Saturday, November 29, 2008

Phone crazy

I’m generally not one to criticize technology. I don’t know maybe I am getting old, but cell phones drive me crazy these days! I have had one for years. Actually, when I was 16 my mom made me get one of those old “bag phones” for the car. Her rule was that I had to have one to drive alone, but she would not buy it for me…. She was thinking safety, I guess.
Anyway, they have never bothered me before. I think the turning point started when I was station in Geilenkirchen, Germany. I was in a little grocery store on base that served several different nationalities. I was looking for something pretty intently. While doing my best to figure out if the item I had in my hand was what I really thought it would be (doing my best to translate the label), a nicely dressed Italian lady came up beside me. She was sorting through a shelf looking for whatever it was she was wanted. Well, she started talking in rapid fire Italian. I just stood there like ummm… I have no idea what you are saying. It took me several minutes to realize that she had one of those ear bud things in. Like a bluetooth or something. She had been talking on the phone the whole time. That was several years ago and maybe the first person I had ever seen walking around a store talking loudly as if everyone wanted to hear her conversation. I was a little embarrassed and very thankful that I didn’t attempt to talk back to someone who was not talking me!
These days people are ALWAYS on their phones. Seriously, why did people suddenly get so important that they think they need to talk on the phone like 19 hours a day? Why do people think that all kids need a phone, even if they are 10?
Texting also makes me a little crazy. I think it’s a great feature to have, don’t get me wrong. I just think it is widely overused. You can’t have lunch with someone without them spending at least some time either sending a text, checking one, or showing you something stupid someone else sent them. Some of my friends have taken to sending me forwards, as if it wasn’t bad enough to have like 20 of those things in my email box. I have more to delete now!
I have done a fairly decent job of keeping my silly complaints to myself. However, my sister and her daughter rode with my husband and I several hours in the car to visit my father for Thanksgiving. Her phone was going off nonstop! It didn’t help that her phone would start some song each time she received a message. So every few minutes this loud “LOOOOOVVVVEEEE” in some female voice would start. I have no idea what comes next because she always flipped open her phone really fast. Like the person on the other end was in some life or death situation that required her speedy acknowledgement of the message. Apparently she had several different conversations going on at the same time. One of those conversations (I won’t give you the details because I didn’t ask her if I could) could have been a ten second phone call. Instead, it was a forty minute texting spree.
I also get sick of hearing everyone’s favorite song. My husband and I were shopping in the mall today. A woman was next to us looking through some things. She was probably in her early forties and a respectable looking woman. When her phone started blaring Baby Got Back, I couldn’t keep from laughing out loud. Or dancing a little. She let it ring forever; we almost heard the whole song. And it wasn’t one of those that repeating the same line over and over. She then had a full conversation with her friend all around the store at top volume.
While I enjoy having my phone available, I don’t think that I am required to have it on and be accessible to everyone everywhere all of time.

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