I watched someone check Facebook during a business meeting the other day. I felt so insignificant and unimportant I wanted to throw my hands up in the air. We’re acting like a bunch of teenagers; drunk on cell phone drama and convinced it’s more important than the people right in front of us.
If I’m standing with someone using their device I don’t automatically assume they’re being rude. Something really important has to be happening on their phone. I don’t think it’s antisocial or socially awkward or impolite. They could be running a huge multi-national business or helping a friend off the ledge or maybe their house is on fire.
It’s lovely to remain in touch with people we don’t see, but are we talking to the people who live in the same house or sleep in the same bed? Cell phones don’t belong in the boardroom, at the dinner table or in the classroom, yet it’s the new normal. I think society is moving in the wrong direction with verbal communication. It’s becoming a lost art like handwriting.
Years ago cell phones were purchased for emergencies only. Now it’s the control centre of the universe. I text my kids in the house all the time, “Bring up milk, turn off the light, shut the garage, are you home yet? I’m saving my vocal cords. I doubt I would ever prepare a dinner, walk my dog or run on the elliptical without listening to a podcast. Modern life has been reduced to the palm of our hands. It has replaced all these lame single use devices like calendars, watches, cameras and alarms.
We’re consumption fanatics, all jacked up with these ravenous appetites on a morbid unquenchable pursuit for more more more. The cell phone keeps my ADHD and OCD ramped up. I get over stimulated and start to freak out. Every hour of every day seems a bit much so I try and tilt the scale. The device sits quietly beside me, egging me on. Wanna play? Wanna play? I say okay but only for five minutes.
This article first appeared in the May issue of Hometown News.