Friday, August 28, 2009


I may well be complaining about you, and I’m going to sound like an old-fashioned, confused-about-this-new-fangled-technology elderly woman, so I hope you don’t mind…

I find many things about the current cellphone culture to be incredibly bothersome. There are so many things I hate about it that I’m not quite sure where to begin, so let me just start swinging at it like a blind man in a swarm of bees.

Do you really need to buy the newest phone? You just bought your current phone 4 months ago and it seems to be serving you well. Phones should not be fashion accessories. They are useful tools for calling friends, family and business people. Do you really need to exchange the one you have now for the added feature of being able to transform your phone into a Persian rug at the push of a button? Isn’t your hardwood floor nice enough? Do you really need the pencil sharpener? Don’t you usually use a pen anyway?

And boo! to those terrible land-filling phone manufacturers who create substandard devices that don’t last. In my 5 years of cellular living I’ve had three phones, and all three I’ve driven until they've died. My current phone is so dilapidated it belongs in a spooky mansion covered in cobwebs and one large spider with red eyes. When I open it, I expect it to creak like a heavy wooden door or a rusty iron gate, followed by a loud crack of lightening. How did it get this way? Why do they break so easily? I am a gentle owner. True, every day it sits next to my keys, flash drive, pocket change, and my pocket electronic Sudoku, but so does my right testicle, and it seems to be holding up just okay. (I repeat, it’s just okay.)

I’m not going to go into ringtones, but what’s this crap called where you can have people hear a song while they wait for you to answer instead of a normal phone ring? It should be called “Boring Person Indicator” for want of a more descriptive and insulting term. What a depressing feature. Is your desire to tell people all about you so great that you even need to even personalize this? (Have you considered blogging about yourself instead? It’s another great way to tell everyone too much information about yourself, only to ultimately have nobody care, but it's free! Visit I'm So Tired for a good example of one such blog.)

I’m guilty of this, too, so I won’t preach too loud, but just because you’re waiting for a bus and don’t have a book with you, doesn’t mean you have to make a call. Enjoy the scenery. People watch. Think a few new thoughts.

I can't help but suspect that turning every phone into a video camera has diminished our interest in doing good. Pop quiz: If you see a frail, lonely, paranoid, half-lucid, old woman being mugged by some guy, are you more likely to (a) drop everything and chase the bad guy away, or (b) post the video on YouTube?

Talking while driving? I’m not going into that (because I’m a third-degree offender), but talking while biking, rollerblading, or skateboarding? No. Stop it. Now.

And finally, your incessant texting is as irritating as the residual pain from my hernia which sometimes plagues my right nut (I repeat, it’s just okay).

Sure, in some ways these technological advances are great, but I guess my overall point is just because we CAN do something, doesn’t mean we HAVE to do something. In summary, I like to complain about other people.

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