The Ottumwa Courier

Columns

May 13, 2013

Headline: Hey, human being here!

Put the cell phone down, just for a second!

(Continued)

OTTUMWA —

Ahh, the etiquette



Cell phones have warped society’s common courtesy. I’m next to you — I must be somewhat important if I’m next to you. I must have some interest in you — right? I must care enough about you to direct my voice in your ear’s direction. So my conversation must not mean that much ... I guess. It’s kind of annoying — don’t you think?

This is probably particularly distressing to people with kids and grandkids who want a little cell phone etiquette. Put the cell phone aside for one meal! Is it that much of a sacrifice?

I understand social technology and that it’s the wave of the future — cell phones — texts — tweets. Along with this comes a lot of bad drivers.

Then there’s the guy who walks into the gas station wearing his shades while talking on his cell phone the whole way — never acknowledging anyone in the store. He’s usually in front of you as he’s yappin’ on the phone. He’s got to buy six different lottery tickets as he’s buying his Ju Ju Fruits and his Marlboro Lights. He won’t even look at the cashier. Is this a really important phone call? Is he talking to Donald Trump, trying to close a mega deal? Is he calling for an ambulance? No, he’s just bored.

The inventors of all of this modern technology say it brings us closer together. I don’t know about that. I think it can split us farther apart within our community. You may have trouble explaining that to the kid blasting his hearing out on his iPod and freaking out when his smart phone is misplaced.

A new wing of psychiatry and psychology has been invented: social media addiction. Today’s youth have trouble coping without it.

It reminds me of a message by the Little River Band when they played at Bridge View Center a couple years ago. The lead singer was saying how nice it was back in the ’70s, before cell phones, that you could just disappear for a few days ... escape from the stresses of society. He made a good point. We’re all “on call” now, 24-7.

Technology is exploding all around us. Yet technology does not take the unintended consequences into consideration. Technology has gotten too far ahead of the horse. It’s a race for profits without much forethought.

It used to be nice to spend some quality time with someone not so distracted by a cell phone.

“Eastbound and Down, loaded up and truckin.”

Sorry folks, I’m going to have to take this.

No, on second thought, I really don’t.

m.brindley@ottumwacourier.com

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