Friday, December 23, 2005

A cellphone rant

In the past, cellphones have annoyed me, irked me, enraged me...but in March of this year I was in a terrible rush of the last week before a festival I was producing, and I had to get a cellphone -- it was either that or sit next to a pay phone with a pile of quarters while I was away from my home phone, and I had to be out, doing things for the festival. So I bought a pay-as-you-go phone, and spent hours on it that week.

Then, I discovered the slippery slope [isn't it crazy that someone's found the time to write a Wikipedia article on just about everything?!?] that is cellphone usage. "Okay," I thought to myself, "I'll hang on to this phone, and we'll keep it in the car to use in emergencies."

Then I called Metro one day at work (his job gave him a cellphone to stay in touch while at work), and we arranged something rather important. Then I went tutoring, and called him to come pick me up on his way home from work. Then...I put more money on the phone.

Then, in May, I was recruited as a friend's campaign manager for the recent provincial election, and I racked up more hours (and money) on the phone.

So, I've recently bitten the bullet, and bought into a plan...a plan! Gads.

And while I may be a cellphone newbie, my friend, who I will call Ann, is newer still. Today, I'm going to give her my 'old' pay-as-you-go phone, for her and her husband to use just between them, so that one of them has a phone when they are meeting up. He is far more leery of it than she is...I'd say he's the smart one on this. [Actually, he's the smart one of the pair, he saw the wisdom in marrying this woman, in not letting her get away!]

They're in trouble.

But, then, so is all of society.

Cellphone usage has made us all ruder, lazier, more dangerous, and more obnoxious. We talk on the phone when we are with someone else. We don't make precise arrangements to meet, and don't worry about being late, because: "Oh, I'll just call you on your cell." We drive with them stuck to our ears (my Japanese friend was shocked that it wasn't illegal), although I'm still at the stage (luckily) where I'll answer the phone to say "I'm driving, I'll call you back." And we talk on the phone in public places about not-so-public things, and annoy others with our blather.

And now I've started to IM with my colleague about projects we're working on, sometimes, albeit jokingly, when we're in the same office. Is this another place to be wary?

Check out this quicktime video on that subject.


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