Saturday, April 28, 2007

Cell Phones and The Slow Lane

Some people complain about cell phones, but before cell phones, I didn't like regular phones.

Preferring to think about what I am saying, I write letters. The phone forces one to think on the fly.

Even before cell phones, I would write a letter to another person in town, rather than pick up the phone. People may have thought I was strange. The phone was just too fast for me.

Email still allows me to think about my letter. Delivery is just faster. The best of both worlds.

It's not technology that's the problem, it's "the speed of business."

Phones are always interrupting. They turn face to face conversation into disjointed sound bytes between the phone calls. When ever you get a good conversation going with a friend, the phone rings.

Phones often lead to multitasking. One reason why I am reluctant to phone people is it seems like you get the quick brush off from about half the folks you call. Everyone's multitasking with a second call on line two.

Cell phones bring the phone to more places, like trails and the wilderness. That can be good for safety reasons, but it also can mean the work world is just a ding-a-ling away.

I do bring a prepaid cell phone with me on my long bicycle tours. It is fun to share the tour, as it happens, with friends and family. No, I am not against cell phones. They can be kind of fun.

It is best to be stopped when your talking. Even on a bicycle, multitasking and driving isn't good.

When I make a call, I like to talk a long time, but I don't wish to interrupt my contemplative life to make lots of little calls.

During my childhood, people used to complain about "transistor radios" in the forest. Contaminating the natural experience with used car ads was not considered PC. Youth camps often had bans on radios.

These days, about the only "phone free zones" where people can meet face to face for uninterrupted conversations are in saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs. That is until they develop cell phones which can be cooked in an oven and submerged in water.

I don't really have anything against cell phones compared to regular phones. I just don't use either that often. When I do use them, I try to not be hurried.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just had lunch with a friend, and that person yaked on their phone (while eating)for about 10 minutes and finally hung up and said it was a business call. Meanwhile, I am sitting across from that person, thinking "this is unbelievable" that anyone could be so rude. Has anyone every heard of voice mail? I never have my phone on when meeting a friend for lunch or whenever I am in any restaurant. Once I met 3 women for lunch, and during the lunch all 3 of them took a cell call (their phone rang loudly). Why do we meet people for lunch if you are going to treat them so rudely? There is no excuse for such behavior! I will create a NEW bumper sticker that says "Hang up and enjoy your friend's company at lunch for a change."