The Guys Perspective had a post on Sunday about multi-tasking, which got me thinking about the primary method we use to multi-task throughout our day. By the time I finished my comment, I knew I had a post in the making. Ahem…
Am I the only one annoyed by the current obsession with cell phones?
I am sick of all this cell phone bullshit pervading TV, media and our lives. It’s like every other commercial is touting some new doohickey for your phone that you need to have right fucking now or you’ll be a social pariah. What’s next, an I-Paper app that wipes your ass for you, checks the fiber content, then contacts your primary care physician with any anomalies?
Remember when these things first came out and they looked like a brick with buttons? And you’d have to actually plug them into your car?
It’s funny now when you see them show up in older movies. They were such high tech things then… little did we know where they were going.
I remember there was a company that used to market a big faux cell phone that had a little red light on it. The purpose then was so that you could be seen with it, even at night, which was much more important than actually making a call from the road. I’m not sure that has really changed.
Obviously over the years, the size has come way down and the uses and functions have skyrocketed.
I also hate those Bluetooth headset things. Time was when you saw some doofus walking down the street talking to himself, you knew he was a whack-a-loon and knew you should probably cross the street.
OK, that part hasn’t changed. I’d still cross the street, just so I don’t have to listen to some guy whose central message is “I am a very important guy and I can’t possibly walk down to the Burger King without negotiating a mega-business deal along the way.”
This is probably the same guy that’s still yapping away in the bathroom stall while I’m trying to have a pee in peace.
I was very late to the cell phone party. I was sure I was the last grownup in America to get one back in 2006, before I finally caved. And the only reason I consented then was because otherwise, I’d have been forced to carry a pager. Talk about the most useless piece of 2010 equipment…
Anyway, I figured if I had to have a cell phone, I’d get a good one that could do everything, even if I never wanted to take advantage of all the functionality. You never know. So I had a good phone for about 10 minutes before the I-Phone was released. Instantly, my new top of the line phone became just another piece of shit. (Albeit a piece of shit that’s still in pristine condition. I haven't even taken off that piece of protective film from the outside window.)
My phone suits me for several reasons. First, I like the flip-out style. It adds heft to it. I don’t trust those short phones that just come to your cheekbone when you hold it to your ear. It doesn’t seem like they’d be able to pick up your voice from so far away, so I’d overcompensate by speaking in that WAY TOO LOUD CELLPHONE VOICE that we’ve all heard and loathe. (Not mine... I mean in general.)
I also like a slim phone, so I can slip it into my pocket without leaving a big obvious lump. (OK, another big obvious lump.) I have a little phone case but I don’t use it much because it screams "Hey everyone! I have a cell phone!"
But I won’t give it up until I have to. It does what I need it to do… make occasional short phone calls if I’m running late, arrange a meet-up on the fly, or make a call from the store when I don’t know what kind of beer Pinky wants. I have a plan that gives me 200 minutes, with free weekend minutes. I use about 2 or 3 minutes and me bill runs around $30 a month.
I also avoid the unlimited plans for texting or Internet. I send maybe 5-10 texts a month, and often less (at .20/month). The only time I tend to text is when I’m waiting a bar for someone and going “Where are you?” I also text a lot of “Wooooooooo!” if I’m watching a game I know someone is watching elsewhere.
You’ll note I avoid the usual texting shorthand. I’m afraid if I start abbreviating all my words, it will start to seep into my other writing areas. Don’t think that’s true? Look at the emails you get from your teenage kids. Or look at their English homework.
But I should cut corners, though, because I am so hopelessly slow at texting on my non-qwerty keypad that by the time I get my thought out, it has become irrelevant. (As in the intended recipient shows up at the bar, or another big play happens in the game.)
I also don’t use the Internet much on the phone. I figure, that’s the reason I have a home PC and work PC. If I need to know something, it can wait. Plus, I don’t see where my occasional need would outweigh the cost of the plan. Same with picture mail.
I can take pictures with my phone, but in order to actually DO anything with them, you have to sign up for an expensive monthly plan. Screw that! I’ll just use my regular camera, thank you very little. It’s like that with all the apps… in order to actually use all the shit your phone can do, you have to get roped into some kind of plan, so unless it’s something you need to do all the time, (and it rarely is) you get boned on the bill.
My phone is off about 98% of the time. As with the PCs, I have a phone at home and a phone on my desk at work. I am in one of those two locations for most of the day. The rest of the time, I’m in transit to and from. Half of my trip is spent in a subway tunnel where there is no signal. So do I really need to boot up my cell for those 20 minutes each way where I can get a signal?
Answer: I don’t freakin’ think so. I am not so indispensable that whatever it is can’t wait until I reach my destination. And I do not use my cell to call people so I can amuse myself. I actually hate chitchatting on the phone in general. Because we live hundreds of miles apart, I talk to my parents about once a week to catch up. But other than that, I never call anyone without a specific reason. I’ve always been like that… I don’t know why.
When I’m on the train, I read my daily paper on the way to work, and my Sports Illustrated or Newsweek on the way home. And I never forget to wear my MP3 player, primarily so I don’t have to listen to everyone else amusing themselves by blabbering on their cell phones!
“Can you hear me now?”
“Yes. Now PISS OFF!”