On Cellular Phones and the Human Condition
by Stephen Phillips
OK, I must admit that I do own a mobile phone. It's big, ugly, and plain black in color. When I first acquired it, I used to carry it around all the time--God alone knows why, as I'm not the kind of person who gets voluminous amounts of phone calls.
Anyway, I know that cellular phones are an essential part of today's fast-paced lifestyle, and every up-and-coming dot-com gazillionaire needs one. But do we really need to have our new Ultra Slim multi-colored whiz-bang mobile phones glued to the sides of our heads 24 hours a day? I think not.
Frankly (and I think I'm not alone here), I'm getting just a little ticked off with all the slick advertising that is thrust down our throats about which mobile phone we REALLY needand how if we don't get it right now, were destined to be consigned to the bottomless pit of social deprivation.
Another thing that rattles my cage is the vast variety of ring tones. If people think that by having Beethoven's 5th announce their "important calls," they are somehow showing themselves to be educated about classical music, then I have news for them: youre wrong! (If you're really into classical music, I would suggest either the London proms or a season ticket to Glynbourne--very cultural.)
I'm sure that everyone has also seen the hands-free sets that are now available--you know, the ones that enable you to carry on a conversation while multi-tasking? One of my odder encounters with one of these involved walking into a restroom and seeing some guy busy having a conversation about skiing conditions with his member. (This gave a whole new meaning to being on the piste.)
Of course, we all know that mobile communications are an important part of today's hectic, fast-paced world, that they are an invaluable tool for business people, that they have been shown to be instrumental in saving peoples lives, and that they have served a multitude of very worthwhile purposes. Kudos for that. But--and this is a very big but--there is a time and a place for everything.
So please do not subject me to endless crappy ring tones while trapped on the bus. And I implore you, please turn them off when in the movies or at religious events. Don't feel that you have to text every Tom, Dick and Jane with all sorts of worthless rubbish: use pen and paper.
And if I ever see you using your mobile phone while hurtling through traffic at breakneck speed, endangering all other road users, then I will make it my mission to find your number and call you at 3:00 AM--so you, too, can enjoy the dulcet digital tones of Beethoven.
As for me, if anyone wants to contact me, they can call me at home. If I'm there, all well and good. If you get my machine, perhaps I just want to be left alone.
Alternately, you can always try me on my mobile...
(c) COPYRIGHT 2002 STEPHEN PHILLIPS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.