell Phones... Blessing and Curse

How often have you been out in public, whether at a doctor's office, shopping for groceries or perhaps trying to decide what special gift to buy for a loved one's celebration, only to be distracted by a loud-mouthed person speaking their mind into your airspace (if they have a bluetooth) or yammering into their cellphone?

I don't want to know about some stranger's personal life, finances or misdeeds. I don't want to know who's going to pick her kids up from soccer practice, or their best score. Do you?

Are those folks so desperate to be seen and heard that they need to broadcast their concerns for the entire world to hear? Have they no sense of privacy... either yours or theirs? And while we're at it, whatever happened to simple courtesy?

It's bad enough that many folks think that driving the expressway is a great time to chat up their friends. Paying close attention to the driving patterns that surround us can certainly save our lives, or someone else's life, and being involved in a juicy tidbit of gossip isn't a recommended way to remain alert to those patterns.

The other day I was driving on the expressway and a woman in the lane next to me turned on her signal and swerved into my lane, nearly bumping me into the next lane and other traffic. She was on her cell phone and not looking to see if her move was clear. Perhaps she thought that her signal meant, "get the h--- out of my way." rather than a courteous, "this is my intention." If I hadn't been watching traffic I might have been "dead meat."

There are so many indications that courtesy is no longer important in our society and as I wondered why I developed a theory. It all points to the dumbing down of our American schools, the working family, the sense of entitlement that has pervaded our society and people viewing good manners as out of date.

The cell phone is only one more indication of how far we've come into the "new age" of technology, and how far we've come from genuine respect.

Just tooting my personal horn.

1 comment:

MPD said...

I believe cell phones are simply a symptom... the cause would be a long, long traceback to the technology of today catering to greed. As technology grows and people have access to more "toys," these simple luxuries have become status symbols, which society feeds on, sometimes to the exclusion of all else.
In my hometown, I regularly see people paying for groceries with food stamps, yet they apparently have enough money to carry on a loud conversation on their brand new $500-$600 phone. They then exit the store to climb into a rusted-out '78 Chevy that won't start until the third attempt. People today have no concept of priorities. What's worse is the same scenario, but the shopper also carries an infant along for the ride.
I don't understand society today... perhaps that is my biggest motivation to write about the worlds of yesterday, or what they could have been. Simpler times.